Подледный Дайвинг на Байкале

Barguzin

The total length of the route is 2000-2400 km !!!

Ice King's Palace. The under-ice kingdom of Baikal. There are no words to describe those fantastic, impressive, monumental, mesmerizing, breath-taking ... landscapes that you can see if you find yourself under the ice in Northern Baikal. It won't be easy. To see all this, you have to LEAVE THE COMFORT ZONE. Yes, it's worth seeing at least once in your life! Nowhere, nowhere (!!!) SUCH monumental, gigantic, broken, bizarre forms are formed as in Northern Baikal.

Dates & price

baikal-map-лед-бельки-север-хиус.jpgSeason - from 25 March to 20 April (may change due to ice conditions). 

Dates Ice Diving Expedition 2022:
04.04 - 11.04.2022
11.04 - 18.04.2022


8 days / 275 000 rub.

Book for other dates tanya@baikaldiving.ru

* blue and red lines - depending on the season and ice situation.

Schedule

Day 1. Meeting in Irkutsk (6.30-7.00). Group transfer "Irkutsk - Ust-Barguzin". Travel time - 13-15 hours (700 km). On the way stops in beautiful places for photo and video-filming, and of course for meals (testing tradition buryat cuisine).  Accommodations in the hotel. Dinner.
Day 2. Breakfast. Trip on ice to the middle of Baikal. When entering ice there will be a stop to bring gifts to Baikal’s god Burkhan in order for him to grant the group a successful trip. Search and watching of nerpa and beljoks, photo- and/or video-filming. Lunch on ice. Return back to the village, dinner.
Day 3. Breakfast. Trip to the middle of Baikal. A dive near nerpa’s habitat. Depth under ice is in between 1000 and 1400 meters. Lunch on ice. Return to hotel, dinner.
Day 4. Breakfast. Trip to middle of Baikal. Seal watcing. Diving near crack. Lunch on ice. Return to hotel, dinner.
Day 5. Breakfast. Trip to the middle of Baikal. A dive near nerpa’s habitat. Depth under ice is in between 1000 and 1400 meters. Lunch on ice. Return to hotel, dinner.
Day 6. Breakfast. Trip to middle of Baikal. Seal watcing. Diving near crack. Lunch on ice. Return to hotel, dinner.
Day 7. Day excursion to the Barguzin Valley. A great beautiful place!
Day 8. Transfer to Irkutsk with lunch on the way. Arrival to Irkutsk. End of the program.

 
* Every day: departure from the hotel - 8.30, return to the hotel 19.00-20.00. Daily travels - 100 - -300 km off-road. The standard travel speed is 35-45 km / h. So, one way trip will take from 2 to 4 hours.

** Dive sites depend on ice and weather conditions. If it is impossible to dive in the center of Lake Baikal, near the seal habitat, diving changes to diving near cracks.

*** Excursions - depending on weather and ice conditions: Barguzinsky and Chivyrkuisky bays, North and South Heads of Svyatoy Nos, western side of Svyatoy Nos, Ushkany Islands, North-East Baikal.

Conditions & rules

more about Exrteme Ice Diving Expedition

Water temperature +0.5 +1°С 
Visibility- 15 - 30 m
Currents - unlikely, if present, they are extremely weak, practically invisible.
Air temperature: -40°С / -25°С  (February), -20°С / -10°С (March-April). Very strong wind is possible (50-130 km / h). We spend all day on the ice, in the open air.

Diving rules:
1. Ice Diver + Dry Suit Diver certification required.
2. Diving is possible only in a group of 2-3 people. Solo ice diving is prohibited.
3. Groups of divers dive into the hole one by one. During the dive of the 1st group - the second group holds the rope on the surface. After the dive, the groups change roles.
4. Ice diving is possible only with the use of a safety line (rope). The safety rope is fixed to the diver's equipment. Diving without a rope or using an individual reel is FORBIDDEN.
5. It is necessary to have 2 regulators.

Recommended equipment - dry suit, dry gloves, 2 regulators (for extremly cold water, mark 0-4°C), 3 layers undergarment: thermal underwear, special diving underwear maximum den (Arctic 4 Element, Body Tec2 Waterproof or similar) + undersuit max den (BZ400 Santi, Wezzle Extreme or similar), 2 pairs of wool socks. 

Extreme Expedition

Difficulty level: stronge+

The goal of the Barguzin Ice Diving Expedition is to dive near freshly formed cracks,  sealwatching, dive in the area of ​​seal houses. Special program - dive with baby seals and an adult seal.

The expedition takes place in the area of periodic emissions of methane gas, from a depth of 800 m. The thickness of the ice, in the area of the gas release, is only 5-10 cm, what makes crossing on the ice impossible. There is also a long distance from the dive sites to the village (up to 200 km). This requires maximum mobility, maneuverability and compactness of vehicles (cars).

Our team will do everything to make your ice experience and diving experience as comfortable and safe as possible. To make the expedition successful and comfortable for everyone, we ask you to carefully read the rules of participation in the expedition.

1. Safety on ice. Baikal ice conditions and weather conditions can change suddenly and rapidly. Decisions about diving, time and place of departure from the ice / ice to be accepted in real time. It is important to attend all briefings throughout the day and not stray too far from the main group.

