Our International Team
Alexey was born in Siberia on the northern shore of Lake Baikal. He has travelled a lot in the area’s mountains and taiga forests since his youth. This has given him the skills needed as a tour guide, survivalist and photographer. He has been organising exhibitions of his photographic work on the region since 2004.
Alexey spent many years abroad earning two masters degrees in London and Norway. He has worked full time in both London and New York. During his time abroad Lake Baikal was never far from his heart. He would often return to run wilderness trips, both private and commercial.
Alexey has run over 40 trips for VIP tourists, regular travellers, photographers and film crews. He speaks fluent English, French and Russian. He has had great success at helping clients achieve their goals in this logistically challenging part of Siberia.
Alexey was once an active member of the local Ministry of Emergency Situations in northern Baikal. This taught him the skills needed to safely organise expeditions of any complexity. He did a 40-day snowmobile trip in January and February 2019 in the northern Baikal area. The worst weather he had to cope with then was -60°C.
At some point Alexey wants to reach the North Pole and climb Everest. For now, however, he is happy bringing guests to his beautiful homeland on the northern shore of Lake Baikal.
Edward Adrian-Vallance studied French and Spanish at the University of Exeter in the UK. After graduating with a 2.1 he moved to Russia in 2007 and began learning Russian.
As a keen traveller, he began exploring Siberia, the Arctic and the Far East in 2008. He has visited all of Russia’s Arctic regions and most Far Eastern and Siberian ones. In 2011 he began guiding tours. In 2012 he set up a tour operator, Arctic Russia Travel. It has been growing successfully ever since. He has guided over 75 tours in the Arctic, Siberia and the Far East. Most of them have been in winter, with snowmobile trips in felt temperatures down to -68°C.
Among his past clients are many photo-journalists, scientists, tour agencies and film crews.
Edward is based in Moscow but spends up to six months a year in Siberia. He is considered a local in many areas. He has contacts on every level of society, from nomads to government officials. His contacts and experience have led to great success running the most complex trips in this remote area.
Edward’s articles on Siberia have been published in The Geographical, The Calvert Journal and in Travel Addict.
Ivan was born on Lake Baikal’s Northern shore in 1982. He has been involved in the local tourist scene since 1992. At age 10 he began learning survival and mountaineering skills at youth camps in the local wilderness.
In 1998 he graduated from the School of Tourism and Ecological Education in Severobaikalsk. He studied tourism management at the East Siberian State Academy of Culture and Arts in Ulan-Ude, graduating in 2005.
Ivan also obtained a Lifesaver qualification from the Ministry of Emergency Situations in 2003. He has been involved in numerous rescue operations in the Severomuyskiy, Baikal, Khamar Daban, East Sayan and Mundu-Sardyk Mountains. There is nobody better placed to create risk assessments and evacuation plans in this tough wilderness terrain.
He has been working with international tour groups since age 16. He has guided very complicated trips, such as a 24-day skiing expedition in temperatures of -47°C. In summer he has run 1000-km catamaran trips on Lake Baikal. He has summited Munku-Sardyk, the highest peak in Eastern Siberia, more than ten times.
After finishing his studies he returned to the School of Tourism and Ecological Education. By 2015 he had risen to the position of director. At the same time he earned himself a Law degree from the East Siberian State University of Technology in 2014.
Ivan is indispensable in planning and guiding many of our more complex expeditionary trips in the Baikal region.
Ekaterina was born in Yakutia, the coldest inhabited part of the world. She probably has more experience than anyone of the freezing cold temperatures that Siberian winter travel involves.
Yakutia is a republic the size of India but with a population of only 1 million. Of this, 350,000 live in the capital Yakutsk. The rest of the republic is sparsely inhabited wilderness. It was in a small, isolated wilderness village that Ekaterina was born.
Upon completing school, Ekaterina won a scholarship to study for free at the Arctic State Institute of Arts and Culture. After graduation she moved to Moscow for her postgraduate studies. There she met her husband-to-be, Edward Adrian-Vallance. Not long after their marriage, Ekaterina began working as manager of Edward’s company, Argish LLC.
Ekaterina’s youth and upbringing gave her an excellent understanding of the hardships and rewards of Siberian travel. She also has extensive experience of international travel on six continents. Ekaterina provides our team, our clients and our partners with indispensable support throughout our tours.
Ekaterina has a deep understanding of the very different mentalities of Siberians and foreign travellers. Bringing them together so that everyone fulfils their goals is what makes a successful Siberian tour operator. In this, as in so much else, Ekaterina is an invaluable member of the Argish LLC team.
Vladimir guides some of our tour groups himself or works as interpreter with other guides on other routes. He makes our pioneering routes possible for foreign guests in areas where English is as common as Martian.
Vladimir was born in Severobaikalsk on northern Lake Baikal. He studied at Irkutsk Linguistic University on the southern shore, graduating in 1981. He has lived on the northern shore ever since.
Vladimir is an invaluable member of our team. While southern Baikal has plenty of guides who speak English, the remote northern shore has none. There are highly experienced guides for most routes on northern Lake Baikal, but none speak English.
Vladimir speaks English and Russian fluently. His French is at an intermediate level. Thanks to extensive extensive international travel he has many foreign friends. He is talkative, open-minded and a great travelling companion. His guiding experience spans all sorts of tours, including for bird spotting..
Vladimir is a musician, singer and writer of songs in English, French and Russian. Many guests say their best memories from the tour were of Vladimir singing and playing guitar around a campfire.
Vladimir loves northern Lake Baikal and loves showing it off to foreign guests even more. Our team would not be complete without him.