We have already talked about where you can raft along the Katun. The river is interesting because it is suitable for both experienced water enthusiasts and inexperienced amateurs, who are in the majority.
The rafting area, along which the most popular routes pass, covers part of the middle and lower Katun. It starts from the Oroktoy suspension bridge, which is located 40 km upstream from Chemal. In this place there are rapids of the 4th category of complexity Teldekpen-1 and Teldekpen-2, they are often called simply by the watermen. The water routes end in the area of Manzherok or the Aisky Bridge, then the Katun acquires a completely flat character.
A beginner, of course, should not immediately try to go all this way, it will not be possible to do it in a day. For a start, you should test yourself in express rafting, which lasts 5-6 hours and passes along one of the sections of the river within the boundaries indicated above.
As a rule, the organizers of rafting offer a choice of several routes: more and less extreme. Difficult routes include the passage of stumps, simple ones are downstream. You must also understand that a river is a changeable thing. The difficulty depends on the level of the water - the more there is, the more difficult. In addition, an experienced instructor can lead the group in different ways through the same threshold. Or find a barrel in the middle of the river and plunge the entire crew headlong, if someone suddenly lacks adrenaline. In any case, the instructor is not his enemy and always focuses on the composition of the group and the state of the river.
Short rafting on the Katun is carried out mainly on 10-seat rafts - this is a large inflatable boat. The raft crew consists of rowers and an instructor, who sits at the stern, controls the wheel and gives commands to the rowers. There are only three teams - row, paddle (that is, brake with an oar) and dry the oars (that is, rest). This is a simple matter, the briefing takes place before the start and takes about 15 minutes.
Every raft has a hermetic bag - it's such a waterproof bag. Cameras, camcorders, wallets, everything that is undesirable to wet is put into it. In calm areas, the equipment can be obtained, the necessary shots can be taken and put back before the next threshold.
All rafting participants must wear life jackets and helmets. Sometimes wetsuits are offered, plus it is that if you get wet or fall into the water, the wetsuit is warmer. The possibility of falling into the water cannot be ruled out.
Sometimes, even at the request of the group, the instructor specially turns the raft over to add sharp emotions to the vacationers.
The easiest option is to contact the administrator of the hotel where you are staying, he will probably have a lot of contacts and various options for rafting. You can go to the stands-tents, which are in many places in Altai in the most crowded places: in villages, near shops, and so on, where vacationers are offered various excursions. Well, or call the pre-recorded phone number to the company that organizes rafting on the Katun, below we will indicate a couple of them.
Rafting starts, as a rule, in the morning and you will need to find out where the group starts from, where you need to drive. Usually everyone meets at the agreed place, it can be some kind of camping, and from there they go by minibus with all the equipment to the starting point. Some organizers may specially pick you up at the hotel. Then, the minibus also picks up the entire group at the finish line and returns either to the meeting point or delivers to hotels.
If one of the purposes of your visit to Altai is to raft along the Katun, we recommend choosing a camp site in the Chemal region and its environs.
Lake Teletskoye is located in the northeast of Gorny Altai, at the junction with the Western Sayan ridge, in a submeridionally oriented basin of predominantly glacial-tectonic origin. The mirror of the lake is located at an absolute height of 436 m. From the north, the lake is bordered by a low ridge Torot, and from the west and south-west by the Altyn-tu, Sumultinsky and Iolgo ridges with absolute heights of 2000-2500 m. In the east lie the Korbu and Abakansky ridges, from the south the edge of the vast Chulyshman highland adjoins the lake. The ridges have wide steps, towering hundreds of meters above the lake's edge with steep, often sheer ledges, along which numerous waterfalls fall into the lake. Teletskoye Lake ranks fourth in Russia (25th in the world) among the deepest lakes, and is the most beautiful lake not only in Altai, but throughout the former USSR.
The length of Lake Teletskoye is 77.7 km, the average width is 2-3 km, the maximum width is up to 5 km. The northern part is extended in the latitudinal direction; the southern one, having made a turn of almost 90 degrees, is in the meridian.
Legend of Lake Teletskoye ... Once the gods were angry at the Altai people; the animals left the forests, the fish left the rivers and lakes; the trees and grasses have dried up; the cattle died out in the pastures. Workers-bees, and they did not store golden honey that year. Hunger has come to the Altai land - there is nothing to throw into the cauldron, nothing to put in the mouth, nothing to give the child.
People grieved; only one Altaian did not grieve - he had a piece of gold hidden away for a rainy day, large, as big as a horse's head. So that rainy day came, all the food in the yurt ended, the last piece of cake was finished, the last sip of kumis was finished. The Altai looked at his wife and children, pulled out a piece of gold from a secluded corner, grunted, put it on his shoulder and went to the surrounding camps - to exchange gold for jerky meat for himself, for fresh cakes for his wife, for mare's milk for children.
