Nomadic reindeer herding, along with the culture of the nomads, has been extraordinarily well preserved here. The local indigenous are Nenets, Asian-looking people of whom 50% live year-round nomadic existences, travelling by reindeer sledge through the Arctic tundra with herds of up to 10,000, wearing reindeer fur clothing and sleeping in reindeer-hide conical tents. Their language is unrelated to Russian and they follow an ancient animistic religion, sacrifing reindeer to the gods of sky, sun, earth and others. Travel here is not easy - the area is completely closed to outsiders, Russian or otherwise. To gain access, there is a laborious two month procedure for getting a permit, impossible if you do not speak Russian. The second problem is that no roads lead to Yamal so you will need to organise helicopter, all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile transport. The third problem is the environment - the average felt temperature out in the Yamal tundra in winter is almost -50°C while in summer mosquitoes descend in such numbers that you constantly have to spit them out of your mouth!