Lake Teletskoye (spanning 51°20′ to 51°47′N and 87°15′ to 87°50′E) is the largest lake in the Altai Mountains and is 77 km long and 330 m deep.The core location (51°44.99′N, 87°37.414′E) was at the deepest part of the lake.The altitude of the mountains surrounding the lake is 1900 m a.s.l. on average. Due to higher annual precipitation at the area, the steppe belt is absencent but it occurs, at least fragmentarily, in other parts of the mountains. Only very small patches along the lakeshore represent steppe-like vegetation. Birch forests mixed with meadows occur at lower altitudes, up to 700 m a.s.l. Unique evergreen (so-called 'dark') coniferous forest grow between 700 and 1700ma.s.l. The mountains above 1700 m are covered by Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica) forest. Above the tree line, at about 1800 m, alpine tundra and alpine meadow communities are widespread.