Ice roads of Siberia

Many of the toughest ‘Ice Roads’ in Siberia are in fact busy transportation routes used to supply extremely remote mines and oil and gas fields.

The vast region of Siberia only has a small number of asphalt roads, and since dirt roads can quickly become impassable quagmires after summer rains, the most reliable time to supply remote facilities overland is during the winter, across winter-only Ice Roads.  The distances involved are vast – between Ust-Kut and Mirny, for example, a 500 mile long Ice Road is extremely busy in midwinter, with hundreds of trucks supplying the huge Chayanda Gas Field.

Given the exceptionally cold temperatures, harsh living conditions en route, and frequent accidents on the treacherous ice, driving trucks in Siberia isn’t for the faint-hearted…  But the rewards are great – drivers can easily make enough money during the short winter ice driving season to last them through the rest of the year.