Black Ice Trek
Arrival to Irkutsk in the morning. Meeting with your guide and transfer to the accommodation place (private homestay or hotel, on your demand). Guided walking city tour around the historical center of Irkutsk city including visiting main highlights – central city square decorated with beautiful ice sculptures, central food market and place of the city foundation with a richly decorated Orthodox Church – Epiphany Cathedral, where you might see traditional morning service with a spiritual choral singing. Lunch will be served at the local cafe where you could try several tasty dished of local Siberian cuisine. After lunch your guide will check all your personal outdoor equipment for a trek and help you to get missing details if necessary. This afternoon you will have a free time for city exploration on your own and dinner.
Overnight: Twin room in a private flat at the city center of Irkutsk city, Included meals: L.
Today morning we will pack all our outdoor gear into the car and have a transfer to the starting point of the trek located at the western shore of Lake Baikal. This trip would take us about 1.5 hours, 130 km drive. Your guide will tell you several important things about specific features and techniques of ice-trekking while driving. Upon arrival every of the trip participants will pack individual and camping gear into the plastic sleds (pulkas), dress special ice spikes on the shoes, take a trek poles and start trekking up north along the rocky coast line of Lake Baikal. Usually at this part of the Lake Baikal ice is not covered with a snow, so you could enjoy walking on the black ice decorated with natural pattern of sparkling cracks, bubbles and other amazing ice structures. Sometimes, because of the temperature deformations, ice shield pushes up a huge blocks and plates of blue transparent ice – don’t miss your chance to take photos of this ice miracle! Lunch will be cooked over campfire by the shore of the lake, in the forest. Today we will cover a trek distance of 18 km and set up a tent camp at the picturesque spot of the shore right on the ice surface. We do provide for this trek tents specially constructed in our company for the conditions of wintry Lake Baikal. Those tents are tipy shaped and have a hitting from a wood stove which gives you a chance to have a certain comfort level while camping. Dinner will be served in the tent. This evening if the weather will be clear enough you could enjoy the view of the red sunset drowning into the endless of shining ice fields.
Overnight: Tent. Included meals: B-L-D
This morning we will pack all our gear into the sleds and continue trekking up north. First on our way we will see lonely island named Cormoran Rock – as in a summer there are a lot of those birds a nesting there. In winter steep rocky slopes of the island are richly covered with ice because of the storms and splashing waves in low temperatures of November-December which makes the island looks very special. By the midday we will reach one of the most impressive sights of the Western cost of Lake Baikal – Sandy Bay surrounded by high granite cliffs and famous for its opened root (locally called “walking”) trees growing at the sandy dunes. This place is a unique spot of Lake Baikal (and whole Siberia even) where the annual year temperature is above the 0 C, as it’s often sunny here. Heist of the local capes named Bell Tower use to have a navigation lighthouse on the very top of the cliff, and we will take an ascending to this observation point to enjoy a stunning view for over a 100 km of the shore line of Lake Baikal. Also, at this place you could see and explore a number of the ice grottos and caves hidden at the shore rocks. Some of them are really deep (up to 17-18 m) and have a lot of funny shaped icicles and ice crystals on the walls and ceilings of the cave. Not far from a Sandy Bay place we will see a small settlement of the ranger station. Here you could take a look on a native way of living at Lake Baikal. Also if the ranger got a recent luck with ice-fishing we will try to bay some fish Omul – so you could have a taste of the famous Baikal’s fish. This evening we will reach a spot called Golden Cape and set up a tent camp in sheltered place above the rocks.
Overnight: Tent. Included meals: B-L-D
Breakfast at the campsite, preparing equipment for a hike and continue trekking trip up north. Today you will see steep mountain slopes covered with evergreen Taiga woods mixed with rocky pillars. In some places ice surface could be not to smooth and we have to deal with a mess of the broken ice plates, walking through that type of ice is quite tricky and slow down a trek speed a lot, so sometimes we will walk around such difficult places. Generally speaking, ice conditions are different every year and trek line is never the same. By the midday we will take a lunch stopover at the rocky cape named “Dirovatka”, which means in a translation “rock with a hole”. This cape performed as a rocky arch with a side grottos, usually covered with beautiful ice structures hanging from the ceiling of the arch. At the sunny days all those icicles are glowing brightly making this spot very attractive. This part of the Baikal’s shore is remote from any settlements and that’s why quite often you could see here footprints of different wild animals: deer, wolfs and wolverine. With certain luck you could see some of the local wildlife directly. Tonight we will camp at the spot named Black Cape – a long sticking out cape covered with a thick forest.
Overnight: Tent. Included meals: B-L-D
Today we’ve got to cover the rest of the distance to Buguldeika settlement – final point of our trekking route. Cost line at this area makes a huge curve and if ice conditions are fine we might do a shortcut towards to the settlement getting offshore. Clearing from the shore you might have a bit different feeling of the surrounding space – from here it more remains open arctic spaces! In the morning while temperature is growing quickly ice shield of Lake Baikal makes a lot of loud noises – cracking, hooting etc. In some moments you could even feel how ice shield is shaking because of the temperature deformations, which could be scary for the beginners, but close to the end of the trek everyone get use to it. Some of the big cracks on the ice shield could get wider at the cold days, so you will see a gap in the ice filled with liquid water – that’s one of the easy ways to get a drinking water on a trek. The destination point of our ice trek – Buguldeika settlement you could clearly see from a big distance, as the delta of the river opens to Lake Baikal by the wide valley. Upon arrival to the shore close to the delta of Buguldeika River we will meet a car of our supporting team, which comes here to pick us up back to Irkutsk. On the way to Irkutsk we will take a stop for a dinner at the road cafe where you might try some of the ethnic Buryat cuisine – dumplings cooked on steam and other. Whole drive would take us about 3 hours, drive distance 250 km. Upon arrival to Irkutsk (around 7-8 PM) accommodation at the same private homestay. Included meals: B-L-D.
|Price( Euro) per person
Note: Ask manager about ongoing tours and get your group discount!
Tour price includes:
- Service of English-speaking guide-interpreter.
- complete hot meal 3 times a day, cooked by a guide.
- rent of the camping equipment (sleepng bag, mats etc), clothing details ( insulated shoes, face masks, mittens etc) and other special equiment, like trek poles, ice spikes, sleds etc.
- accommodation according to the program
- all transfers by car included into the route plan
- all fees for visiting museums and national park zones on Baikal lake
You can book this tour by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Map of the trip area