Chopping Ice for Tea on Lake Baikal

Category: Sense of Place


Photo and caption by Alex Newby

Sasha chops ice for tea as our solar star rises over the Isle of Olkhon, Lake Baikal in Central Siberia. Our expedition of 19 crossed Lake Baikal pulling wooden sledges from her Eastern Shore in Buryatia to Olkhon Island in the Irkutsk Oblast and back on March 27th - 30th, 2013. Distance 100 km, on ice covered by crusted snow. We fought ice hummocks, extreme temperatures which froze water we drilled through 1.5 meters of ice to collect, and the north wind. Echoing sounds of restless ice on a mile deep trench of water made sleeping difficult. It was worth it, Baikal's beauty is unmatchable.

Location: Island of Olkhon, Lake Baikal, Siberia


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