A Norilsk resident enjoys a dip in an icy lake as part of the so-called 'Walrus' club. A popular past time is to take a dip in holes cut into the ice and then retire in hot water pools around the frozen lake which are heated by the steam from the local power plant.
The city of Norilsk, in the far north of Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, was founded in the 1920s and today has a population of just over 175,000. In its early years it served as the centre of Norillag (or the Norilsk Corrective Labour Camp) but was given town status in 1953 as the Gulag system was slowly winding down. Today the city is largely dependent on MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading producer of Nickel and palladium and Norilsk's main employer. In 2001, the city was closed to all non-Russians, except for citizens of Belarus.