2. Clothes. It can be VERY cold! Minus 40 + strong wind. All day on ice, outdoors. It is necessary to have down jackets, hats, mittens, trousers - as warm and windproof as possible. Shoes are ideal from a fishing store. Inside - felt (like a felt boot), on top - wind protection and waterproof material, the sole are waterproof. + woolen socks. Gortex and other technology bots - NOT SUITABLE (based on experience).

3. Medicine. There is a small first-aid post in Ust-Barguzin. The nearest hospital is in Ulan-Ude (300 km). Pharmacy in the Ust-Barguzin - a minimum set of basic medicines. Personal first aid kit - you need to bring everything with you. Personal care must be taken while on ice. It is recommended to have shoe spikes.

4. Diving

- Recommended level: 200+ dives. Great practice in using a dry suit. In the case of free flow, you should be able to quickly and calmly switch to a spare regulator at a considerable distance from the hole, and also be ready to shut off valves.

- Perfect buoyancy skills. Most dives will take place without the usual landmarks, bottom or topography. Most dives are no more than 2 meters deep. BUT! The depth below us is from several tens to hundreds of meters. Buoyancy control only using a suit or mouth inflating BCD. The dive takes place in the ice crystallization zone, the expansion joint inflation button freezes.

- Dive time. We do not limit the dive time and recommend planning dives for 50 - 70 minutes. From experience, this is the optimal time to explore all the fantastic beauty for which we are doing this expedition.

- Seal diving. In the case of diving with baby seals, the dive time is strictly limited to 10 minutes! Despite their curiosity and high level of contact, the cubs get a lot of stress from the fact that divers dive near their houses and cannot breathe effectively.

- Before diving. Due to long journeys and the considerable remoteness of diving sites, warm houses and tents are not used. Preparation of equipment and changing of clothes takes place in cars (UAZs). All members of the group prepare for the dive at the same time and independently.

- Exit from the water. The holes are not equipped with ladders. The skill of removing equipment in the water is a plus.

- Surface support. The rope handler is not your partner. Any problem on the surface or underwater must be solved by you personally or with the help of your underwater buddy.

All activities of the Ice Diving Expedition are planned for self-sufficient and experienced participants.

Diving with nerpa

Our experience of ice diving with seals began over 20 years ago. The first attempts were unsuccessful. No one suggested another way, like catching the seal with nets. At that time, we gave up diving with seals and began to look for an alternative. Thousands of ice trips and study of adult seal behavior through observation in the summer. During this time, we learned to approach an adult seal very close - at arm's length, learned to scuba dive so that the seal swims a few meters away, learned to take underwater photos and videos shot "live", and not from cameras lowered into the water. We know the features of the baby seals and their interaction with the mother. Not only diving in the area of seal houses, but also diving with seals without disturbing their habitat. We know how to dive in such a way that adult seals (which cannot be caught with nets!) - swim to the dwelling and swim near with the divers.

Ice Diving Expedition with nerpa dives * is possible only in the first half of April and only for extra small groups.

Season: April 1-15
Location: southern (Listvyanka) and northern Baikal (Ust-Barguzin).
Duration of the program: 6-8 days.
Maximum number of participants in a group: 6

Expedition dates and price: on request, start from 275,000 rubles.

Expedition schedule:
- before the start of the expedition (2-3 days) - preliminary search for seal habitats, suitable both for observation from the surface and for diving. Performed by specialists.
Day 1. Transfer from Irkutsk to the base (Listvyanka village (70 km) or Ust-Barguzin village (700 km). Transportation of expedition equipment.
Day 2 - Day 5 (Day 7). Daily trips to the ice. Observation of the seal on the surface. Accurate determination of the dive site, based on the ice conditions, as well as the actual presence of a seal. Preparation of the site for diving. 1 dive in the area of the seal house. With an 8-day program - 2 dives in the area of the nerpa house. On other days - diving on ice cracks and hummocks.
Day 6 (8). Transfer to Irkutsk


* Freshwater seal. Baikal seal. Very beautiful and cute animal. Seal cubs (belyok) so cute that they leave no one indifferent.

Seals are born in February-March in a special ice house. The dwelling of a seal family has rooms, a pool with an ice bottom and an exit "to the ice".  A snowdrift on top of the house reliably hides from the cold, crows and prying eyes. Like any wild animal, the seal is absolutely friendly and does not threaten a person, in the absence of aggression from the person himself. For many centuries, seals have been hunted for their fat and skins. The ban on the extraction of seals has existed for over 20 years, but the innate caution of the seal makes it very difficult to monitor them. The Baikal seal is the most shy seal. The usual distance to which you can carefully approach is no more than 100 m, and even more under water.

There are 2 ways to get a beautiful photo of a seal, and especially a baby seal at close range. The first one is to break the house and catch the belyok with nets, not caring about humanity and consequences. As they say in these cases, "the actor has worked." A seal cub, even returned to the house, will freeze on the very first night or be pecked at by crows. This method is simple and cheap, it is used by the order of some TV companies (for filming films about the baikal baby seal) and travel agencies that offer dubious entertainment to attract a mass tourist. Like a zoo on ice.

The second way is observation. Long observation. Multi-day ice trips. Search for seal habitats. Slow movement of people and cars to habitats. The seal must get used to the person, and the person must become a part of the landscape. This method is possible only at a certain time - the time when the houses have already melted under the influence of the sun and the cubs have grown so much that they can dive and stay under water for a long time. You can come close to the seal and observe its behavior. You can dive close to the seal house. And if everything goes well, then you can dive with a seal.