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Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia

By The Siberian Times reporter
03 November 2016

Named in the Stalin era after the American novelist, journalist, and social activist, enjoy the stunning nature of this remote paradise in Magadan region.

Jack London Lake, Magadan region. Picture: Voron969

It was geologist Pyotr Skornyakov who in 1932 decided to name this clear water lake after Jack London, whose work enjoyed popularity - unlike many Western writers - in Soviet times. This year is an appropriate time to show off the stunning scenery of the lake, as the writer's worldwide admirers prepare to mark the centenary of his death, at the age of only 40, this month. 

The geologist, himself a fan of London's and, like him, an admirer of the wild, came across the lake during a scientific expedition.

Recent visits to the lake - well off the beaten track - by Russian photographers Alexey Gnezdilov and Voron969 provide a glimpse into the magnificient beauty of this remote place, and it's hard to believe London would not have appreciated it.

Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 
The lake is some 570 km (354 miles) from Magadan city, the capital of this region in the Russian Far East which is slightly larger than London's native California. Pictures: Alexety Gnezdilov


The lake is 70 km (43 miles) from the nearest village of Yagodnoe, population 3,650 people. 

It is some 803 metres (2,635 ft) above sea level in the Annachag Mountains, in the upper reaches of the Kolyma River in the Yagodninsky district of Magadan region.

The lake is 10 kilometres (6 miles) long and some 50 metres (160 ft) deep.

Four islands lie in its waters. 

The lake is some 570 km (354 miles) from Magadan city, the capital of this region in the Russian Far East which is a little larger than London's native California.

It is only slightly closer to Moscow than the writer's birthplace in San Francisco.

Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 
One estimate suggested 90 million copies of London's books were sold in the USSR. Pictures: Alexey Gnezdilov


London had covered the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War as a journalist after sailing across the Pacific on the SS Siberia, but despite attempting to reach Russia, did not do so.

He reached Russians in another way.

Vladimir Ilych Lenin - on his deathbed - was read 'Yacklunnen's' works by his wife Natasha Krupskaya. Two days before he expired, the founder of the Soviet Union enjoyed his 'Love of Life', a Klondyke story penned in 1905.

'It was a very fine story,' she recalled later. In the wilderness of ice, where no human being had set foot, a sick man, dying of hunger, is making for the harbour of a big river. His strength is giving out, he cannot walk but keeps slipping, and beside him there slides a wolf - also dying of hunger.

'There is a fight between them. The man wins. Half-clad, half-demented, he reaches his goal. That tale greatly pleased Ilyich.'

Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 
Jack London Lake, Magadan region. Pictures here and below: Alexey Gnezdilov


The following day, Lenin asked for another London story. But this time the impression was not so good.

Lenin found it to be 'saturated with bourgeois morals'.

'Ilyich smiled and dismissed it with the wave of a hand,' his wife said. 'That was the last time I read to him.'

One estimate suggested 90 million copies of London's books were sold in the USSR, and they were translated into 33 separate languages spoken in the Soviet Union.

Russian critic Vil Bykov said: 'London's brave heroes inspired the soldiers of World War II.'

Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 


Call of the wild - the beauty of Jack London Lake in eastern Russia 

Comments (8)

Who ever took these pictures was a true pro and actually brought me to tears just looking at them. I liked them so much that I just might come to see the lake myself someday.
Josh rand, Florence
05/11/2017 03:23
0
0
Superb photos. I always enjoy the nature, history and culture articles in the Siberian Times. Thank you!
David Truman, Brisbane, Australia
23/11/2016 18:14
1
0
Amazing pictures, true story! Much appreciated! I would like to add that Russia has a lot of wild untouched and beautiful places like this. And I completely agree with William's comment. Moreover, Russia is unknown to the most of Russians as well, especially who live in remote regions. The beauty of Russia can be opened to those who eager to discover its secrets heartily. Crimea, Altai, Kamchatka and Sakhalin are a must!! Everyone is welcome!
Oleg, Moscow
12/11/2016 02:37
4
0
"his wife Natasha Krupskaya" ???
Vlad, Russia
10/11/2016 10:22
0
0
Beautiful landscape, beautiful photography, beautiful article. Thank you for taking my mind pleasantly off the election today!
Marie, Los Angeles
09/11/2016 03:53
4
0
The lake and the pictures are so beautiful! I live in a different region of Russia close to Moscow and it's a great opportunity to discover the beauty of Siberian nature with you!
Natalia Kuchumova, Russia
07/11/2016 00:04
9
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Well said William, I wholeheartedly agree.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
03/11/2016 19:18
11
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The beauty of Russia is completely unknown to 99% of people in the West - that is why ti is so relieving to get a true antidote of information from Siberian Times. We would never get this information in the Western media.
William McLean, Denmark
03/11/2016 15:08
21
0
1

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