The White Maze has been described multiple times as the mission impossible – to head thousands of kilometres into the middle of Eastern Siberia, hundreds of kilometres from a hospital, to nearly get lost within a maze of white snow, all to ski one seriously big mountain. But, some mission impossibles are worth it, especially when you're the first group of people to do it.
Essentially the story began when Matthias 'Hauni' Haunholder and Matthias Mayr were returning from their one-of-a-kind mission to Onekotan. As the plane flew back to Europe, they passed over Siberia's pristine mountains that were begging to be explored. One mountain included the great big Gora Pobeda, the highest peak of Eastern Siberia. A year later, Haunholder and Mayr were on the ground and the adventure officially began.
But it can be a lot easier to plan than to execute these types of adventures. Mostly because the trouble with an adventure like this, where the nearest rescue is out of helicopter reach and you have to lug every kilo by yourself over partially frozen roads, is that from the gate everyone is saying success is impossible – including your own gut.
“From the very first moment I doubted we would ever be able to realise this project,” Hani said. “It’s impossible to even get close to this area – there are no streets, people usually drive on frozen rivers and lakes that melt. We also had to carry so much more stuff than a usual climbing team because we wanted to film. One time it took us six hours to travel two kilometres.”
Now, with a trip like that, we know some might think Haunholder and Mayr were mad to go, and others might say: “where do I sign up.” Either way it's hard not want to drop everything and watch their experience. With its beautiful footage of blistering cold temperatures and swathes of untouched snow in one of the world's most remote locations, The White Maze is a mountaineering adventure like none other.
This van got them where they needed to go through melting rivers, a road called the Road of Bones, and over 40 hours deep into the heart of Siberia.
Thanks to an amazing team (and an amazing van) the ultimate mission impossible was achieved and they lived to tell (and show) the story. And now you can relive their entire adventure with The White Maze on Red Bull TV.