Kayak trip to Altai
“The Book of Legends”
Every year we are organizing the kayak trip to one of our favorite destinations – the Altai Mountains – the land of big volume rivers. Altai always has been the aim for paddlers from all over the world. Sam Sutton after his trip to Altai in summer 2010 said: ” I wasn’t sure what to expect in Altai, I was going to a place I had never heard of before. As it turned out it was an awesome trip filled with spectacular scenery, an amazing group, intimidating whitewater, and very unique culture. A trip I will tell my grandchildren about one day!”
No doubt this place has an amazing potential for fans of big and challenging whitewater.
This is going to be 14 days long adventure in heart of Russia, very deep in the Altai Mountains. Amazing sceneries, big volume rivers, and quality whitewater. 2-3 days long self-supported kayak trips are the essence of this trip. The legendary “Book of Legends” of mighty Bashkaus river is waiting for your name…
We will paddle “The classics of Altai” – 7 big volume rivers in different parts of the Altai Mountains.
Mazhoy Gorge on Chuya river – 20km class IV-V, 1 day:
” Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Altai Mountains the Chuya River welcomes you with an innocent warm-up paddling for about 10 minutes before the river begins to show its real character. Super nice rapids with big volumes, huge waves and some extremely big holes were waiting for us. We were happy to have Tomass guiding us, which made it possible to bomb through the first 16km without scouting. In the rare occasion of catching the eddy all you could see were the boys smiling like kids in a candy shop! Yeah! If the Chuya River was just the warm-up for our Russian adventures I’m pretty excited to see what’s still coming…” – Philip Baues, Germany
Karagem river – 40km class IV-V, 1 day:
“Karagem was the first river of our multi-day trip in Siberia 2010. For me it was the first multi-day trip in my life and so I was pretty excited and a bit nervous. This river showed its character quickly. It was quite steep with a lot of water. On the other side there were parts of nearly flat water and so it was possible to enjoy the epic and beautiful landscape of the Altai Mountains. The whitewater in Siberia seems to be always a little bit scary, the Karagem was no exception. But when you are laying in your sleeping bag everything is forgotten and you are full satisfied and happy!” – Timo Koster, Germany
Argut river – 80-90km class IV-V, 2 days:
“About 60km of big volume whitewater was waiting for us. We bombed through the first big rapids with really high waves and continued with the giant slalom around massive holes lead by Tomass. After one hour we stopped at the biggest rapid (Sapozhnikov waterfall) which was just a steep mess with too much water on it. After some minutes of scouting we decided to run the rapid on the left side. In the next 3 hours we paddled some really big waves around giant holes without any stops. Tomass, Sam and Stefun bombed down another big one which was the last big rapid on that river.” – Thilo Schmitt, Germany
Chulishman river – 50km class IV-V, 2 days:
“Chulishman is another great river in Altai Mountains. First part of the river – Yazula gorge – is a big volume pool and drop canyon about 8km long. After the Yazula bridge river changes its character and becomes less steep but bigger in volume. The lower part of the river is super scenic with good quality whitewater and tons of waterfalls falling from right side of the Chulishman valley.” – Tomass Marnics, Latvia
Kurkure river – 200m class V, 1 day:
Kurkure is the right tributary of Chulishman with about 200m long waterfall section on it.
“With a desert like landscape we carried our kayaks in the baking hot sun up to the Kurkure river in search of some waterfalls. As you approach the river you are greeted by a picturesque 35m waterfall. We hiked up around the waterfall where we saw a perfect 10m waterfall with an exciting lead in. Awesome river, amazing section!” – Sam Sutton, New Zealand
Bashkaus river (lower gorge) – 60km class V, 2 days:
Legendary Bashkaus river with its famous lower gorge.
“We are proud to be inscribed in the history of the amazing Bashkaus river. It was some of the most consistently difficult whitewater I have paddled. Having known some history of the river it does have a nostalgic feel in the canyon. I found my self thinking of the friends I have lost on rivers, who were no doubt paddling alongside us in some way or another. I can only hope the exploits of these legends will encourage others to explore, adventure, build friendships and experience.” – Jared Meehan, Nez Zealand
Chulcha river – 7km class V, 1 day:
“Chulcha river is the right tributary of the lower Chulishman. This is a quite popular touristic place, cause 10km upstream from the confluence the is a monster cascade on the river and everyone want to make a photo of this amazing place. There is a very good trail and it was pretty easy to get to the put-in. Chulcha was full of water as the other rivers, and it was maybe the hardest whitewater in our trip. Not many eddy’s, sometimes very steep with the hard lines. Chulcha was good and technical river and one day I would love to paddle right from the bottom of this huge cascade.” – Tomass Marnics, Latvia
The difficulty of the whole trip is class IV+/V. But keep in mind that these are big volume rivers with very big and long rapids.
Requirements to participants:
Great eskimo-roll and whitewater experience of class V are obligatory.
– Meeting at the Novosibirsk airport.
– driving/paddling/camping/swimming/singing/making BBQ/having fun on the river.
– taking part infamous “King of Asia” kayak race
– flying home from Novosibirsk airport.
You have to come with your own paddling gear + kayak and paddles as well as your own camping gear.
We cook on the fire and sleep under the tarps. If you don’t have the experience in expedition kayaking, download a list of stuff that you have to have in this kind of adventure. But make sure that all your equipment fits in your boat.
Dates: 7 – 22 August 2021 ( alternative dates 5 – 19 July, or by request)
*Take an account that the first and last days are arrival and departure days.
Application for the tour is carried out only after a personal interview
The group will be no bigger than 7 people. We don’t know at the moment who will come on this trip, but 100% this will be a super international group of people which makes this trip even more interesting.
The price includes:
- transfer from the airport to the river and back
- transfers during the whole trip
- guide and safety kayaker on the river
- trip organization
- meals during the trip
- camping equipment (tarps, cooking pots)
- registration in a migration card
- entry fee to King of Asia kayak race
Price does not include:
air fare (flight), medical insurance, visa, alcoholic beverages during the trips
Tourist visa required
Climate is warm in the summer, but the weather may be unstable and unpredictable. You never know what to expect unless you’re there because the weather in the mountains is a thing in itself and forecasts do not work. Usually second part of July is warm and dry, but might be different. Altai is almost a mosquitoes-free area. Rivers are mainly at a moderate altitude of 500-120m above sea level.
Before traveling to Russia, read carefully the rules of visiting the country and the list of current restrictions on the website here
This is a truly amazing kayaking trip to one of the most scenic places and big volume rivers!