MOUNTAIN HIKING


The most interesting routes for hiking and climbing lie along Khamar-Daban ridge and Eastern Sayan mountain range. The first one embraces Baikal from the South and can be reached by foot from Slyudyanka, Baikalsk, Utulik and other dwellings. To get to Eastern Sayan you will need to travel to Tunkinskaya valley and then depending on the route you chose to Tunkinsky or Okinsky district of Buryatiya. Eastern Sayan is higher up in the mountains and is much larger area than Khamar-Daban.

Utulik Horseshoe peak is the highest point of Khamar-Daban ridge (2396 meters), but the most popular route is still to climb Chersky peak (2090 meters). Distance from Slyudyanka to Chersky peak is around 27 kilometers, every year it attracts thousands of tourists. It is believed that it is not possible to get lost on this route but we recommend to find a company for your first trip. The season starts in June and ends in the end of September but in both June and September it is likely to find snow along the route.

Apart from Chersky peak there are other popular routes for hiking such as Golets Babkha (2061 meters), Pine Golets (1811 meters). The nearest to Baikalsk is Osinovsky Golets (1840 meters), you can start your trip directly from Baikalsk. The Northern side of Khamar-Daban have the highest level of humidity in South Baikal region - 1300 mm precipitation per year. Famous soviet author Yury Vizbor wrote a song about Khamar-Daban.

The highest point of Eastern Sayan is Munku-Sardyk mountain (3491 meters). Many visitors come to Munku-Sardyk every year for May holiday. To complete the mount you will need to obtain a permission from the border services because Munku-Sardyk lies on the border between Russia and Mongolia. In general Eastern Sayan is a very diverse mountain range which has extinct volcano craters (e.g. Kropotkin volcano in the Western part) and 30 square kilometers of glaciers. The precipitation here is 2-3 times less than in Khamar-Daban but the specifics such as remoteness, colder climate, bigger scale and height than Khamar-Daban create more extreme conditions for the trip which usually takes longer and requires more careful preparation. Often a transfer to the start of the route involves hiring a truck such as GAZ-66, Ural, etc. The nearest place in terms of accessibility from Irkutsk and Baikalsk is Tunkinskiye Goltsy with their highest point at Strelnikov Peak (3284 meters).