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.

What do we know about the Baikal seal (nerpa)?

Baikal Seal (Nerpa)

The Baikal Seal - Nerpa

The Baikal Seal or nerpa is a unique animal of Lake Baikal. It’s the only mammal that lives in the lake.

A lot of people go to the Baikal to see this charming creature. In summer, the seals like basking in the sunshine and you can see how variously they can behave. Like people, the Baikal Seals have different characters and temperaments.

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TOP Places to Visit at Lake Baikal, Russia [tips + video]

Chersky Rock at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Panoramio.com

On the boat. On Lake Baikal.

Chersky Rock at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Panoramio.com

Lake Baikal is the oldest, the deepest and one of the most fascinating lakes of the world. Wherever you go at this charming lake, you will feel its spirit, spend a wonderful time and will be filled with its powerful positive energy!

If you arrive in Irkutsk and you are limited in time or have limited budget, then it’s better to visit Listvyanka, which is situated on the shore of Lake Baikal, 70 km (44 mi) from Irkutsk.

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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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Overall, the health of Lake Baikal is probably very good, says Dr Anson W. Mackay

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Hereby, we are really proud to present an exclusive interview done with Dr Anson W. Mackay, a professor at the Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography at University College London, who shares his thoughts about Russia’s Lake Baikal and its environmental state.

In May of 2011, we were really lucky to have him giving us a like on the Ask Lake Baikal facebook page. Actually, we didn’t do anything to attract his attention. Dr. Mackay is a big admirer of Lake Baikal himself. Has been to the area many times and cares much of its ecology. In our turn, we do what we love to do. We share our passion for the world’s largest & deepest lake.

Our interaction with Dr Mackay started from Voice of Russia‘s live radio story dedicated to pollution in Lake Baikal. There was a live talk on air with Nikolai Yasinsky from the Russian Geographical Society and Dr. Anson W. Mackay. You can listen to it online here.

We had our own questions to the UK-based professor, who, thank God, was really kind to give us answers. Proceed to read the interview.

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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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How to get from Listvyanka to Olkhon Island?

I’ve been asked a question on how to get to Olkhon Island from Listvyanka.

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Lake Baikal map (from www.axiomgear.com). Red dots shows Listvyanka and Olkhon. Click the image to enlarge.

In summer time you can get from Listvyanka villgae to Olkhon Island only by water.

I translated an official timetable for summer 2011. Read more »

Siberia’s Lake Baikal Travel Guide Map. Download for free.

Lake Baikal Map by BaikalNature. Siberia, Russia.

A fragment of Lake Baikal Map by BaikalNature

Good news! Thanks to our friends from BaikalNature, it’s now possible to download the travel guide map of Lake Baikal (Siberia/Russia) for free. No need to buy it online and wait for the map delivered by snail mail.

Lake Baikal Travel Guide Map icon. Siberia, Russia.

Do simple steps to get Lake Baikal Map from BaikalNature:

1. Choose the package and download it.
2. Unarchive the file and print the images.
3. Cut edges where it is needed and put the pieces together with the help of glue or scotch tape.

That is all!

What’s so special about Lake Baikal Map from BaikalNature?

It’s free. Done in high quality and resolution, and in several languages.

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Love story: Olkhon Island and Nikita & Natalia Bencharovs

Nikita Bencharov

Dear Readers, I would love to show you not only beautiful views of Lake Baikal, tell you about how to get here ahd there. I also would love to introduce you beautiful people from the area of Lake Baikal. These people live their lives here, love their families, love what they do and love Baikal. Today I would like to introduce Nikita and Natalia Bencharovs.

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What is the Best Season for Visiting Lake Baikal?

Spring at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Andrei Sobetov.

Spring at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Andrei Sobetov.

Lake Baikal is beautiful and interesting to visit in any season! No doubts. Check the following information, videos and photographs.

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One of the world’s largest telescopes on Lake Baikal, Russia

One of the world’s largest telescopes on Lake Baikal

What a great news! Lake Baikal has been chosen to host one of the world’s largest telescopes. Russian scientists hope it will help unravel the mysteries of dark matter in the center of the Milky Way.

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