Travelers can be one of the few Westerners to descend one of Russia's most challenging rivers Veteran rafting company ECHO River Trips is announcing a new 16-day trip for its 2013 season on the Chuya and Bashkaus rivers in Russia.
This itinerary is largely unexplored, having only been touched by Russian rafting companies in the past decade; 2013 will mark the first year Western companies will traverse the rivers. The trip is for rafters with moderate skill and features Class II through Class IV whitewater. The Chuya and Bashkaus Rivers are located in the Altai region of southern Siberia, just north of the Mongolian border, a popular destination for Russian adventurers that has been overlooked by the rest of the world because of its remoteness. The huge region has very few villages and roads, but is covered in rivers, mountains, glaciers and Siberia's famous Taiga forests. Guests will warm up to the rivers by doing some practice runs on the Chuya, but the build up is all for the descent down the Bashkaus. The Bashkaus River is split into two different sections. The Lower Bashkaus is known to be one of the most difficult whitewater trips in the former Soviet Union boasting narrow canyons with high-reaching, slick canyon walls and class VI rapids. On this trip ECHO River Trips, adventurers will be sticking to the Upper Bashkaus. Guests will get all the glory of rafting one of the most esteemed sections of whitewater and enjoy the same magical wilderness of Siberia â but get to enjoy the fun of more manageable rapids. Along the Bashkaus River, participants will have opportunities to explore Altai villages (Saratan, Ust'-Ulagan). The Altai's way of life is derived from the nomads of Central Asia, but because they re-settled in the forested areas of southern Siberia, they mostly follow semi-settled traditions. ECHO River Trips' guests will get to learn about and interact with these self-sustaining villagers while exploring the region. Perhaps one of the most memorable local traditions rafters will get to experience is the traditional Russian banya (sauna). Travelers will also get to visit the infamous petroglyphs of the Chuya Trakt near the Russian-Mongolian border. Along the wild rivers of Siberia, travelers will be in the hands of their most knowledgeable guide, Vlad. A native Russian who took up roots in American in the 1990s, Vlad is always eager to share his years' worth of experiences living and working in the USSR. Northwest Rafting Company will also be bringing along local Russian guides as support to lend their knowledge of the local culture and wilderness. Departing on July 17, 2013, land costs for this new itinerary in Siberia trip start at $4,495 a person and includes accommodations, meals, equipment, and knowledgeable guides. For more information, contact Nancy Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-568-7423. About ECHO River Trips: Founded in 1972 by owners Joe Daly and Dick Linford, ECHO quickly grew from a fledgling boating business into a world-class river outfitter offering multiday family rafting trips on the Rogue River in Oregon and Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River. ECHO also runs international rafting expeditions in Bhutan, Turkey, Siberia, and Patagonia. In recent years ECHO River Trips has been honored with accolades from National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside Magazine. The first 40 years were good to ECHO, and they are looking forward to another 40 years of world class family rafting on the world's most spectacular rivers. ###