The Long Haul - Update

27 MARCH 2019

Mike and Rosie get a mention in Explorer's Web: A New Speed Record, and a Record for Most Unscheduled Swims

Update from Lake Baikal...

25 MARCH 2019

ARRIVED! Mike made it to the south side of the lake on the evening of 24th March. Just 5kms from shore he nearly broke through the ice again and realised it was simply too dangerous to complete the next 39kms even though he had time, energy and food. So he landed on shore and got himself to an old railway station called Pankovka where he took a train to Slyudyanka. From there he met with his fixer who drove him to Irkutsk.

Now with Rosie, nursing wounds, badly blistered feet and a burnt face they are relaxing before flying home via Moscow.

Mike and Rosie set off on their expedition across Lake Baikal in support of Veterans Aid. All donations are welcome and go to a most worthwhile case - you can donate via their JustGiving Fundraising Page

Update from Lake Baikal...

23 MARCH 2019

Yesterday Mike fell through the ice twice, complete immersion, and had to change on the ice before becoming hypothermic. The temperature was mercifully kind and wind speeds quite low but still a very precarious situation. A woman died in the same area the day prior, freezing to death.

He was a little way north of Lystvyanka where there were areas of open water more than 100 metres wide and a lot of thin and unstable ice, as the lake starts to thaw. He came off the ice at Lystvyanka to assess the conditions ahead of him with the Russian project co-ordinator and to replan his route.

Having replanned, he is currently almost half way across the ice from Lystvyanka to the southern-most point of Lake Baikal which he will reach later today or early tomorrow morning. On schedule to finish at Kultuk late on 25th.

Mike pushes on across the ice, heading south...

22 MARCH 2019

Update from Lake Baikal...

19 MARCH 2019

Mike has a lot of pain in a hip, and says his feet are 'shot', which is limiting him to around 20 miles a day. Last night there was a major blizzard which took temperatures down to -40C, and Mike was unable to erect his tent. He slept on his sled with six thermal layers, but says it's the coldest he has ever felt.

Tonight is clear and still with a near-full moon, and an ambient temperature of -6C falling to a comparatively balmy -16C. Mike and Rosie unfortunately did not manage to meet when they crossed, despite being just 300m apart. Visibility was extremely poor in the ice fields, so Mike has had to continue without a working stove. Mike is about to start heading south west to reach the southern shore of Lake Baikal before turning north west for the last leg to the eastern end of the lake, and the finish, due in about six days at current progress.

Update from Lake Baikal...

15 MARCH 2019

Due to malfunctioning stoves, Mike has not had hot food or drink since setting out 11 days ago and is surviving on dry rations. Very tough conditions are proving challenging and Mike has dropped through the ice twice. Still in good spirits and pushing on south to Irkutsk.

Update from Lake Baikal...

8 MARCH 2019

Mike and Rosie experienced very high winds, cracking, and ground movement on the night of 4/5th March due to an earthquake on Lake Baikal of 4.6 magnitude. Luckily both of them are fine!

Read more about the earthquake.

Update from Lake Baikal...

5 MARCH 2019

Mike is skiing into the night to catch up lost ground. Stove is currently not working so cold food only. Temperatures down to -20 degrees.

Mike sets off across the ice

3 MARCH 2019

Mike is now on the ice having set off from the north of Lake Baikal. You can track his progress here.

Setting off from Irkutsk

28 FEBRUARY 2019

Well wishes from the staff at the Marriott in Irkutsk before Mike and Rosie set off for their double-solo attempt to cross the full length and breadth of Lake Baikal.

Excess Luggage...

26 FEBRUARY 2019

Two small sledges and a baggage trolly full of kit will follow Mike Laird and Rosie Stancer across Russia to Irkutsk near to the starting points of their double Solo haul along Lake Baikal. Rosie starting from the South on March 1st and Mike from the North on March 4th. In aid of Veterans Aid. They will be taking with them a Veterans Aid banner that will be raised to publicise the work of the charity they both admire.

The Long Haul Farewell...

25 FEBRUARY 2019

Mike and Rosie meet with the staff at Veterans Aid and collect the banner that will be taken along with them on the journey.

Mike discusses the Long Haul


The Long Haul - Lake Baikal

27 FEBRUARY 2019

Mike and renowned explorer Rosie Stancer will embark on a Double-Solo expedition over frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia, in support of Veterans Aid.

Travelling across this frozen lake, Rosie will set off on 1st March 2019 from the southern point of Lake Baikal and Mike will start from the northern point three days later. Both Mike and Rosie will be totally self-reliant and facing average temperatures around -35C with dips below -40C. The aim is to meet midway where they will raise the Veterans Aid banner before continuing on separate solo journeys to their finishing points.

Track Mike and Rosie's progress online at Garmin
Any donations in support of Veterans Aid are most gratefully received. You can donate via Mike and Rosie's JustGiving Fundraising Page
You can listen to Mike speaking about making preparations for the expedition on YouTube

The route will be approximately 725 kilometres - farther than a straight line between Inverness and London. Mike and Rosie will be travelling almost a marathon per day for 20 consecutive days whilst pulling sledges that will be upwards of 60 kilos. The route will be a World First across the lake in support of their chosen charity Veterans Aid.