In the frigid landscape of Yakutia, Russia’s Far East, workers brave subzero temperatures to perform the grueling task of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ on ships in the snow-covered shipyard. This tedious and demanding work can take weeks to complete, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F).
Despite being named one of the hardest jobs in the world by locals, workers like 48-year-old Mikhail Klus have a different perspective. Dressing appropriately and adjusting to the extreme conditions make the job bearable for him. He even likens it to being in a sauna after taking off his cold-weather gear and entering a heated building.
Performing ‘vymorozka’ requires precision and skill. The workers must be cautious not to cut through the ice too quickly and risk sinking into the water below. Twenty-two-year-old Artyom Kovalec admits that at times, the extreme cold can lead to negative emotions and a desire to go home, eat, and relax. However, he emphasizes the importance of pushing through and maintaining composure.