Anybody else interested in this? I sure am. What an opportunity.
Thank you for posting this link! I can't go now, alas, but I have hiked in that area in the past. In fact, we flew into Irkutsk 12 years ago today. The kids and I took a small hike to the top of a mountain behind the hotel. It was snowing lightly. There was still ice piled along the southern shore of the lake in mid-May. We spent a week touring the area, including hiking in the Republic of Buryatia, where sulphur springs bubble out of the ground.
The lake is phenomenal--it is so deep that it contains more water than all five of the Great Lakes combined. The Soviets built one paper factory on the lake, and really wanted to open the area to industrial development in the 60s. Protecting the lake caused the birth of the Russian environmental movement.
A fascinating place.
Bring warm clothes. And mosquito netting.