I swam under a lost waterfall in the Russian Arctic

Beauty of Siberia

To find this fascinating beauty of the Siberian nature, I had to walk more than 7 kilometers along the tundra, all the while fearing meeting with a polar bear.

On my way to the waterfall. Siberian nature seems to be harsh but still very pretty.

Was there a chance to meet with a polar bear?

Yes, and not only a chance. The land here is full of bears, and not only polar ones. It also has plenty of brown bears here too. 2 weeks before my trip one polar bear burst into my hometown, scaring people. It looked to be so hungry. So hungry, that it hardly could even walk.

Polar bear Russian city
Finnish news reporting about hungry polar bear in Norilsk.

I was not prepared at all to meet a polar bear

I did not have a gun. Did not have even a knife. The only thing I had was a huge excitement to see the Arctic waterfall. Only luck could save me that day from meeting with a bear.

Polar bear is also the symbol of my hometown (Norilsk).
Russian Bayonet for Kalashnikov
  • Mass produced during the Soviet Union
  • Useful knife and part of history

The trail to the waterfall was stunningly beautiful

It is the middle of the summer almost, but the weather is still pretty cold and windy. Snow is not melted yet also. The freshest air of the tundra was such a happiness for my lungs.

The ascent to the waterfall
Still snowy
Getting closer…

The waterfall

Inspiring Arctic beauty…and the waterfall!
waterfall igor
Hiked up to see the Arctic landscape and get close to the cliff.

More pictures from the area around…

One of the brightest shade of green I have ever seen
A river flows out of the waterfall
The water is incredibly cold. So cold that the whole body is numb instantly. Anyway, I dived in for a few seconds!

Wanna learn more about how people live in one of the coldest, the northernmost and most-polluted towns on Earth and what else to see here?

Read about how I was driving my bicycle through the most air-polluted area in the world and almost burn my lungs here.

You can also check the post about venture to Nord Kamal – the northernmost mosque in the world, when I braved -44 degrees.

S.O.L Emergency Bivvy
  • Emergency Sleeping Bag or Blanket
  • Compact yet has 90% heat reflectivity


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Igor Sobolev
Igor was born in one of the dirtiest and most northern towns in the world - Norilsk, Russia. Living there made him hungry for traveling and seeing the true world - how it works and who lives there. "Best way of traveling - Hitchhiking!"

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  1. Very well written story. It will be helpful to everyone who employess it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.


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