The Kisilyakh Range is part of the larger Chersky range, located in the watershed of the Yana and Alycha rivers, far from civilisation. The height of the mountains is 1,070 m and the length is about 25 km. Kisilyakh is a sacred place for the Yakuts. Until recently, it was virtually inaccessible, and tourists were able to go to Kisilyakh only in the 21st century.
The first impression is worth all the difficulties of getting there: the stone giants appear before the traveller's eyes, frozen in strange groups in the middle of a majestic deserted landscape. It is hard to believe that this was made by nature. Thoughts about northern gods and spirits arise as if of their own accord.
According to a Yakut legend, in ancient times it was warm here, and people lived in the mountains. When the cold began, they wanted to go south, but the mountain demons stopped them at the pass and turned them into stone. According to another legend, the kisilyakhs are the deities of the mountains, the higher Aiyy.
Of course, everything has a scientific explanation. Geologists suggest that at first, about 120 million years ago, after the collision of the North American and Eurasian plates, folds of rock formed. They gradually collapsed under the impact of the winds and frost weathering. The frost splitting left the stone pillars, which were further weathered and took on fantastic shapes.
In 2016, the torch of the first Children of Asia Winter Games was lit on the Kisilyakh ridge, according to the ancient Yakut traditions and the shamanic algys blessing rite, to nourish the fire with the power of the ancestors and natural spirits.
Getting to the Kisilyakh Range requires several stages: first, you go to Yakutsk, then to the village of Bagatay in the Verkhoyansk ulus, and from there you go to Kisilyakh. In summer, the road from Bagatay to the destination can be covered on foot and partly by boat, in winter—by snowmobile. The most convenient but expensive way is by helicopter: there is a working airfield in the village, from which helicopters fly to the mountains and back.