I walked for a long time, I walked around a lot of yurts, I saw a lot of people. People have no food; and even if anyone can find a piece of cake and a sip of milk, people do not want to exchange food for gold. It is beautiful, gold, brilliant, pleasing to the eye, joyous heart, but only cold and hard; you will not bite him, you will not throw him into the cauldron, you will not let the child eat. In vain did the Altai walk around the yurts, in vain he hauled a piece of gold the size of a horse's head. And when he was completely desperate, he climbed Mount Altyntau, which rises above the lake, cursed his bitter life and the cruel gods, and threw the gold far away into the lake. He threw it, and he jumped after him. A wave splashed, rolled onto the coast, and calmed down. And since then the lake has been called Altyn-Kol - Golden.
Biya is the second largest river (after the Katun) in the Gorno-Altai Republic. It receives the bulk of its water from Lake Teletskoye; the average annual water consumption at the outlet is 221 cubic meters. m per second. For the first 100 km, the average drop is about 1.5 ... 2 m per kilometer. The speed of the current is 7-9 km per hour, depending on the water level in Lake Teletskoye. The character of the river is mountainous and flat. Main left tributaries: Pyzha, Sarykoksha. Main right tributaries: Tula, Tondoksha, Lebed. There is practically no visible increase in the width of the river due to the fact that the listed tributaries add little water relative to Lake Teletskoye. At the source, the river is clean, gradually muddy tributaries carry out clay and sand, before Turochak the river becomes completely muddy. With distance from the source, the nature of the terrain practically does not change, except that the mountains become somewhat lower, but more picturesque.
Rafting down the Biya River from Lake Teletskoye is a fascinating water journey across the Altai Territory, starting in the east of Altai Mountains. The hike is designed for nine days, during which we will cover 245 km. To begin with, during a boat trip along the Stone Bay of the lake, we will see how two beautiful waterfalls rush into it: Korbu and Kishte.
During the rafting down the Biya river, we will overcome as many as eight rapids: Kargalash, Sliv, Sheki, Pyzhinsky, Sarykokshinsky, Kebezensky, Yutok, Verkhnebyysky. Many of them are double and even triple. Our route also passes by the Iconostasis rock with a bas-relief portrait of Vladimir Lenin, carved at a very high altitude above the river bed.
Rafting on the Biya will give an opportunity not only to admire the beauty of Altai from afar. The program includes days for a camping sauna, fishing, swimming in the river and lake, sunbathing. You can walk along the coast, climb the nearest hills, and after the end of the tour, continue your journey around the Altai Territory on your own.
The climate is sharply continental, the weather can change dramatically during the day, it rains quite often. Summer temperature during the day + 20 ... 30 ° С, at night + 10 ... 20 ° С.
The main regularity in the distribution of vegetation is different zonation. Mixed forest - pine, spruce side by side with birch, aspen. There are shrubs (currants, raspberries, ferns, etc.) along the river valleys. There are narrow fields and meadows in the river valley.
Altai water resources provide guests of the region with a unique opportunity for rafting. This type of active recreation in Altai has been one of the most widespread entertainment in this area for many years. Rafting on the rivers is possible on catamarans, kayaks, kayaks and rafts. Travel on an inflatable boat, raft is especially popular in the Altai region. First of all, because on calm river sections, rafting does not require special training from vacationers, it is enough to undergo instructions and carefully listen to the requirements of an experienced instructor, conscientiously fulfilling his commands during the passage of difficult sections of the path by the ship.
Altai has routes for all difficulty levels. Some of them are available even to children. For the more extreme, good physical and professional training is required. Rafting can be both short - from 2 to 6 hours, and long - several days with stops and overnight stays on the shore.
As a rule, if you are offered a water tour, this means a multi-day trip on the water with overnight stays in tents and visits to nearby attractions. It must be remembered that even in calm areas, unforeseen situations may arise, because this is extreme entertainment. Knowledge and adherence to safety instructions, following the instructions of the instructor is the guarantee of the safety of not only yours, but also everyone who is with you in the same team during this trip. For such entertainment, it is imperative to have two sets of clothes, since after passing you will need to change into something dry. The set of clothes for rafting includes sweatpants and a sports jacket made of waterproof fabric, sneakers and a life jacket. Tour companies always provide the participants with the necessary equipment, provide a qualified instructor with the appropriate skills and all the information about the route in various weather and hydrological conditions.
The Katun River is often compared to the main artery of the Altai Mountains. It passes through most of its territory and it is here that routes of almost any difficulty level are formed. The most popular places, and at the same time the safest and easiest ones, are located in the area of the lower Katun. Here its waters flow calmly and only occasionally you can find small barrels and rapids. In the middle Katun, approximately from Koksa to Sumulta, there are excellent places for sports tourism on the water of average difficulty. Here, those who already have experience in rafting and have a basic level of necessary physical training are rafting. For true boaters, there are many lesser known and more extreme trails. They pass on the tributaries of the Katun, with a steep slope. Only experienced tourists with high physical fitness go on such trips.
