Crossing Baikal

58 images Created 24 Feb 2009

Spring arrives in Siberia as life stirs beneath the snow that has smothered it for half a year. The four of us set off for Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, near Russia’s border with Mongolia.
For several months each year Baikal – the world’s largest body of fresh water, more voluminous than all the North American Great Lakes combined – freezes so solidly that locals drive their cars and lorries over it to reach towns that are only accessible by boats in summer.

We trek 90 km from the eastern bank to the west, taking in the fabled Olkhon Island on the way. We waited until March because February would be too cold; but rising temperatures have already opened a web of cracks underfoot that regularly kill those who fall through.
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