Other trips in Russia:
2015 expedition to Siberia will include two very different rivers: big whitewater and gorgeous canyons. We’ll start with 3 days on the Chuya River before heading to the legendary Bashkaus River for 5 days.
The Chuya River is known as the first truly international rafting competition, the Chuya Rally, held in 1989. It is a powerful river with many rapids ranging from class III-V. The Chuya has a fast current and few pools. Some rapids are very technical despite the high water. The Chuya valley is wide and offers great views of the surrounding ranges from the scenic camping spots. Three days here will serve as a great warm-up for the big water of the Bashkaus.
The Bashkaus runs through a very remote corner of the Altai region. We will run the Upper Bashkaus, and to reach our put-in, we’ll hike about 10 miles (with pack horses to transport our gear) along the river, crossing beautiful alpine meadows. Clean transparent water runs through narrow valleys and stunning canyons.
Many class III-V rapids will keep your paddle busy, but along the way you’ll have the chance to experience the simple life of the native Altai villagers in this forgotten corner of the globe. The narrow, rocky canyons are a special feature of this river. We’ll travel through several, including the very long Saratan Canyon with some class IV and at least one class V rapid.
Vlad is a legendary guide who is remembered by guests for his charming Russian accent, his expertise in the paddle boat, and his knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world. His vast river-running experience, great sense of humor, and knowledge of Siberian rivers makes our trips to Siberia that much more incredible.
Please note that traveling through Russia is an adventure. This itinerary may change due to events beyond our control, but if it does we’ll do our best to maintain the flavor of the journey.
Fly Beijing, China. (Since you’ll cross the International Date Line, you’ll likely arrive in the afternoon or evening of Day 2.) You may opt to arrive a couple days early to explore Beijing and acclimate to the time change. You are responsible for meals and lodging in Beijing, but we’d be happy to make recommendations. You can also travel to Barnaul through Moscow, but Beijing is the easiest and least expensive route from the U.S. Please be sure to book your flight so that you’ll arrive in time to meet your trip leader on the morning of Day 3.
You’ll meet your trip leader, Vlad, in Beijing and fly as a group to the Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibirsk. From there, you’ll drive 4 hours to Barnaul and spend the night in a hotel.
You’ll leave Barnaul in the morning for a scenic 10-hour drive to the heart of the Altai mountains on the Chuya Highway (the legendary Chuiskiy Trakt), which connects Russia and Mongolia. Along the way, you can sample simple, but delicious Russian foods at roadside cafes. You’ll camp at put-in, above the Burevestnik (Petrel) rapid.
You’ll put-in on the Chuya and raft the class III Burevestnik rapid. It will only be an hour before reaching the first class V of the trip: Begemot (Hippo) rapid. The following day, you’ll run several class II-III rapids and stop to visit a site with beautiful petroglyphs. The last day of the Chuya, you’ll raft class V rapids named Turbine and the Tourist Club Horizon, before reaching the confluence of the Chuya and the Katun’ Rivers. At take-out, we’ll load your gear onto a truck and head for the Bashkaus!
It is about a 6 hour drive and then a 10 mile hike to the upper reaches of this stunning river. We’ll have horses to pack in our gear for this gorgeous hike that follows the river through alpine meadows.
We’ll put-in just above the Pryamoy (Straight) Canyon. These beautiful and narrow, rocky canyons are the signatures of the Bashkaus River. You’ll encounter about 50 class II-V rapids on this river trip, which are more technical than those on the Chuya. You’ll camp each night, and we also plan to have a layover day to enjoy some wonderful hikes, fishing, and a traditional banya, or river sauna (it’s a Russian thing!). You’ll raft to the Saratan Canyon, take-out upstream of Ust’Ulagan Village, and spend one last night camping at take-out.
We will spend the night at the same hotel we stayed at on our way to the river, and have a group farewell dinner.
You’ll depart Barnaul and drive 4 hours to Novosibirsk. From there you can: – Fly to Beijing and onto your next destination. – If your schedule permits, you may consider traveling by train along the world’s longest railroad, the trans-Siberian railroad, which connects the sea of Japan and Moscow. You can take the train to Lake Baikal or all the way back to Beijing. – If you opt to visit the European part of Russia (we strongly recommend a visit to Sankt-Petersburg), you can fly from Barnaul rather than driving to Novosibirsk.
You can take a morning flight from Novosibirsk to Beijing, and connect on an afternoon or evening flight back to the U.S. or onto your next destination!
Date: July 17 – August 1, 2016 Duration: 16 Days Activity: Class IV/V Rafting Meet: Novosibirsk, Russian Federation Price: $4495
Deposit: $500/person, due January 15, 2013 Final Payment: Remaining balance and airfare, due April 15, 2013
Our trips to Siberia require extraordinary reservations and logistics beforehand. For this reason we cannot offer refunds for any reason.
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance that includes, among other things, cancellation insurance. You can purchase the insurance that we recommend through Travel Insurance Select, or get your own through your insurance agent.
You need a valid passport and Russian Visa. We will obtain an official invitation that you can present to the Russian Consulate and request your Visa.
Weather and river conditions may cause us to modify our itineraries. If modifications are made, we will make every effort to maintain the flavor and intent of the trip. We hope you accept the changes as part of the adventure.
Whitewater Asia reserves the right to cancel trips for any reason, including insufficient sign-ups, political unrest, or acts of God that would impede trip operations. In the event of such a cancellation, Whitewater Asia will refund all payments for land costs, minus any money we are unable to recoup for payments made to our tour operators. If for any reason a trip were to be stopped while in progress, Whitewater Asia will refund what we can recoup from tour operators for that part of the trip not completed.