Op URSA MAJOR
RUSSIAN SITREP

#Ingress 
#Ingressreport
#webrokeintel
#becausewecan
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#crazycanucks
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#Canada
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#uporin
#ursamajor     

Covered north pole with a blue field.
15.344.321 km squared - largest control field of Ingress
2 month preparation
102k MU
17828 km perimeter
First contiguous link 
first field passing through the International Dateline 

The idea to come up with something special over the North Pole was in the minds of top ingress players for a good couple of months of the last year, and so, in January 2014, I really put my mind to it and made a first quick sketch in Google Earth globe view.  My portal in Anadyr, Chukotka, very conveniently located for the project, was already up for several months by then (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anadyr_(town), https://goo.gl/maps/b471K).
More about its conquest:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I4JYFqvl4sVUV0KVztCvepiHXFwYlmlOFyKKfml374M/edit 

The other anchor in north-eastern Russia was chosen so that the link would carefully skirt the northern coast of Russia, and based on these two points, area for the third anchor on the other side of the planet was determined as prince Edward island, Canadaю (https://goo.gl/maps/vOZyE). At that moment, no visible crosslinks existed.
 
I showed this over-the-globe picture to our fellow RES agents in North America. The idea quickly found support, main distances were calculated, and  @mrowwy +Kris Murray  came forward as the main coordinator for the North American side of the operation.
On Jan 28, I set off to almost the Arctic Circle itself to obtain the portal keys, namely the remote village of Ust-Tsilma in the north of the Republic of Komi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ust-Tsilma, https://goo.gl/maps/UJjxV).
Fortunately, convenient flights were available from Ekaterinburg connecting in Syktyvkar, the republic’s capital, with old An-24 and Turbolet airplanes used for the last leg. It was quite cold in Ust-Tsilma, near -40C, and collecting keys was proving difficult. And that is exactly when the first serious obstacle came up. Norwegian ENL agents, having covered their country by green fields, also threw links and fields to the distant polar island Svalbard (Spitzbergen) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard, https://goo.gl/maps/i6ote). Those links were very much in the way of my planned links from Canada to Ust-Tsilma.

The next important thing was to send the keys over to North America, but, fortunately for us, RES agent travellers provided the occasion within just a couple of weeks. This way, the keys reached New York and stayed there until we get ahold of VRLAs. This phase was longest and most painful in the entire operation, but finally, in mid-March, everything worked itself out and all necessary items were delivered to the agents +vn Bedard-Tremblay +Adam Gilmore  living near our Canadian anchor.

All this time, the cross-links from Norway to Svalbard regularly appeared, went down, and appeared again.  There is no local resistance agents on the island, so there it was looming, a prospect for our agent to travel there for the sake of possible crosslinks before the main linking timepoint. The role of polar sentry guarding our plan from the green scourge went, of course, to our favourite traveller @kshul.

In addition, Aurora Borealis, Russian-Norwegianl ENL operation at the end of Feb, left behind another major hindrance to our project, a link from northern Norway to our polar city of Salekhard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salekhard, https://goo.gl/maps/jSdOH). We could not contact any local agent there due to total lack thereof, and so another journey begins. Russian Salekhard is certainly closer to us than Norway, but the airfare is quite ruthless, and train takes too long, so we spend some time searching the interwebz and find out that there is, albeit extreme, a way by car!  Just 1750 km drive from Ekaterinburg one way, but 650! km of those are via “zimnik’.

Zimnik (Wikipedia quote) - lit. winter road, a car road that can only be used during winter, i.e. at subzero temperatures. Made by raking and compacting the snow by grader machines, with ice crossings over rivers. Zimnik may also run directly on the frozen ice of rivers and lakes. 
So, basically, 650 km off-road, with just a couple of small villages on the way.

Agent @OKPOIIIKA from Ekaterinburg and I start getting ready for the extreme adventure, we prepare the car, pack ropes, shovels, an ax, extra gas cans, get dressed and get out!  Long weekend of March 8 also comes in handy. It takes us 29 hours (15 on tarmac and 14 on zimnik) to get to Salekhard, 4 hours we spend in Salekhard taking down the green crosslink and hacking unique portals, and then start a 35 hours journey back (we were caught on the way by blizzards and snow drifts that our compact Hyundai Getz could not conquer, so we repeatedly got stuck in the snow and waited for big trucks to help us out).
 
In a week after the Salekhard expedition all preparations are completed, packing done, tickets for the last phase purchased, and we hit the road!  @kshul travels to Svalbard by three different flights, and we (@Toxyd, @Joxter, @Red27) take a train from Moscow to Ust-Tsylma. The train ride takes more than a day, and then it is another 220 km stretch by car. We check into the small run-down hotel and start planning our next move.The final linking is set for 7am local time, and we need a total time of 5 hours to build up a 8lvl portal between the 3 of us, so we are to start deploying at 2am. The portal is 1km away from the hotel which means a lot of nighttime walking in the fresh northern air. And then we hit the #recursion : 15 minutes walk to the portal location, deploying resos, flipping the portal, then back to the hotel, 30 min break and back to the portal.

At 7 am we are at the finish line, tired by the sleepless night but perked up by adrenalin and the target in view.  Last resos in place and there it is, 8lvl portal! We send word to our Canadian friends, more waiting in excitement.. and the scanner shows an 6300 km long incoming link to our portal.  Another 5 minutes - and Canada informs that the Canada-Anadyr link is established. Now for the final part, our link to Anadyr. With heart palpitations, like a bomb squad around a bomb, we install VRLA + RLA, that should ensure 4900km that we need.. and we have the field! The logs report that there is a field of 102287 MUs, but it does not show up on the scanner.  Similarly,  @wRAR, our intel operator, tells us there is no field on standard intel view. We inform NIA of the mapping error and wait until their engineers fix OUR FIELD! In half an hour the field starts to emerge on intel view, even if not in every zoom level. Tired but happy we go back to the hotel. We have nearly one more whole day before our train back to Moscow, and we spend it resting, sleeping, walking around and taking pictures.


Idea, planning, field:  @Toxyd +Anton Khudozhnik 

Organizers:
@mrowwy +Kris Murray  
@kshul +Irina Sokolova  
@sys6x +vn Bedard-Tremblay  
@Unclebeldin +Mike McCabe   
@EggmanPEI +Adam Gilmore 


Field agents
@Red27 +Alexandra R. 
@Joxter +Kolya Morozov 
@Zakavian 
@SwampFoxAlpha 
@OKPOIIIKA +Aleksandr Ulatov 

Intel operator
@wRAR +Andrey Rahmatullin 

Support and consulting
@Tzafrir +Tzafrir Rehan 
@nylonee +Nihal Mirpuri  
@ColHannibal +Tim Johnston  


keys & VRLA xfer agents:
@ogdobber, @gar, @MCSS, @JPNasty1, @Darkshado, @henoc, @JohnGalt, @Lendy +Алексей Розов @club117


CANADIAN SITREP: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109235671074160734862/posts/CaxMqTyvwvM

+Ingress +Niantic Project +Anne Beuttenmüller +Brian Rose +Susanna Moyer +Brandon Badger +Joe Philley +John Hanke 
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2014-03-21
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