Weather at the North Pole: -26°C Wind
Weather at the North Pole: -26°C Wind

To the Pole: There and Back

Transarctic Automobile Expedition — is a journey to the North Pole to be made by eight Russian daredevils on the amateur built Burlak AT vehicles.

Their goal is to beat the world record set in 2009, when the North Pole was reached using wheeled vehicles for the first time. The new expedition plans to reach the Pole autonomously, without delivery of fuel and food by air, and then return to the mainland on its own.

Expedition start

Project «Transarctic Automobile Expedition» is an idea of a machine builder and traveler Alexey Makarov. In 2009 he designed the all-terrain vehicle Makar, by which he and his team traveled across the Northern Urals and reached the farthest point of Eurasia— Cape Chelyuskin. Inspired by Vasily Elagin’s record, Alexey decided to conquer the Arctic. In 2014, on the bases of his developments and MLAE (Marine Live-Ice Automobile Expedition) experience, he designed a more advanced vehicle capable of traveling through the snowy tundra, floating ice and water.

In 2015, the project was supported by the founder of Taxi Order Service “Maxim”, the traveler Maxim Belonogov. Thanks to his co-financing, the creation of the new type of the arctic AT vehicle and the dream to set a new world record became reality. Aleksei and Maksim put together a team of associates and began to prepare for the expedition.


Reaching the North Pole is only possible if you have a team of reliable people. When forming the team, the participants took into account the level of training, experience, professionalism and personal qualities of every team member. Under harsh conditions, it is important for a person to be decisive, to stay calm in extreme situations and to know how to communicate in a team.

Special knowledge and skills will also come in useful during the journey. For example, Vasily Elagin will share his invaluable experience of travelling through the ice and guide the team. The mechanics Sergey Berent and Alexander Myakonkikh will ensure that the vehicles are properly functioning.


The expedition will be fully autonomous: the fuel and food for the whole journey will be carried by trailers. Communication with the mainland will be maintained every day by means of a satellite phone.

What is needed at the North Pole? Stuff that will come in handy under harsh conditions: warm clothing, skin protective agents, a gun in the event of a bear attack, first aid kit, tools for breaking ice and repairing the car. Each kilogram of personal belongings affects the fuel consumption; therefore, the participants bring only the bare essentials.

Expedition history

The participants of the Marine Live-Ice Automobile Expedition led by Vasilii Elagin were the first who reached the North Pole by wheeled vehicles. Travelers took off from the outermost point of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago and covered 2033 km in 38 days by two amphibian vehicles «Emelia». On April 26, 2009 they reached the longed-for coordinates 90°00′00″N. On the same day the travelers were taken to the mainland with the last flight by helicopters. The vehicles were abandoned for good on the North Pole. Their further fate is unknown.

In 2011 - 2015 Vasilii Elagin made a trip around the world using similar vehicles; he crossed the North Pole and reached Canada. According to him, it was easier than turning around and going back to the Severnaya Zemlya. 

Vasilii Elagin is not only the inspirer of the Transarctic Automobile Expedition, but also its participant.