There was a time when I used to trek once every year! But gradually I stopped for no particular reason. After a while I developed knee pain which now leaves me scared at the prospect of trekking. However, when I got to visit the Stolby Nature Reserve near Krasnoyarsk, Siberia I am glad I was able to keep up with it.
We boarded our Follow Up Siberia team bus and headed to the Stolby region which was not more than 20 minutes from the city center in Krasnoyarsk. The officers from the park greeted us at the gate. The official park bus dropped the group at the beginning of walking trail in the Stolby National Park.
Our guide for the day was Sevtlana Yushkova who works in the IT department. She is an amateur rock climber herself. Even though we were listening to her via a translator she did capture our interest.
Solby is fascinating for every nature lover but it holds a special charm for rock climbers. The reserve is full of rock formations. The locals have given them interesting name. For example, one rock is Grandpa and the locals invented a whole family to keep Grandpa company.
Svetlana told us that the park has its own rock climbing subculture known as Stolbist! The idea was to use only a rope while climbing! There are groups of climbers and they have their own cabins. Having a key to a group cabin gives a special sense of belonging!
For us casual visitors there were easy rocks to climb. I managed to climb the top of the Grandpa Rock. The view from the top is amazing.
One of the most famous rock formation is known as the Krasnoyarsk Pillar or the Feather. To me it was the most impressive of all that I saw. And I am sure I saw only a few.
Svetlana (and Lucy who would translate for us) told us a fascinating story about the Rock of the Sinner. The legend is that if a sinner stood beneath the rock, it would fall! Apparently the wives of the initial climbers were insecure about the time spent by their husbands away from home. So the husbands said if they were cheating, the rock would fall on them! These days people go beneath the rock to make a wish.
Posted by Mridula Dwivedi on Monday, 27 August 2018
There are Siberian Nuthatches all through the park which know no fear of human beings. They would pick nuts of people’s hands. I also saw many Siberian chipmunks going around the park.
It is easy to walk around the park as the routes are marked on the trees, yellow, purple and the blue. We took the blue route. If you are not into climbing, you would love the hikes.
On the route we saw some pine trees that were going red. Svetlana explained that was due to attack of bug beetles. But the park has a policy of not interfering with nature.
Our group of Follow Up Siberia went on to climb up another rock formation while I decided to wait for them at the base. After a while their voices started fading and I was left alone with the nature. I think I had the park to myself for about 25 minutes. Maybe 4 other hikers crossed my path. I was sitting on a big flat stone and enjoying the solitude. It is only when I sit on big flat rocks, surrounded by the nature I am able to think with clarity about things that are of life shattering importance to me!