Nameless mountain on Lake Baikal to be named in honour of the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University


The height of the peak, located 15 kilometres from the southern coast of Lake Baikal, is 1,724 metres. No wonder, we favoured this peak, said Sergei Semiletkin, an instructor and teacher in the Sports Department at St Petersburg University. The height of the peak, i.e. 1,724 metres, is associated with the founding date of the University.

We were choosing between two options: in the Caucasus and in Buryatia. Due to the picturesque nature of Buryatia, we have chosen the peak in Buryatia. We came up with this idea when the name of the peak of St Petersburg University had been taken away. We decided to climb the peak on the eve of the anniversary of St Petersburg University and officially announce the name of the peak.

Sergei Semiletkin, an instructor and teacher in the Sports Department at St Petersburg University

The expedition team includes members of the St Petersburg University mountaineering team; instructor Sergei Semiletkin and instructor Natalia Tsareva; Dmitrii Korotchenkov, Head of the Sports Club; employees of the Sports Department; and a member of the mountaineering club “Bars”. The expedition will take 10 days.

Conquering the peak will be a milestone in the history of St Petersburg University. Apart from conquering the peak, the expedition is aimed to draw up a detailed description of the route after their return and prepare an application. To this end, Valerii Morozov, a graduate of the Faculty of Geography, will assist the team. The group is also planning to explore a range of various animals, including local birds. To this end, Sergei Petrov, an ornithologist and Research Associate in the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology at St Petersburg University, will join the expedition. ‘We hope to shoot a short film about our ascent of the peak, because the nature of Baikal is really impressive. Many of us will be there for the first time,’ Sergei Semiletkin shared his expectations.

Apart from being an instructor, Sergei Semiletkin is Executive Secretary of the Russian Committee of the UNESCO International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme. In 2023, he was awarded a lapel pin ‘Order of Vladimir Vernadsky’ for special merits and achievements in the field of ecology, environmental protection, and environmentally oriented sustainable development in the country and the world.

More than 30 events will be held to celebrate the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University. Among the events are: the naming of a minor planet in honour of St Petersburg University; the issuance of bank cards with a special design; the creation of postage stamps dedicated to the history of the oldest university in Russia; the issuance of a commemorative coin; and the production of medallions with images of students — Nobel laureates to name just a few. The plan of events during the celebration of the anniversary of the University was approved at the meeting of the Organising Committee for the celebration of St Petersburg University’s 300th anniversary. The meeting was chaired by Dmitry Chernyshenko, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

The route does not require special preparation. Most members of the expedition are those who often go to the mountains with tents. The height is not associated with an increased level of risk and does not pose a threat to health. Among the main advantages of the upcoming expedition, the students mentioned the process of ascent itself and an opportunity to get acquainted with nature of the place. ‘For me, the peak is not particularly significant in terms of sporting achievements, because it is not difficult to climb and not very high. It is more about an opportunity to visit a place, to see something new. Yet, we have a responsibility as we will officially represent the University and make an ascent that is significant for the University,’ said Egor Vasilev, a representative of the mountaineering team.


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