Lake Baikal - is a lake in Eastern Siberia, the maximum depth is more than 1600 metres, the length of Lake Baikal is 636 km, the width is from 25 to 80 km. There is the Olkhon island near the northwest shore of lake Baikal. Olkhon is the heart of ancient stories and historical legendaries.
In Bolshie Koty (“Big Cats”) settlement there is the Lake Baikal Museum and the Biology Institute Aquarium. The Lake Baikal Museum was founded by Professor M.M. Kozhov. There are more than 400 various exhibits, a great collection of Baikal insects: bugs, butterflies and dragonflies. There is also a permanent scientific station, where students from Siberia do their summer practical works. Bolshoe Koty settlement is small and getting used for suburban life (for dachas), old houses pre-empted by urban residents for summer rest on the shore of Lake Baikal.
The abandoned gold-bearing placer of merchant Patushinsky is located some kilometers from Bolshie Koty settlement in front of the Skriper Rock, not far from the shore of Lake Baikal, in in Sennaya Pad (Russian word for “lowland”). There are many vertical mines with a flank drift which are still preserved in a good condition, where it is possible to get down. Along the stream gap the wooden chutes of the gold-miners are still met. People stroke gold not only in river sands and gravels but also on the shore of Lake Baikal. Gravels near the estuaries of the Bolshie Koty and Malye Koty Rivers were mined from the bottom of Lake Baikal, from a float in summer and from an ice-hole in winter.
Gold mining on Lake Baikal was started in 1842. Placers were opened along river-beds of Bolshie Koty, Malye Koty, Bolshaya Sennaya and Malaya Sennaya Rivers in the western part of Lake Baikal. More than 160 kilograms of gold were had been mined for 51 years in this area.
There is the Skriper Rock near Sennaya Pad (Lowland), an isolated rock massif formed by a rock material,jurassic conglomerate, which is rare on Lake Baikal and a sand rock material consisting of cobles of various sizes. Cliffs of this rock are easily caved in, so you should be careful if you want to climb the rock. A stiff and tiresome climbing of the Baikal Mountains is started from Sennaya Pad. There is a Cave of Baikal at a height of 200 metres above sea level. You can see the entrance to the cave well from the sea or to the left of the path from the Skriper Rock to Lake Baikal towards Bjkshaya Kadilnaya Cape.
This Cave has two small halls about 60 m2, its length is 6 and 8 meters, its width is about 3.5 meters and its height is about 4 meters.
In an occupation layer stone and iron hunting weapons, pieces of ornamental crockery were discovered by archeologists. A bottom of an Old Turkic vessel was found among sherds of the Iron Age. This is the first archaeological find of this kind in caves of Baikal and Cisbaikalia.