Chuya and Bashkaus Rivers
A trip to Siberia was the dream of a few ECHO guides and guests for years. That dream became a reality in 2011 when Zach and Vlad took an American-Italian-Russian group to the Tuva Republic in the heart of Siberia. During our trip to the Kaa-Khem River, we experienced true wilderness (read trip report). We laid around the fire, ate fish and delicious Russian foods, picked berries and mushrooms in the taiga (forest), enjoyed a traditional Siberian sauna and, of course, ran some big water rapids.
In 2012, Vlad took another ECHO group to the legendary Chuya and Katun' Rivers in the Altai mountains (read trip report). Our guests love Siberia! We received wonderful responses from guests of both trips, and in 2013, we will return to Siberia for another great trip on the Chuya and Bashkaus Rivers!
The Chuya and Bashkaus Rivers
2013's 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.
Our Expedition Leader
Vlad is a legendary ECHO 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. Before coming to the States, Vlad was an expedition leader in the USSR who literally wrote the book (Rivers of an Unknown Land) on rafting in Siberia. His vast river-running experience, great sense of humor, and knowledge of Siberian rivers makes our trips to Siberia that much more incredible. Read more on his blog!