Transbaikal Geographers Celebrate Water Day by Climbing the Mountain of Five Seas

Флаги РГО на Горе пяти морей. Фото: Забайкальское отделение РГО

Mount Pallas of the Yablonovy Mountains in Transbaikal is a unique natural landmark. Here the watersheds of the three great rivers – the Yenisei, the Lena and the Amur – converge. From here begins the path of small streams, and then mighty streams to five water areas – the Kara, the Laptev, the Okhotsk Seas and the Sea of Japan, as well as to the "glorious sea" Baikal. For eight years in a row, on the eve of World Water Day, here, at the "Great Watershed", a joint educational campaign of the Transbaikal Branch of the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Ministry of Defense has been held. This year, it gathered a record number of participants; more than 150 enthusiastic geographers, students, schoolchildren, military, representatives of science and the press climbed to the top.

Mount Pallas, with a height of 1236 meters, is located in the west of Transbaikal Krai near Chita. It received its name in memory of the geographer and naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who became famous for his scientific expeditions to various regions of Russia, including Transbaikal.

In 1977, the then nameless peak was introduced to the general public as a junction of the basins of the Yenisei, Lena and Amur by a geography teacher, local historian Timur Zhalsarayn. It was he who was the first to draw attention to the fact that "nowhere else was there a single pair of great river systems either non-contiguous or not forming a watershed point with a third river artery similar to itself."

On the ground, the point of the "Great Watershed" was determined in 1982 by the expedition of the Transbaikal Branch of the Geographical Society of the USSR. The summit received the status of a state natural monument.


Восхождение. Фото: Забайкальское отделение РГО

The most prepared participants of the event went to the mountain on foot, the rest were brought to the top by personal vehicles, as well as two military off-road buses provided by the representatives of the Ministry of Defense. Everyone who was on the Mountain of Five Seas for the first time received a special certificate and souvenirs from the organizers. In 2022, among the participants in the event "Mass ascent to the watershed mountain in the Yablonovy Mountains – Mount Pallas" were the relatives of its discoverer Timur Zhalsarayn.

Schoolchildren from the village of Zasopka were especially admired for their positive attitude and preparation. They came to the mountain on foot, having traveled almost 35 kilometers. At the top, all participants were greeted by a hot fire and hot tea, as well as fun games, quests and a concert with songs to the guitar and accordion.


Участники акции. Фото: Забайкальское отделение РГО

A patriotic flash mob became a bright end to the event, during which the participants of the ascent unfurled cloths in the colors of the flag of Transbaikal Krai at the top. The three-beam star symbolized the junction of the basins of three rivers – the Lena, the Yenisei and the Amur.

The Transbaikal Branch of the Russian Geographical Society notes the growing interest in mass climbing Mount Pallas. Every year the number of participants grows, new traditions appear. In the future, it is planned to equip the territory of the natural monument with the necessary amenities, and to hold the tenth, anniversary, event in the festival format. They promise to invite not only residents of Transbaikal, but also guests from other regions of Russia.


Участники акции. Фото: Забайкальское отделение РГО