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Inspiring on travel

How seaside journalists develop tourism in their native land

Alexander Khitrov and Daria Chervova - travel journalists from Vladivostok. They travel around the Primorsky Territory and on their website PrimDiscovery publish reports about the beauty of wildlife, animals and unique people living and working in the taiga. In each text they give recommendations based on personal experience. For a year journalists have risen on twenty seaside peaks, have passed "Arsenyev's Path" and have let out the first documentary film.

Inspiring on travel
Photos: Courtesy of PrimDiscovery
The history of PrimDiscovery began more than a year ago with the expedition ExpBikin-2016. The Bikin National Park is the largest specially protected natural area in the south of the Far East. This is a unique natural complex of the great river Bikin, in the basin of which are spread cedar-broad-leaved forests. For eleven days, photographer Alexander Khitrov and journalist Vadim Shkodin, accompanied by a Udege guide, passed 777 km by boat along the Bikin River. A series of reports about this journey came out on Prim25 and Primamedia.

- Even before the tour of Bikin, Sasha called me to Falaz (a mountain in Primorye with a height of 1279 meters - EastRussia). I refused, because I never went on camping trips, I had absolutely no physical training, - says Daria Chervova. - But in the end, it was with this mountain that our project "Primorskaya Alt" began. We chose 20 peaks in the province, among which popular Pidan, Falaza, Chandalaz, Sparrow, Olkhovaya, almost unknown (Gluhomanka) and even the highest mountain in the region - Anik, and interesting in terms of climbing, but unpopular peaks. We told readers about each trip.

Daria, based on her experience, assures that in sports tourism you need to step in gradually. It is best to first go on a hike in the most favorable season for this - in the fall. Choose a popular and uncomplicated peak - start with climbing Falazu or Misty, for example.

“The first campaigns are the brightest in emotional terms, they give incredible impressions: you catch the thrill of being young, you did it,” she says. - It is important to properly prepare for the trip, tune in morally. The most important thing is to pick a cool company and good shoes.
In each text, the guys tell how to get to the start point, about possible climb options, describe in detail their route, share impressions, spread beautiful photos.

"Unforgettable for the team was the ascent to the highest mountain in the Sikhote-Alin Reserve - Gluhomanku," Daria says. - It was the end of July, very hot, the trip took four days. We climbed to the top for ten hours (practically without water, and Sasha had an allergic reaction to the midge), five of which were crawling through the cedar pine tree - these are the pines that creep along the ground, but they can be higher than human growth. Prior to us on this trail, only scientific employees went - back in 2008 year. We spent the night on top. At night there was a thunderstorm, and in the morning we saw how clouds formed: air comes from different sides and joins in one place. That's very beautiful.

The second peak, especially remembered by journalists, is Lysaya Mountain in the Lazovsky District. This is a new ecological path of the Sikhote-Alin Reserve.

- Half an hour after the beginning of the march, a herd of wild boars appeared ten meters from us, - Alexander Khitrov remembers. "And these are very dangerous wild animals." Seeing the people, they scattered in all directions, although they could attack with fright. Another hour later, a Himalayan bear fell down ten meters from the trail. Seeing the people, he became frightened, began to descend from the tree, tearing the bark, fell to the ground. First, he turned in our direction by inertia, but then, fortunately, changed his mind to get acquainted and fled. 

We spent the night in the winter quarters, and early in the morning went upstairs in the dark. It was scary, considering that we already met with wild animals. On the way back saw chipmunks, squirrel, two deer.

The highest and inaccessible mountain of the Primorsky Territory is Anik, it is located in the very north of the region on the border with the Khabarovsk Territory. Journalists were on the road 13 days, passed 136 kilometers along the taiga.

  "Anik is a mountain, to which I would gladly rise again," says Alexander. - We went to this trip six times, took with them a colleague, an unfamiliar guy and an employee of the Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund WWF. We had a GPS track, which we threw off the Grinturovites (GreenTour - sports and tourist club in Primorye). The first days were difficult - backpacks weighed in 20 kg. On the way we saw the nature of incredible beauty, from animals we met chipmunks, sable and wapiti. Unfortunately, a strong fog was waiting for us at the top.

The aim of the PrimDiscovery team is to show the beauty of your native land, to tell you how you can travel. After the ascent of journalists, two groups of tourists went to Anik.

- We are glad that we inspire others to travel, for this we are also working. But we call to remember that any trip is a danger, an extreme, it is necessary to prepare for it, to think over the route, equipment, food, "says Alexander. - In addition, as environmental journalists, we advocate the promotion of nature conservation and in hiking, we must watch the logging, the state of the forest, and transfer information to the Amur branch of WWF.

Soon the PrimDiscovery team will present the first documentary film "Arsenyev's Path". In honor of the 110 anniversary of the expedition of Vladimir Arseniev to these places, the Sikhote-Alin Reserve launched a new ecological route. The path passes through the very heart of the Sikhote-Alin, occupies 56 km and is designed for five days trip with overnight stays in the inspection huts. Everyone can overcome this route, even older people. Employees of the reserve contacted the journalists of PrimDiscovery and invited them to go first on this unique route.

At 2018 year PrimDiscovery has three main projects. Together with the WWF Amur branch of WWF, journalists will make a record of the Far Eastern stork - they will be photographed and described how the Red Book birds feel and ring, what measures are being taken to preserve the species. The next major project is to show the beauty of all six reserves of the region and tell about the tourist attractiveness of each of them, collect material and in 2019 publish a photobook. There is no such publication at the moment. Also in the plans of travel journalists to make a motor rally Moscow - Vladivostok.

- The life of projects directly depends on the funds found on them. Previous projects have been supported by private companies, but we hope that the administration of Primorsky Krai will not remain aloof, because we are popularizing ecotourism in Primorye, "says Alexander.
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