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Plateau Putorana

Plateau Putorana astonishes even the most experienced people: it’s a real "lost world", scantily known and very remote from civilization.

The beauty of Plateau Putorana

Plateau Putorana was a blank spot practically till the end of the ХХ century— only in 1970s with the help of air photography more or less detailed maps of the huge mountainous country at the foot of the Тaimyr peninsula were made. The place turned out to be the centre of the geographic rarities.

There is no place with such relief in Russian topographic map: flat mesas are split by huge canyons and don’t give their way to Grand Canyon in Colorado. Plateau Putorana is the most northern plateau of the volcanic origin in the world. The capacity of the lava thickness here is 1500 meters, and water, which flew here for thousand years in multi-layer of rocks, indented them by ravines, with the depth up to 1280 meters. There are no traditional alpine crossings, but, while rafting or canoeing along crystal, pure streams it’s possible to observe geological mountain structure under the subsurface.

Lakes of Plateau Putorana

However, sometimes it can be difficult to understand where you are- at a lake or at a river, since lakes, which are similar to Scandinavian fiords, are every large and form whole systems, which spread over lots of tens of kilometers. From the language of the natives – Evenks - the name “Putorana” can be translated as “the country of lakes with steep banks”. Among other things, there’s no any other mountain country on our planet, which can be compared with lakes of Putorana by its quantity and depth. There are more than 25 thousand lakes, depth of the majority of which is 180–420meters, and taken together they form a second reservoir of sweet water in Russia by its capacity after Lake Baikal.

Landscape of Plateau Putorana

The landscape is ideal for a formation of waterfalls, thousands of rivers and brooks do not flow down from mountains to valleys, but rush down by thin streams. There is no other place in the world topographic map, where there one can see so many waterfalls per unit area. In Russia all the national records are referred to waterfalls of Putorana: there is the biggest waterfall in the world by its height(108 meters, river Kanda) and the most high-powered by water spilling – Bolshoi Kureysky. When it becomes cold all these streams turn into blocks of colored wandering ice, marvelous falls of ice cover rocky walls, lobbies, stepped mountainsides are covered with thick transparent shell. The scenery is fantastic. Especially when there are northern lights.

Climate and animal life of Plateau Putorana

It’s a region of the Polar circle, but in spite of its extremely inclement continental climate (the amplitude of summer and winter temperatures run up to 100 degrees!) there are the most northern forests of our world on the plateau. You can walk over real taiga, breathing in tart scent of wild rosemary and larch needle. The phenomenon can be explained as the follows: the microclimate in canyons, impenetrable from northern winds, is different, it’s considerably softer. And taiga forests, escaping in valleys of lakes, reach even the 73th parallel. As you can guess, in such conditions animal life can be represented by the diversity of tundra, taiga and mountain fauna. Here lives Taimyr population of a wild reindeer or one of the biggest but poorly known mammals of our planet - putoran snowy sheep. The are a lot of salmon in rivers: loach, white-wish, umber, taimen, which is 50 kilograms in weight and can be found only in some regions of Yakutia and some remote places of Mongolia.

Putorana reserve

But it’s necessary to have a license for fishing and hunting since a large part of the territory of the plateau is a reserved zone. You can get there only if you have a special permit, which are personally given by the director of the reserve. By the way, as a rule he warns visitors that some part of the route will go through places, where there are no people at all. Unscarred wild beasts easily come up to the tents and practically in tourists’ presence gnaw bags with foodstuff. It is not a reason for rejoicing observing such a spectacle – though it’s possible to drive fur foxes or gluttons by a clap, but bears which never saw a man can take you as their prey.

Putorana state reserve is inscribed by UNESCO in the list of the objects of word-wide heritage. It’s difficult to believe that these 2, 5 million hectares of virgin nature are still absolutely untouched by a man’s economical activity!

Remote plateau Putorana

Even tourist expeditions get there very rarely, especially in the central and eastern regions, because the only way to get the plateau is only by a helicopter (from Turukhansk, Igarky,Norilsk). An emergency return from the route is often impossible for the same reason. And then, the only way to get back to the civilization is on your own – on foot or in a boat in spite of natural barriers, bad weather and your own tiredness. It’s a life for a real man, isn’t it?