Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

Impossible2Possible’s “2010 Siberian Express for Water” Lake Baikal winter trekking expedition. Video, photos, interview w/ Ray Zahab

Impossible2Possible Siberian Express Lake Baikal trek map

These are photographs of the last year’s winter trekking expedition “Siberian Express for Water” done by Impossible2Possible (i2P) along Russia’s Lake Baikal from its very south to its very north. 650 km on the ice! Incredible achievement!

Here’s what the Siberian Express for Water expedition participants say:

In 2010 i2P Founder Ray Zahab and i2P Ambassador Kevin Vallely teamed up for another epic impossible2Possible expedition. The two adventurers travelled to the far reaches of frozen Siberia and the remote shores of Lake Baikal, the oldest, deepest lake in the world, to run some 650km unsupported down the length of its frozen surface. The team averaged approximately 50km per day on this grueling expedition, while hauling all of their food and supplies. Over 8,500 students took part in both the Experiential Learning program and fundraising initiative for water projects in Africa.

Learn more on the expedition website.

Great news!

Apart from photographs, Ray Zahab sent me answers to our questions. Further, please, find the interview with him. Additionally, the documentary about the expedition is attached.

Documentary

About impossible2Possible(i2P)

The mission of impossible2Possible(i2P) is to encourage youth to reach beyond their perceived limits, and to use adventure as a medium to educate, inspire and empower our global community to make positive change in the world. i2P aims to equip today’s youth with the understanding and belief that they have the power to change the world. We envision a world of achievers that believe in their hearts that nothing is out of the realm of possibility!

Finally, a short online-based interview with Ray Zahab

– What was the major challenge on that 2010 Baikal expedition? Was it a climate obstacle, huge distance, local people or expedition arrangements?

There was many difficult obstacle during our 650 km run across frozen Lake Baikal in winter 2010. Obviously the cold was huge. And the fact we were running an average 50km per day- unsupported! Hauling allo f our gear and food. One of the most difficult features was the fact we had issues obtaining white gas, and the best fuel we could find to burn in our stoves was paint thinner. Enough said.

– Any tips for such travel arrangements?

Plan your trip with appropriate contacts that live or work in an area you are visiting. We were fortunate to meet a very reputable Russian contact.

– What did you find the most intruiging in Lake Baikal?

The scenery was incredible. Unbelievable- and one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. The people of the Siberian region were amazing too- very inviting and proud of their place on Earth.

– What did you tell schools about the expedition? Any usefull or helpful information?

We were running across the world’s most volumous source of fresh water, Lake Baikal. So we had lots to talk about!!!

– Any other results?

The weather and history of this incredible part of the world was also a huge talking point with schools. Lake Baikal is one of those speacial places in the world- so we really wanted to share our experience as best we could!

– Will you and your fellows come back to Lake Baikal?

Someday. We LOVED SIberia and Lake Baikal. Next time i will bring my 2 daughters and wife!!!

Thank you, Ray, for sharing your Baikal winter experience!

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