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Elba - 24

On the 21st and 22nd of February close to the village of Izhitsy, near Novgorod in the Valdai region, the 24th Russian Winter Hitchhikers Festival "Elba - 24" will take place.
The festival is located in the woods, 300-400 metres west of the M10 Moscow – St.Petersburg Highway (approx. 290 km. from St.Petersburg and 410km. from Moscow).
Reference points/landmarks:
If you come from the direction of St.Petersburg and pass Novgorod you'll see the following: there is a stationary post of the DPS (Road Police), at the end of the Novgorod Bypass Highway. After about 70-75 km you will reach Izhitsy. To reach the camp you turn right from the Izhitsy exit sign onto a road through the woods (in the winter it’s just a footpath).If you come from the direction of Moscow or Tver, there will be a DPS stationary post in Edrovo, about 45 km after that you will see Izhitsy. To reach the camp you go left from the Izhitsy exit sign.
Take note that the road to the camp is situated in the valley between two hills. In both directions along this road there are large hills with steep gradients. Therefore, if you reach Elba by truck, do not ask the driver to stop near the Izhitsy sign, get out of the car/truck at the top of the hill either before or after the lowest part (in Izhitsy if coming from Moscow).
The hills in the Izhitsy area are considered by drivers to be a very unpleasant place in the winter. It can be very difficult to climb them by truck, and sometimes it is simply impossible. Do not risk getting stuck!
As you know, it's winter now, so the climate of Valdai is very different to that of Moscow or St. Petersburg. Therefore you need to be ready for air temperatures lower then -20C. Rest assured that we will not let anybody freeze in a field, but if you have poor outdoor equipment you risk getting ill from exposure to the elements!
Also bear in mind that on Sunday morning you'll be getting out of a tent pitched on frozen snow. This means getting out of a "warm” tent where the temperature is about zero into freezing morning air, about -20C, in order to wash yourself and clean your teeth using a very cold spring, then preparing breakfast, packing your backpack, washing your utensils, then going to the highway and hitching. For some this can be very hard after a whole day and whole night in freezing conditions. This will probably be a very long process, so be ready!
For those who haven’t already been frightened…
Outdoor equipment: winter gear – use your judgment. You will need: a tent, a travel mat, a sleeping bag, an extra pair of winter footwear (you'll walk over snowdrifts a lot, so your footwear will get wet and it will be impossible to dry it), some food.
Alcohol is not necessary (but nobody will object), don’t bring any drugs!

Novgorod area:


Izhitsi map: