There’s something about these images that I really like… it may be the colours or the mist.
It certainly looks like great fun.
The cryophile winter swimmers club is based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk and Reuters photographer Ilya Naymushin spent time with some of its intrepid members as they took their icy swim in the Yenisei river.
Nastya Usachyova, nine, and her mother Natalia, 39, warm up before their swim. The air temperature was about –24 degrees Celsius. ‘I feel cold at first but I overcome it,’ says Nastya, who first took to the icy water when she was aged two.
Mikhail Sashko, chairman and one of the founders of the Cryophile winter swimmers club celebrates his 68th birthday on the banks of the Yenisei river.
Young members of the Cryophile winter swimming club enjoy a snowball fight.
Mikhail Shakov, 23, who recently left the army, greets a fellow member on the banks of the Yenisei river. For Shakov, swimming is a way of disconnecting from daily life and setting his troubles to one side. ‘All problems leave me,’ he says. ‘The world around me seems beautiful’.
Visitors watch as Grigory Broverman pours a bucket of cold water over his six-year-old daughter Liza.
Nikolai Bocharov, 77, started winter swimming while doing military service in Germany. ‘When I came home from the army, I made an ice hole in the Yenisei and bathed there’ he says. ‘When I leave the water I feel a prickling sensation all over my body, it feels like I am ready to fly’.
Mikhail Sashko bathes in cold water. ‘The moment of immersion is a sensation of delight. Afterwards there’s a rush of energy and my entire body feels relaxed’.
Members of the swimming club take a dip in air temperatures of –27 degrees Celsius.
Liza Broverman, six, and her sister Yulia Klimenkova, 16, bathe in the icy water of the Yenisei river. Yulia, who has been swimming with the club since she was four, says her friends praise her bravery but balk at taking the plunge themselves.
The cryophile winter swimmers club has about 300 members with ages ranging from just one-year to over 80-years old. The wooden clubhouse on the banks of the Yenisei river provides a warm place for the members to meet and share their love of bracing, cold water.