This time, 24 volunteers from Germany, Russia, France and Switzerland came to complete the mountain shelters at cape Nemnyanka, which had been protected against the winter in a makeshift way the year before. In doing so, they extended the Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track by another 20km to the south. Once again, we would like to thank all those involved for their great effort!
It wasn’t exactly a first, as we had started our Baikalhostel project in Irkutsk ten years ago with a similar 14.000km journey, traveling by van and Mitsubishi camper from Dresden to Irkutsk and back. But driving a Land Rover from Berlin to Helsinki and from there to Sewerobaikalsk wasn’t exactly boring either – all the more, when we forced our first Baikalplan boat into the trunk on the way. The Russian rubber dinghy with a fixed floor and an outboard motor with 30 horsepower is capable of shipping loads of up to 1.100kg and finally gives us more independence and flexibility on site.
But then, there came a bit of a shock: Aeroflot forgot six backpacks of the FACT group in Moscow. It took days for them to find their way to the northeastern coast and their relieved owners. Once again, this was made possible by numerous helping hands who received the backpacks in Irkutsk, brought them to BAM, picked them up at the train station of Sewerobaikalsk and brought them to the ship, from where Frank took them to the opposite lakefront in our boat – not easy!
The group split up in two teams. One team started on the mountain hut at cape Nemnyanka. The roof had to be completed, the old interior lining pulled down and replaced. New communal bunks were built, the chimney re-activated. Glazing was put into the windows, the matching shutters were mounted. After a general overhaul like this, the hut now is a true gem.
Further south, the second team used axes, chainsaws and handsaws to clear the path from Khakussy southwards to the Birokan river, charting another 20km of FACT territory. At the provisional destination, there is a small Evenk settlement with wooden cabins that are being rented to tourists, and a boat that gets exhausted hikers back to the West coast.