Climbing Area (Olkhinskovo plateau)
The region between Irkutsk and Lake Baikal has been an almost unknown place for foreigners up to now, although it is conveniently situated with regard to transport facilities.
In winter, the Russians come here for skiing and in summer for climbing. The rocks, reminding a little of "Saxon Switzerland" near Dresden in Germany, invite you to a climbing tour. Like all over Lake Baikal, this region is also not really easily accessible for walkers, signs are completely missing. Anyway, roads, places for camping and even sporadic shelters exist.
The best way to get to this region is by elektritshka. Only a few minutes after passing Bolshoi Lug, you should get off in Orlenok or Ogonki. From both villages small paths lead directly to the rocks. The one from Orlenok is a bit shorter (4 miles) and leads along the river Bolshoi Olcha. The path from Ogonki is about one and half miles longer.
Well-known and famous are especially three striking rock formations (Sibiriak, Staraja and Idol). All of them offer differently challenging ascents; they are, however, only partly secured.
In winter time Russians like to get off in Ogonki and go skiing on a loop round through the climbing area. The route is a scenic beauty, but with almost 13 miles not very short.