In Pictures

In pictures: Taking the plunge at -30C

In the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, the Cryophile winter swimming club - named after organisms that thrive in extremely low temperatures - bathe in the Yenisei River whatever the weather. Pictures by Reuters photographer Ilya Naymushin capture some of the club's activities.

Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption Mikhail Sashko, one of the founders of the Cryophile winter swimmers club, enters the Yenisei river on his 68th birthday, with the air temperature at about -27C. "The moment of immersion is a sensation of delight," said Sashko. "Afterwards there's a rush of energy and my entire body feels relaxed."
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption On land, Sashko has his picture taken by Mikhail Shakov to mark the day.
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption In the wooden clubhouse, where access is based on a rota because of the building's small size, club members can enjoy the sauna, chat over a hot drink or play the piano.
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption The club has about 300 members of all ages. "I feel cold at first but I overcome it," said Nastya, aged nine. "Many of my friends and their parents say it's impossible to bathe in the winter in the Yenisei river. They don't approve." Nastya, whose mother Natalia, 39, is a former world champion in winter swimming, first took to the icy water when she was aged two.
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption Amateur hunter 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 said. "My wife doesn't understand me and doesn't share this hobby of mine. My friends sneer at me and wait for me to grow wiser. I never feel any cold or discomfort and I can stay in cold water for a long time. When I leave the water I feel a prickling sensation all over my body. It feels like I am ready to fly."
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption Sisters Liza and Yulia in the icy water of the Yenisei river when the air temperature was about -16C. Yulia, who has been swimming with the club since she was four, says her friends praise her bravery but baulk at taking the plunge themselves.
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption Mikhail Shakov who recently left the army, enters the icy water of the Yenisei river on the first day after returning from military service. 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."
Image copyright Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
Image caption Vladimir Khokhlov, 71, a former builder and now a pensioner, dates his passion for swimming in all weathers to a September day in 1990, the year the Cryophile club was founded. While on a fishing trip on the banks of the Yenisei, he got up one morning and felt inspired to jump in the river. He hasn't stopped since.

All photographs by Ilya Naymushin / Reuters