By Captain Mikhail TSIPORUKHA, retired
In late August 1843 a small prospecting party, travelling on a leaking boat, crossed Lake Taimyr by a sheer stroke luck. Their store of provisions was nearly exhausted although the route of the expedition went further south. At this critical juncture the head of the party, Prof. Alexander Middendorf, who was already seriously ill decided that he could not continue the journey and took a desperate decision. He told his subordinates he would stay behind alone amidst the tundra hills of snow taking care of the gathered collections of samples and members of the expedition were to travel on, try and find some aborigines and send them to his rescue. The courageous pioneer explorer remained in the barren tundra quite alone for a total of 18 days and nights. When he was practically at the end of his tether, he saw what looked like three spots on the horizon. They turned out to be sledges carrying Nentsy aborigines and his deputy Vasiliy Vaganov.The explorations of Siberia went on...
FIRST EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH
Alexander Middendorf was born in 1815. His father-director of a St. Petersburg high school and later of a Pedagogical Institute-brought up his son in a spirit of love of nature, hunting sprees and long walking tours down untrodden forest paths. And, naturally enough, the boy always dreamed of becoming a traveller and explorer.
In 1832 he entered the Department of Medicine of the Derpt (now Tartu) University. Completing his studies with flying colors, we gained practical experience working abroad in various clinics and labs, including those in Breslau (Vrotslaw), Heidelberg, Vienna and Berlin and the range of his scholarly interests covered zoology, botany, geology and geodesy. This knowledge and experience later proved to be of great practical benefit for his numerous expeditions.
After his return to Russia, Dr. Middendorf received the post of junior scientific assistant at Kiev University where he lectured on ... Читать далее