The miracles of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars

The miracles of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars

Have you heard about the Krasnoyarsk Pillars (Russian: Stolby) National Park located in the heart of Siberia?

In 2025, its 100th anniversary will be celebrated. Almost a century, the Krasnoyarsk Pillars reserve existed having a unique feature like a tourism and recreational area that can be visited free of charge by people, and where the most majestic giant rocks, the Pillars, are located in the taiga (also known as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches - ed.), and the reserve was named after these ‘pillars’. The height of the highest and most powerful rocks is 80 and 100 meters. But these rocks have one ecological feature - they emit powerful environmental energy, vibe, coming from the depths of the Earth! This explains why the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park (Pillars) attracts people from all over Russia and from abroad.

From the scientific point of view, “in the Krasnoyarsk Pillars, there are about 200 large and small syenitic rock pillars, these are rock masses, rocks, and stones. As a result of active processes of mountain formation, magma erupting from the depths of the Earth solidified, forming a strong crystalline structure in the depths of the ancient sea. Undergoing an uplift, the territory displaced the ancient sea and exposed rock outcrops. During many millennia, the rocks slowly changed their appearance as the limestone cover gradually disappeared and the syenite was unevenly destroyed. Natural sculptors, such as wind, water, and sun, skillfully polished natural sculptures, bringing them to perfection”. But this is an official information.

The legend about the formation of these majestic rocks is connected with... Lake Baikal! Not with the real lake, but with the old giant who once lived in the vast dense forests of Siberia. Baikal had a beautiful daughter whose name was Angara (over 300 rivers flow into 1,642-meter-deep Lake Baikal, and the Angara is the only river coming out of Baikal - ed.).

Beautiful Angara once saw hero-knight Yenisei and fell in love with him at first sight. She asked her strict father to allow her to see handsome Yenisei. But Baikal did not want to let his only daughter leave him because he loved his Angara very much. Then she decided to run away, because the heart had a will of its own! One dark night, Angara, moving slowly, left her giant dad while he was sleeping. Baikal woke up in the morning, called out to his daughter, and there was silence in response. He understood at once that his stubborn daughter had disappeared and run away to her beloved Yenisei!

Old Baikal realized that hero-knight Yenisei had ‘stolen’ his dear heiress. Giant Baikal got enraged, roared making thunder, grabbed large stones in his huge hands and threw them as hard as he could to the place where Yenisei lived. The rocks ‘flew’ across half of Siberia! But they did not reach hero-knight Yenisei just a little and fell down not far from him. Then, wizard Baikal turned the hero-knight into the full-flowing Yenisei River, and the giant stones turned into huge rocks located near its banks... (The Yenisei is among the longest (3487 km) and deepest rivers in the world and Russia, and it flows into the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean - ed.).

Well, many animals and birds inhabit the protected taiga (dense forest) area around these rocks. According to the management of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park, there are 95 species of vertebrates and 60 species of mammals in this area. Large representatives of the animal kingdom are bears, wolverines, wolves, lynxes, foxes, sables, Siberian weasels, ermine stoats, weasels, minks, otters, squirrels, rock hares, chipmunks, as well as four species of ungulates, including elks, deer, roe deer, and Siberian musk deer. The world of birds is also rich, numbering 26 species of large and small birds.

A hike along the path going through taiga to the famous First Pillar is rather easy for people of any age, from schoolchildren of 10 to 14 years old to elderly people, the walk is very good for their health! Tourists just walk six kilometers up among pines and spruces and enjoy the taiga aromas, not only in summer, but also in winter. The air in taiga is amazing, very fresh and pure! After all, it contains the energy of the taiga nature!

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By the way, people can climb up the First Pillar, 80 meters high, without ropes, doing this carefully, of course. When, the writer of this article was a student, it took him just five minutes to climb up to the top of the First Pillar! Adults, of course, need to make efforts under the guidance of an experienced instructor while climbing up the Pillars. Everyone who reaches the top will enjoy an incredible view of the taiga vast expanses and the neighboring 100-meter high Second Pillar, and also see a ‘miracle stone’ as there lies a huge boulder, almost twice the height of a man, that can be swung with your feet because it is not connected with a rock! There is another miracle on this Pillar - a spring, a micro-fountain, at a height of 40 meters. It’s a secret of nature how water gets there.

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The central rocks accessible for visiting are the Second Pillar, that I’ve already mentioned, and the Lion Gate and the Feathers rushing into the heights that have become the symbol of all accessible rocks, as well as the Grandmother, the Granddaughter and, of course, the incredible Grandfather! This is a huge syenite rock with the rigid face of the Grandfather carved on stone. For a long time, this stone sculpture was considered natural. But nature does not produce negative angles. Therefore, in the 21st century, many people who admired the stern Grandfather’s profile understood that only giants’ hands could have created it. But whose? Researchers have found the answer to this question using the ‘deductive method of Sherlock Holmes’, or simply logical arguments.

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Scientists have long known that a very long time ago, when there was no taiga yet and the climate was warm, giant people - titans - lived in Siberia. Men were about 20 meters tall and women were not that tall. The war between the titans and the gods from Mount Olympus was depicted in the Ancient Greek Myths. The titans lived in Tartary, which is today’s Siberia. They built their megaliths and structures using huge stones. They were the only people who could install a huge stone on top of the First Pillar and they could cut a stone profile of their deceased leader called ‘Grandfather’, using a big solid rock!

Well, tourists can easily get to these popular rocks along an ecological trail that is easy to get to by a comfortable aerial ropeway, enjoying the stunning view of Krasnoyarsk and its surroundings from above, and then walk at any time of the year for an hour along the beautiful trail at the top of the Torgashinsky Ridge. After all, the unique feature of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park is also that it borders on the city located on the Yenisei River! Welcome!

The management of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park answered the question about what the ‘reserve/national park’ gives to the local people. “The main contribution of the National Park for Krasnoyarsk is that the taiga natural ecosystem preserved for 100 years thanks to the nature preservation efforts constitutes an important part of the Krasnoyarsk’s natural wealth, and it provides a high quality ‘natural’ life for the Krasnoyarsk residents and the visitors coming to the city”.

Huge ‘ecoplans’

In 2024, the construction of the new ecological route the Legends of Takmak is set to be completed.

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This 8-km-long route going through taiga is expected to unite the famous rocks of the National Park (the Wall of China, the ‘Watchdog’, the Town, and the Yermak ones) and two radial routes (the Journey to the Wall of China and the Meeting with Yermak) into one ‘chain’ (Yermak was a Cossack chieftain, conqueror of Siberia for the Russian state in the 16-th century - ed.). The trail will have equipped safe descents and viewing platforms to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding nature.

Moreover, the plans are to complete cleaning the path to the Kashtak Rock by 2025 and launch the Tale of the Reserve Forest eco-route. This ecological path running along the top of the ridge connects the entrance to the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park from the Bobrovy Log (Beavers’ Ravine) cable car with the Central Entrance.

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By the 100th anniversary of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park, it is also expected to equip the most popular eco-road Rechnaya Dolina (River Valley) with new facilities and create an ‘entrance’ facilities, install benches in some places for tourists to have some rest, as well as to build tactile copies of the rocks of the Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park and update the information boards. The updating project stipulates launching a new environmental education program on geology for schoolchildren. Children studying in geo-classes will really enjoy their trips to the Pillars with staying overnight in cozy houses in taiga and taking part in the education programs to be held in a wonderful geo-class. And, of course, they will have a chance to admire the majestic rocks of the First and the Second Pillars.