Continuing its efforts to internationalize its image at every level, Kazakhstan is hosting the International Ice Fishing Championships on lake Kapshagai. Sadly, the lake is too far away for me to visit. The fishermen interviewed in the BBC spot about the championships say that they’ve been enjoying the recent relatively warm weather, but I can tell you that the 50cm of ice through which they are fishing is the result of an unusually cold winter. Central Asia, like Europe, has suffered the effects of the Arctic Oscillation: Almaty has enduring larger-than-normal amounts of snow, and while the temperatures here have been more or less temperate (only minus thirty during the coldest nights), thermometers in the capital of Astana have registered chills as low as minus 52 degrees Celsius. For you Americans, that’s negative 61 degrees Fahrenheit, since it is at minus 40 that the two scales cross.
In my opinion, Kazakhstan hosting the ice fishing championships is a great example of turning lemons into lemonade. Thank you Adam for bringing the competition to my attention.