Chuya / Bashkaus,
July 05, 2024

Other trips in Russia:

    Rafting the Chuya / Bashkaus, Siberia

    2024 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.

    Rafting on the Chuya River

    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.

    Tolya cooking on the Chuya River

    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.

    Upper Bashkaus with ECHO River Trips

    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

    Vladimir Gavrilov

    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.

    Detailed Itinerary

    A high excitement Class IV-V trip in Siberia!

    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.

    Days 1 – 2 – Fly to Beijing

    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.

    Day 3 – Fly from Beijing to Novosibirsk, Drive to Barnaul

    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.

    Day 4 – Drive to the Chuya River

    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.

    Days 5 – 7 – Rafting the Chuya

    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. Rapids of the Chuya River 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!

    Day 8 – Drive to the Bashkaus, Hike in

    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.

    Days 9 – 13 – Rafting the Bashkaus

    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. Rapid on the Kaa-Khem River in Siberia 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!). Layover Day on the River You’ll raft to the Saratan Canyon, take-out upstream of Ust’Ulagan Village, and spend one last night camping at take-out.

    Day 14 – Drive to Barnaul

    We will spend the night at the same hotel we stayed at on our way to the river, and have a group farewell dinner.

    Day 15 – Drive to Novosibirsk

    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.

    Day 16 – Fly to Beijing, Back to U.S.

    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!

    Dates and Prices

    Date: July 17 – August 1, 2020 Duration: 16 Days Activity: Class IV/V Rafting Meet: Novosibirsk, Russian Federation Price: $5700

    The Trip Cost Includes

    • All camping and rafting gear
    • Expert leadership
    • Airport transfers and hotels while in Russia
    • All group meals in Russia

    The Trip Does NOT Include

    • International airfare to Novosibirsk, Russia
    • Russian Visa fees
    • Guide gratuities

    Deposits and Payments

    Deposit: $500/person, due January 15, 2024 Final Payment: Remaining balance and airfare, due April 15, 2024

    Cancellations and Refunds

    Our trips to Siberia require extraordinary reservations and logistics beforehand. For this reason we cannot offer refunds for any reason.

    Travel Insurance

    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.

    Travel Documents

    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.

    Itinerary Changes

    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.

    Cancelled Trips

    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.

    What to bring?

    • A pair of river shorts or swimming costume.
    • A pair of Chacos or similar sandals. Trainers are also okay.
    • Long sleeved shirt to wear under your life jacket.
    • A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off.
    • Wide brimmed sunhat.
    • Sunglasses.
    • Chums for fastening your sunglasses to your head.
    • Nalgene or similar water bottle.
    • Carabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
    • Thermal Top Medium weight – Heavyweight Capilene or polypropylene is the best.
    • Waterproof sunscreen and lip balm SPF15 minimum
    • Lightweight long trousers.
    • Lightweight long Sleeved shirt.
    • Fleece jacket.
    • Down jacket
    • Ladies should bring a long skirt or sarong to cover your legs whilst in the company of locals.
    • Underwear.
    • Glasses or Contact lenses. Disposable lenses are ideal.
    • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
    • Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturizer.
    • Hand wipes
    • A 3-season sleeping bag and thermarest sleeping mat
    • Travel Pillow.
    • Small pack towel.
    • Headlamp or head torch and spare batteries.
    • Shoes or boots for the trek.
    • Insect Repellent.
    • Any medication you may be taking.

    Optional Items

    • Your favourite book or a journal for recording your river memories.
    • Sketchpad.
    • Photographic or video equipment. We recommend bringing your own waterproof casing and a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere. Bring a spare memory card or plenty of film. Also bring spare batteries for your camera.
    • Waterproof disposable for the “action” on the raft shots.
    • Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman.
    • An iPod or other music preferences. We have speakers.

    Personal Spending

    • The only money that you need to bring is for meals in town, souvenirs, DVD, personal items and the beer kitty for the raft trip if you drink. Please remember that many of the countries we visit do offer Credit Card and ATM facilities and for a small charge you can withdraw cash either from your account or Credit Card for convenience.
    • If you wish to pass on a gratuity to your guide we leave this entirely up to you.
    • Basically, we advise you to keep things as light as possible, without skimping on the essentials.

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