Giants of the Siberian taiga - 5

Summer projects
From 11 September to
17 September,
2020 (7 days)
Along the Olkhinsky Plateau in the Shelekhovsky District
of Irkutsk, Russia

Long-term goal of the project
The development of responsible tourism through the upkeep of our most
popular hiking trail, which runs up to the rock promontories in a national monument along the Olkhinski Plateau
Project languages
Russian, English
Anticipated Extent of Work
Our teams of volunteers will be asked to repair and make other upgrades to existing trails in the region. This will entail clearing out brush and widening the trail. We will also build new trail structures, and install trail markers along the way.

On average the working day will last 6 hours, with a full lunch break. Depending on weather conditions and the physical condition of the group, this
daily routine may change.
Living Conditions and Food
The project will be organized and led for the duration by an experienced trail-building crew leader. There will also be an interpreter on hand who will make sure that communication runs smoothly for all the participants.

Our volunteer teams will help us set up camp along the banks of a mountain river (the Olkha), which lies at the foot of the Vityaz Rock Promontories.

Project participants will look after order in the camp and make food at the campfire for the whole group based upon the schedule of duties made by
the brigadier. You can familiarize yourself with an example menu.

The GBT will pre-purchase all food stuffs for the duration of the project. We will also provide a full inventory of trail-building equipment and tools,
along with two-person tents. There will be no hot shower at this project; but you you will be able to heat up water over the campfire.
You also can wash or swim in the nearby mountain river.

Please note that this project is not taking place on Baikal itself, but a little to the west of the lake.
Project Assignments and Days-off
On the first day of the project our crew will need to tote their personal belongings, camp equipment and food, from the local railway station
to the project site (a 6 km hike).

The work site itself will be located some 2-3 km from our base camp. At this site our volunteers will be working with various tools (shovels, picks, hand saws, etc.). We will also be moving larger logs and rocks off of the trail. And at several points we will build special structures for the trail. There may be times when it will be necessary for us to carry our backpacks, along with our camp equipment and food, to a new site.

Your backpack should be large, with a capacity of at least 70 liters. The local climate will make it necessary for you to bring a windbreaker or light rain coat, along with a warm sweater and durable pants. Please be sure to bring shoes that are comfortable, lightweight, and with non-slippery soles.

We strongly recommend future participants of the project to familiarize themselves with the list of necessary equipment, information about tick safety, and also with the general information for GBT volunteers.

Days-off: on the sixth day of the project, the group will travel down to the Baikal shorelines. There we will take a scenic hike along the lake, where we will walk through several of the tunnels of the now defunct Circum-Baikal Railway. For this trip our volunteers will need to carry daypacks with their personal belongings and food for the hike (which will be about 10 km in length). And on one evening our project participants will have the opportunity
to take a Russian banya (a steam bath).
All volunteers will be asked to meet up in the city of Irkutsk.

The meeting place will be at the main Irkutsk Railway Station located on Chelnokova Street. Time for meeting: September 11 at 8.30am. Our group will then take the train to the Orlyonok Railway Station, about 1½ hours away. From there all volunteers will be asked to carry their backpacks and some of the tools, equipment, and camp food to the project site, located just under the Vityaz Rock Promontories.

On the very last day of the project our volunteers will return to the railway and take a train back to Irkutsk.
Participation Fee
Participant fees for this project will be 10,000 rubles for the full 7 days.

It will be paid on the first day of the project. Volunteers can register for this project by sending us copies of their travel tickets. We therefore advise that you read everything carefully in this project description before submitting the application

The GBT provides:
  • Transfer from the city of Irkutsk to the Orlyonok Train Station and back along the railway to Irkutsk
  • Accommodation for the last night in an Irkutsk Hostel
  • Project leader
  • Interpreter
  • Full first-aid kits (if you have a chronic issue and require certain medications, please be sure o to bring them with you)
  • All meals and food for the duration of the project
  • All the necessary trail-building tools and equipment, including a tent (each tent can o accommodate 2 participants)

In the case of unforeseen circumstances the GBT reserves the right to cancel this project, or to make changes to the program itinerary, while at the same time informing all participants of these changes.

Note: if you do not receive a response to your initial online application within one week, then please contact our volunteer coordinator directly at: