Yakutsk in the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 km south of the Arctic Circle, was the site of Irish ice swimmer Ger Kennedy‘s most hardy and risk-taking open water adventure.
After his ice mile and other ice swimming endeavors performed on the surface of the water in Murmansk, Tyumen, Lake Windermere and his native Ireland, Kennedy wanted to delve even deeper into his psyche and potential.
He stepped up his game by taking his ice swimming challenges to another level. He traveled to Russia’s Yakutsk, known as the coldest city in the world.
“I have talked with Wim Hof,” explains Kennedy about the renowned bioprene ice diver.
In Yakutsk, Kennedy swam 52 meters in Under Ice Swimming under a thick sheet of ice around 1 meter in water -1ºC (30.2ºF) and air approximately -13.8ºC (-7.6ºF). With the help of a safety team and a safety diver, Kennedy went under the ice in Elanka on the Lena River. He swam back and forth between three different ice holes
“The visibility [under the ice was about ~10-15 meters,” wrote the creator of Ice Sevens. “Everything went safe. Thanks to Sobolev Sergey, whose team made it possible. All safe and well thanks to a great ice water team assembled. [I had a] few cut marks on my back due to ice, but the ice was very smooth under. It was a very daunting challenge with other extremes to consider including wind chill. [It was] definitely the next level in ice swimming for me.“
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