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.

5 interesting events that happened at Lake Baikal in 2011

I decided to make a list of interesting events that happened at Lake Baikal in 2011. The Lake is very unique by itself, but there are a lot of people’s stories connected to its existence.

A barrel floating on the sea

In summer 2011 one retired man from Kultuk village decided to swim across Baikal in…a barrel. He was inspired to do such a heroic feat by an old song “Sacred sea, sacred Baikal,” in which the main hero – a state convict – swims across the lake in an omul barrel. Modern barrel was made in accordance of author’s drawings. The vessel consists of two sections – large wooden spools, on outer side of them pieces of foam and empty plastic bottles are fixed. There is a cabin with a table inside the barrel.

However Nikolay Lupynin had more difficulties than his inspirer. The Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) prohibited this adventure, explaining that he must register the barrel as a vessel and pass through a technical inspection.

The barrel is ready. Photo taken from www.gazetairkutsk.ru

Nilolay was not ready to such requirements and wrote a letter to Irkutsk Region Governor with a request for assistance and permit to swim. However, Nikolay didn’t get any answer. But the traveler is not discouraged, he is confident that the voyage will take place in summer 2012. By this time the retiree promises to fulfill all the demands of the MES and will sail according to the official rules.
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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.

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Enchanted with the Ice of Lake Baikal. 38 breathtaking spring pictures.

Enchanting Ice of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. Winter pictures. By Muumi

Enchanting Ice of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. Winter pictures. By Muumi

Yes, it’s summer right now! Summer! Pretty hot outside. So, why not chill out?! Let’s look back and see what we had a couple of months ago on Lake Baikal, Siberia / Russia. Magic ice! It’s like a diamond. You can’t stop admiring it!

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Jennifer Smith-Lee: questions and answers

Jennifer at Lake Baikal

Jennifer at Lake Baikal

Jennifer Smith-Lee is an Executive Director of an international NGO Tahoe-Baikal Institute. She studied in Irkutsk for one year in 2001-2002 and travelled to Lake Baikal several times. I asked her to share an experience of being here.

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Adventure: The 2010 Magadan to Baikal motorbike expedition finished

2010 Magadan to Baikal motorbike adventure expedition by Sibirsky Extreme

Sherri Jo Wilkins and her KTM at Lake Baikal, the final destination of the 2010 Sibirsky Extreme motorbike expedition. Photo by Walter Colebatch.

The Sibirsky Extreme adventure motorbike team, Walter Colebatch, a British explorer on BMW, and Sherri Jo Wilkins, an American Aussie lady on KTM, finished its long summer ride from Magadan to Lake Baikal. They overcame the terrains of the northern Siberian region of Yakutia including challenging old route of the famous Road of Bones (the Kolyma Highway). The total run appeared to be ~5000 kilometres.

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