Lake Baikal or Baikal Lake (Russian: о́зеро Байка́л, Mongolian: Байгал нуур) is the world's oldest lake at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 meters. It is called the "Pearl of Siberia" and is located in the southern Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast.
At 1,642 meters (5,387 ft), Lake Baikal is the deepest and among the clearest of all lakes in the world. Similarly to Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2/12,248 square miles, less than that of Lake Superior or Lake Victoria. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal, rearing goats, camels, cattle and sheep, where the regional temperatures vary from a minimum of −19°C (−2°F) in winter to maximum of 14°C (57°F) in summer. Lake Baikal is nicknamed "Older sister of Sister Lakes (Lake Khövsgöl and Lake Baikal)".
Open Water Swimming
- Tourists do some limited open water swimming in the summer months.
- 31-year-old American Lynne Cox completed a 7-mile open water swim on 27 August 1988 in 4 hours 19 minutes 18 seconds in nearly 10°C from one cape to another cape on the same side of the lake, across the mouth of the Angara River. The starting point (Cape Lynne Cox) was named after her.
- Baikal Swim is a 1-mile, 3 km and 5 km lake swim on Baikal Lake in Irkutsk Region of Russia on 29-30 July 2017 in 12-15°C water, organized by Alexandr Bazanov, Serge Rybkin, Andrey Mindryukov, Marat Bogdalov, and Evgeny Levashev
- Baikal Lake is part of the Still Water Eight, The Still Water Eight is a group of 8 marathon swims in lakes that is a goal of seriously-minded marathon swimmers who are focused on still-water marathon swims. Successful completion of these 8 marathon swims has never been recorded by a single individual. It was first publicly announced by Michelle Macy in October 2011.
- Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay completed a 50 km relay Lake Baikal Crossing in Siberia on 4-5 August 2020 in 16 hours 11 minutes.
Lake Baikal Relay Crossing
50 km relay course by Oleg Dokuchaev, Maria Chizhova, Pavel Komarov, Eugene Zozulya, and Andrey Bugay on 4-5 August 2020 in 16 hours 11 minutes from 2:25 pm on 4 August to 5 August at 6:36 am as the water temperature dropped from 14°C to 5°C from Vydrino, Buryatia to Listvyanka, Irkutsk in the southern part of the Eastern Siberia.
2020 WOWSA Awards
Kosatka DV by Oleg Dokuchaev of Russia was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category with the following nomination: Vladivostok is site of Kosatka DV, a winter swimming club and center with hundreds of passionate swimmers and year-round competitions led by President, Founder and Head Coach Oleg Dokuchaev. But the club's reach and renowned reputation goes far beyond the port city in eastern Russia. The club organizes and trains people for extreme swims, eco-marathon swimming relays, and other open water swimming adventures with a goal of marine conservationism and environmentalism in Far East Russia. Based on his experience organizing the 86 km Bering Strait Swim, dubbed The Most Dangerous Crossing In The World, Dokuchaev organizes four other extreme swimming adventures while balancing the highest safety protocols with difficult challenges. For organizing the 75 km Amur River Swim for an 8-swimmer relay ending in Khabarovsk and the 160 km Peter the Great Gulf Swim for a 16-swimmer relay around the Empress Eugénie Archipelago in the sea around Vladivostok, for staging the 50 km Lake Baikal Crossing by a 5-swimmer relay across the famous Lake Baikal and the 75 km Russky Round Swim around the Russky Island by 14 swimmers south of Vladivostok, and for training, leading and motivating cold water swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to challenge themselves in distant extreme eco-swimming relays in unspoilt waterways, the Kosatka DV by Oleg Dokuchaev is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
1. Loch Ness (Scotland): 23 miles/37K, water temperature averages 50°F/10°C in season. Known for its deep black and chilling waters.
2. Windermere (England): 10.5 miles/16.9K, water temperature can be as low as 55°F/13°C in season. The largest natural lake in England.
3. Lake Zürich (Switzerland): 16.4 miles/26.4K, water temperature 66.2–75.2°F/19-24°C. This lake has an annual international competition.
4. Lake Tahoe (USA): 21 miles/35.4K, water temperature is 50–58°F/10–14.4°F. Difficult due to cool water and air temperatures and high altitude.
5. Baikal Lake (Russia): 7-10 miles/11-16K or blaze a course of equal or greater distance,water temperature can be as low as 50°F/10°C. The world’s oldest and deepest lake is also a UNISECO World Heritage Site.
6. Lake Taupo (New Zealand): 21 miles/34K, water temperature 51–73°F/11–23°C. The largest lake in New Zealand is located on the North Island.
7. Lake Ontario (Canada): 31.5 miles/51K, water temperatures are variable in a matter of hours due to wind (50–72°F/10-22°C. Difficult swim due to unpredictable wind and currents.
8. Lake Titicaca (Bolivia–Peru): Temperature is 56-58°F/13-14.5°F and is highest lake in the Americas.
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