Eastern Sayan Mountain Cat-Rafting Adventure
9 days / June - September
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Tackle the Orkha-Bom Canyon, one of the toughest sections of river rafting in all of Siberia.
• Marvel at the beauty of the Eastern Sayan Mountains, one of the planet’s most remote and beautiful ecosystems.
Day 1: IRKUTSK
We will meet you at the airport and help you through customs and immigrations before we drive you to Kultuk – a community located on the south shore of Lake Baikal. From there, we will drive south towards the Mongolian boarder and continue along a rough road into the very heart of the Eastern Sayan Mountains. We’ll set up camp on a riverbank late in the evening and cook dinner.
Day 2: ON THE RIVER
As part of the team, you will help your guides pack the food and camping equipment in dry bags and fix them onto the vessels. We will tackle our first rapids, which are ideal for brushing up on your skills and forging our band into a team. En route, we’ll stop for a riverside lunch at the confluence of the Zhom-Bolok and Oka rivers. The rafting will get steadily more challenging and in the afternoon we will approach the most thrilling section of the river – the 60 km long Orkha-Bom Canyon, which boasts 73 river obstacles of different classes. You can get an idea of just how much adrenaline you’ll be pumping from the names alone: “God Bless Me in Passing,” “Watermill,” and “Centrifuge.” After we make camp, you can take a short pre-dinner hike to a beautiful 20-meter high waterfall.
Day 3: ON THE RIVER
You will spend the day getting soaked as you tackle some of the most challenging rapids in Siberia under the expert tutelage of our guides. How far we will travel before we camp will depend entirely on the weather and the water level, since rainfall can dramatically increase the speed and depth of the river quite suddenly.
Day 4: ON THE RIVER
We will continue down the canyon until we reach the confluence of the Oka, Khoito-Oka and Urdu-Oka rivers. You’ll spend the day going up and down waves that can reach as high as 3 meters! It will be essential that the entire team works together to prevent capsizing in this twisting section of the river.
Day 5: ON THE RIVER
We will spend the day resting and fishing, or making up travel time if we’ve experienced delays due to the weather.
Day 6 & 7: ON THE RIVER
We will have made it through the menacing canyon, but we will still have plenty of work left to do! Sharp bends and powerful currents will require a lot of effort and teamwork. However, as the river valley widens out and we approach the first islands, you will have some time to stretch your legs. This part of the river is famous for good fishing and there are some beautiful camping sites.
Unfortunately, current Russian environmental standards differ from American ones. On this expedition, we must follow Russian (local) standards. In Siberia, we leave all the organic refuse for the animals and fish, burn our paper, and pack out all of our cans, plastic, and glass. We use firewood (not gas stoves) when convenient. On this expedition, there are no organized camping grounds with toilets, or special places for tents and fires. It’s a truly remote destination.
• We will make one fire for cooking and another for drying our clothes. We will remain friendly to nature but may have to cut down a tree or a bush if it grows on a spot we find ultimately convenient for our camp. Naturally, we do not cut living trees for fire wood but instead look for dead/downed trees.
• In general these standards are very different than our intended practice or environmental standards at Wandrian Adventures and we believe it will take generations to change the situation. But we promise you that our expeditions will be part of the solution and not part to the problem.