The name amazes everyone who learns about Jack London Lake in Magadan Oblast. It is the source of numerous disputes, admiration, perplexity, smiles — how could a toponym like this be created during the Soviet period at the edge of Russia? According to a widespread version of the local inhabitants, frequently voiced by the media, the name was given to the water reservoir by some «first geologist» who visited the area. He was incredibly glad to have found this place of immense beauty. However, when he approached the edge of the water, he discovered a book by Jack London that someone had left there. The geologist named the lake to honor his find.
In fact, though, the lake owes its name to Yuriy Bilibin; it was he who suggested naming a geographic object after Jack London. «A fearless writer», said Bilibin. «We need to call something in his honor». The geologist Petr Skornyakov who worked in the area supported his supervisor's idea and in 1932 gave the name of the American writer to the lake.
Jack London Lake, or simply Jack, is a very picturesque place. Its narrow, irregular shoreline stretching for miles between the mountains is reminiscent of Norwegian fjords. The lake is located at an elevation of 803 meters, near the high Bolshoy Annchag Ridge, resembling the Alps. The highest spots there are the Aborigen Peak (2,287 m) and the Snow Peak (2,292 m). The mirror surface of the lake reflects the deep green of the conifer forests. In the fall, fluffy larch trees glow like yellow spots. The lake has crystal-clear water: its underwater inhabitants can be clearly seen even at a depth of 10 m. Salmon trout, lake minnow, and slimy sculpin can be found there.
You can feel like a true mountaineer there; tourists will welcome the abundance of tourist routes to the Aborigen, Snow, and Challenger Peaks, and to the Vosmiozerny stream valley.
It is not easy to reach the lake but it can be done. The route is for those who are strong in spirit and prepared to face the challenge. Those who visit Jack for the first time are recommended to join a tourist group. Drive from the Oblast center along the Kolyma Road to Yagodnoye Village (600 km); there are scheduled bus routes available. The road is dusty but the traffic is light. The next 60 km need to be travelled along a broken road laid in 1940s. You will meet with deep ruts and holes; the road will disappear in the deep forest; small rivers will need to be forded. So, you will either need an all-terrain vehicle or a helicopter.
|Address:||Magadan Oblast, Yagodninsky Urban District|