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'The Yenisey began life with a groan and ended with a boldness we could never dream of'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Siberia by snowmobile: a different way to see nature's majesty

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 March 2016

We take a trip Mount Mamai in the Republic of Buryatia, well-known to local snow fanatics, but still a secret to many outsiders.

'During winter Mamai attracts true admirers of extreme snow sports. The season is up to five months long, from late October until the beginning of March.' Pictures here and below: Ilya Zyulkov

Businessman and adventurer Ilya Zyulkov, from Irkutsk, shared his pictures with us to highlight an alpine paradise on the southern edge of Lake Baikal - the oldest and deepest in the world - loved by discerning skiers, snowboarders and snowmobile enthusiasts, yet still surprisingly hard to find in guidebooks especially for foreign visitors.

'Even many Siberians don't always realise the wonderful places we have right on our doorstep,' he said. 'There is one special place I'd like to mention.

Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles

The pictures show Ilya (second from left in the image above) and friends on recent snowmobile trips to this area which the authorities in Buryatia have spoken about seeking to develop further as a resort. 

'Mount Mamai is located 12 kilometres from the shore of Lake Baikal in the eastern Khamar-Daban range, between the rivers of Snezhnaya and Vydrinnaya, an extremely popular location amongst Siberian snow walkers. 

'According to one version, the name Mamai comes from 'moma' in the Evenki language which can be translated as 'wooded area'. Highland alpine meadows of the Khamar-Daban, shining waterfalls, crystal creeks and lakes leave you with unforgettable impressions. 

Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles

'The place has a very special vibe when you can see the waters of Baikal below and a fantastic mountain landscape surrounding you.'

'During winter Mamai attracts true admirers of extreme snow sports. The season is up to five months long, from late October until the beginning of March. There really is a lot of snow there. In early November, the snow is 1.5 to 2 metres deep, in midwinter some 3 to 4 metres. It is one of the Baikal regions most rich in snow. 

'Winter is mild, the temperature is mainly in the range minus 15C to plus 5C, with little wind. Descents are 1 to 3 kilometres, the difference in heights ranging from  400 to 800 metres. The place has a very special vibe when you can see the waters of Baikal below and a fantastic mountain landscape surrounding you. It is surely the feeling everyone is looking for.'

Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles


Traveling on snowmobiles

'Even many Siberians don't always realise the wonderful places we have right on our doorstep.'

He regularly travels here with friends, a respite from the city and work. 'Usually, we go there every weekend and are happy to see each other,' he said. 'In the evening - in the banya (sauna) - we share our experience of Mamai.'

The main peak is some 1540 metres high, and the Mamai mountain complex is located between the cities of Irkutsk - some 195 km away - and Ulan-Ude, 275 km. 

The pictures show Ilya and friends on recent snowmobile trips to this area which the authorities in Buryatia have spoken about seeking to develop further as a resort.

'Mountain snowmobiling gives an incredible degree of freedom to conquer the summit and enjoy local beauty,' said Ilya. 

It allows people to visit memorable, beautiful and remote places which they might otherwise not see at the same time as experiencing the 'thrill of of managing a powerful snowmobile'.

Comments (9)

Wow! So beautiful. Makes me want to visit your beautiful corner of the world.
Ralph, Palmer, Alaska
18/03/2016 11:35
0
0
Ilya you make me want to come to Siberia to enjoy your freedom in such scenery thank you
Darren, Birmingham, UK
16/03/2016 23:58
2
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Siberia is a big region with many different kind of nature, but all of them are fantastic.

Since last year I visited Altai region many times, beautiful area,

This area also looks great!
Jaap, The Netherlands
16/03/2016 15:29
3
0
I visited Siberia last week, but missed out the mountains. But a stay in Sakha capital Yakutsk was still as fascinating, and I met people very kind there!
See my report (in German, with international pictures) in sprachwand.blogspot.ru
Ralph, Moscow
11/03/2016 00:44
4
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@Anna, Cape Town approx. 5,600 km
Alexander, Novosibirsk
10/03/2016 22:03
4
0
How can i join you there ?! do you take passengers? Looks awesome . I'm traveling to Moscow soon, is it close by?
Anna, Cape Town
10/03/2016 21:59
2
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I totally agree with Ilya (and Benedikt and Johnno), back-country snow adventures are a tonic for our very souls. I have skiied the back-country of the North American Rockies (taking a helicopter but I understand the fun of snowmobiles as well...:-) ). I would love to tele-mark ski through this awe inspiring terrain looking out over Lake Baikal while gliding through the sparkling snow and surrounding mountains. Thank you for sharing this wonderful, secret of Siberia.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
06/03/2016 00:36
6
0
super cool pics!
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
04/03/2016 12:47
9
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Is this really Siberia ? I never knew it looks so cool !!!
Johnno, Florida
02/03/2016 09:14
14
0
1

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