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Sestra Bald Peak - The Classical Landscape Of Nakhodka
July 24, 2014 15:50


The classical landscape of Nakhodka can’t do without a pyramidal silhouette of the Sestra Bald Peak. Sestra (Sister) stands at the mouth of the Partizanskaya River (aka Suchan) and is visible from any part of the city. It looks especially romantic in the early morning when its top is enveloped with fog - a frequent climatic phenomenon for Nakhodka.

The Jurchen tribes that once lived here called it “Da-Nai-Shan” – “Big Breast Mountain”. More precisely, the Jurchen saw two breast mountains on Suchan in full accordance with the anatomy: the second one is upstream of Suchan, 10 km from the city, and it is now called “Brat” (“Brother”). Sestra and Brat are by origin the ancient reefs of white limestone with inclusions of marine fossils.

“Family” names (there is the Plemyannik (Nephew) volcano nearby) most probably appeared late enough, in the early XX century, and the first Russian maps of the Nakhodka Bay designated these bald peaks as Severny (North) and Yuzhny (South) Klykova peaks - in honor of the geographer M.A. Klykov.

Brat cannot compare with Sestra in its picturesque appearance, it unwillingly lost its form, and a quarter of its top was cut by bulldozers:  building stone and gravel have been quarried on the peak for forty years. Sestra, fortunately, escaped this fate, and in 1984 both peaks received protection documents from the state: they were declared natural monuments of regional importance.

Sestra is low - 318 meters, but people seldom climb it. The fact is that only two pretty steep trails lead to the top, and the local omniscient taxi drivers sometimes do not even know where they start. Going ahead without knowing the road is a doubtful choice: in some places the peaks are covered with completely impassable bushes and windbreak. So it is better to find the trail and begin the ascent from a small beach at the Lashkevicha Bay, it is the most convenient way.

Another trail can be accessed from the territory of “Sestra” recreation centre located at the northern foot of the peak (you only need to obtain the permission from the janitor). Ascent and descent will take about two hours. You’d better grab a couple of bottles of water.

A beautiful panorama of the city and the river valley opens from the top of Sestra Bald Peak. In addition, the peak is very rich in flora: three hundred species of plants grow here. Locals come here in order to collect rosehips, lemongrass and kish-mish – this is the name of Amur gooseberry, a Far Eastern species of kiwi, given to it by Nakhodka residents.

The western slope of Sestra is steep enough, so rock climbers often train here. A lot of legends are dedicated to bald peaks. Thus, the trail from the Lashkevicha Bay is sometimes called “the trail of repentance”: the alleged ritual ascent to Sestra is even mentioned in the manuscripts of Tibetan monks. According to another tradition, both peaks are man-made and represent a kind of pyramids covered with forest, where Jurchen buried their princes. Alas, the cut Brat Volcano denies this legend. 

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Sestra Peak Nakhodka    

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