Forums Trip Reports Davan Pass, Siberia – March/April 2014
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  • #580140
    Metelya
    31 Posts

    There were 6 of us: 3 from Krasnoyarsk and 3 from Irkutsk. We were lucky since we’d started: it was -5 Celsius instead of -15 and -20 expected.


    Natural fridge:

    We arrived in the morning. To warm up we decided to ride Small Wilderness first day. This part of mountain Leningradka is accessible, steep and has interesting terrain. Unfortunately, mist didn’t let us to ride it. Tonight there were thermal springs, beer and great dinner. We planned to go deeper the day after.




    Next morning we started our 4 days hike. Our goal was a big circus, crowned with rocky ridge. Its inaccessibility exited our local guide Jenya: “First time I went there 2 years ago. It was a day tour. It was -37 Celsius. We reached the place in the afternoon. It was hard to snowshoe – snowpack was very poor and unconsolidated because of cold temperatures. We sank in it. We dug a pit and the situation was too bad for riding – we went back home. I decided to return year after and to make a camp. So, last March we came again. The snowpack was similar to the previous year’s one but we had huge backpacks this time. We couldn’t reach the place till the deadline, so we made a camp in the forest. It was -39. Morning after we went to the circus, 50-100 meter slabs lowered under our feet. An avalanche with 1.5 meter thick slab occurred on the Northern slope. Another side of the mountain was attacked by the Avalanche Service at the time, and we heard that. So, we retreated again. No one has ridden it before!”

    The approach took the most of the day. We found a scenic place near the circus. The rest of the day we spent building a hybrid of a snow cave and an igloo. The next day was as misty as two previous days. We couldn’t ride. The weather was dull, it was snowing sometimes. We wondered if it was going to improve or not. We made a campfire, it was great to spend evening near it – Northern Baikal is a wasteland, for sure. Spirits were getting more positive.



    Next morning was the same, but later clouds and wind gone and the Sun appeared in the blue sky. First we decided to ride an Eastern slope with good angle and nice relief. Things are good with terrain on Davan Pass: couloirs, fields, spines, pillows together with the variety of angles and elevations provide many opportunities for riding. There are few riders there and it looks like a big empty natural snowpark.





    Good stuff for sale:



    We dug a pit and it was OK. We made 2 runs, then it became dangerous to ride, because it was getting warmer and warmer. Many small loose avalanches occurred and 2 slabs slid on the same Northern side of the circus, which Jenya had told us about. The next day we finally rode the big circus of that unnamed mountain. It was a reward. Our 4-day hike was coming to an end. With our big backpacks we rode back. It took us an hour and a half to get to the road instead of 6.5 hours which we had spent for the approach. In the evening there were thermal springs.






    Avalanche showtime:


    Gonna huck it:


    The next day was a backcountry-freestyle day.

    Splitboard with skins on is the best tamping tool:


    Soft landing is the reward:


    Day after we went to Big Wilderness of Leningradka. The pit was not very good and I decided to ride a safer way with camera and to shoot guys. They were nuts enough to go those awesome couloirs. We made a day camp on the opposite side of the ravine. Jenya, Stepan and me then skinned to the very top of Leningradka and rode big snow field. At the same moment when we were leaving our camp a huge cornice fell on the slope which guys had ridden while I had been shooting them with my camera and a slab slid to the bottom of ravine. Leningradka showed us what bad pit results imply.


    Yours truly:





    This we found the morning after:

    Last day we returned to the Small Wilderness where we’d started. There were no mist anymore and we made a number of runs.




    Even got kind of a videoreport this time:
    [youtube:3orgvw0x]iCmwO2SEAh4[/youtube:3orgvw0x]
    Video editing – Andrey Romankov
    Photos – Stepan Zuev

    splitboard.ru

    #677445
    aksltxlt
    621 Posts

    :drool:
    Damn, that looks fun! Powder, Cool terrain… What the hell am I doing in Cali?? I need to move… Shack up with a Russian Hottie and get some turns in with you guys :bananas:

    #677446
    acopafeel
    134 Posts

    Terrain like that, and hot springs?!?!
    Count me in aksltxlt.

    #677447
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Epic! Really cool to see splitboarding from a different part of the world documented so nicely. Definitely some enviable terrain. Keep on postin’!

    #677448
    Metelya
    31 Posts

    @acopafeel wrote:

    Terrain like that, and hot springs?!?!
    Count me in aksltxlt.

    thanks, guys
    it was very hot winter, usually it’s too cold in that place to ride, depth hoar completes the picture

    splitboard.ru

    #677449
    Scooby2
    611 Posts

    great post, thanks for showing all those mountains over there. The splitboard breakdance segment was too funny! There are so many mountains around Lake Baykal, incredible.

    Is the ground there still warm enough to make lots of weak snow/depth hoar in the early part of the year? Is the snowpack pretty thin or not deep?

    #677450
    HikeforTurns
    1113 Posts

    Excellent! :thumbsup:

    #677451
    Metelya
    31 Posts

    @scooby2 wrote:

    great post, thanks for showing all those mountains over there. The splitboard breakdance segment was too funny! There are so many mountains around Lake Baykal, incredible.

    Is the ground there still warm enough to make lots of weak snow/depth hoar in the early part of the year? Is the snowpack pretty thin or not deep?

    Thank you!

    Geographically it’s almost in the middle of Eurasia, so the climate is sharply continental. This April snowpack depth was about 2-2.5 meters. During colder months temperatures come down to -50 Celsius. Gradient is very high as you can see. Most avalanches are full depth.
    Interestingly, there is another place on Baikal called Mamay with specific air massess circulation, which make microclimate much warmer and increase percipitation significantly there while the lake is not covered with ice for the first half of season.

    splitboard.ru

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