Due to the unique natural features, tournaments in various types of tourism are often held in Altai. For example, since 1978, competitions on the Chuya River - Chuya-rally have been held annually. 1989 they received international status. A great contribution to their organization was made by such well-known water industry professionals as M. Kolchevnikov and American Jib Alison.
For athletes, Altai water resources are an excellent base for training and competitions. In addition, emotional, spectacular championships are fun even for those who do not participate in them. It is very exciting to watch how experienced athletes masterfully fight the elements. If travelers most often go rafting, professional athletes show unique skill in handling catamarans and kayaks. It is worth noting that Altai athletes also regularly win prizes at major international competitions of a world scale in other regions and states. floats open to tourists the possibility of complete unity with nature, help to visit the most hidden corners of Altai and see it from a slightly different angle. During a water trip there is an opportunity every moment to enjoy the amazing beauty of mountain rivers, lakes, Altai mountains with impenetrable taiga and rich herbs of alpine meadows.
This is a classic 4-room boat trip. on catamarans. This is our best alloy. The organization of our trip is close to the organization of sports trips. Also, to the rafting program, there are added radial hiking exits to the mountains and training in the technique of water tourism. This is a unique journey for the strong in spirit. We will see the real Altai!
Rafting on the Katun takes place on six-seat sports catamarans (Catamarans Belraft 6tt, Raftmaster 808), each catamaran is driven by an experienced instructor (you need to understand that everyone on our catamaran participates in driving the catamaran, and this, in our opinion, much more interesting than rafting). Instructors will teach everything during the rafting, but the experience of rafting will be very useful to participate in this trip. Also in the group there is a 4-seater catamaran (Sterkh).
Before rafting on the Katun, we recommend visiting our catamarans training on the doorstep in Losevo! (Leningrad region)
We also have more difficult sports routes: Chuya-Katun, Zhombolok-Oka, Sumulta, Bashkaus-Chulyshman. Look, this is interesting!
The senior instructor will meet you in the city of Gorno-Altaysk (the exact time of the meeting and the local phone number of the instructor will be communicated to you by the coordinator of the hike, he will also answer your application for participation in the hike).
The route starts in the border area. For Russian citizens, entry there is free, and for citizens of other states, a pass is required. The pass is issued for 30 days, so if you are not a citizen of the Russian Federation, apply in advance and indicate in the note that you are NOT a citizen of Russia.
All participants must have personal belongings with them according to the list of equipment, everything else will be waiting for you with an instructor in the minibus trailer. For this trip, it is very important to RESPONSIBLY approach the choice of personal equipment: the water in Katun is very cold even in summer, and the weather is very changeable. Illiterate equipment can turn a trip into a struggle for survival in difficult conditions and badly affect your health! Therefore, we again recommend that you carefully read our recommendations for equipment, as well as go to one of the organizational meetings in our offices, talk to one of the instructors, ask about equipment and the route.
The water temperature in Katun varies, but it rarely rises above 15 degrees, in July. On average, the water will be no higher than 10 degrees. The air temperature in summer can be from 15 to 30 degrees, in September from 5 to 20 degrees, at night the summer temperature can drop to 5-10 degrees, and frosts are possible in September.
On the route, the phone is caught in some places by the MTS operator (twice per route). Other operators catch only 1 time per route. The instructor also has an emergency satellite phone.
Mosquitoes and midges are practically absent on the Katun. Ticks are also rare and only occur until mid-July. In August-September, they are practically absent. But when in the woods, it's best to always follow simple precautions to keep yourself safe from ticks.
Here are these simple recommendations: In the forest, and especially deciduous bushes, walk only in slippery synthetic clothing (not fleece, not cotton). It is difficult for ticks to catch on such clothes. Tuck the pants into boots or socks so that the pincers cannot crawl underneath. Ticks are always low enough from the ground, on grass and bushes, they cannot jump from a tree to their heads, so if you eliminate the possibility of hitting from the ground, they will not get to you.
Approximate daily routine: Wake up at 8:30 am, set up camp, breakfast. Exit to the river at 11 o'clock. Briefing and story about the day ahead. We raft for 3-4 hours, examine difficult rapids from the shore, undergo instructions and then go through. We get up in the evening parking at about 14-15 hours, prepare lunch and go to the radial exit. Sometimes lunch can be replaced with a snack, if the walking day is long and we get up around 17-18 hours. We cook food in turn at the stake, breaking up into groups of attendants. The instructors are as involved in the preparation of the food as the participants. Help and teach, if required.
There are more than two million rivers in Russia. Among them there are shipping giants, and small, rather like streams, channels. Of course, they are all important, but today let us remember those of them that not only feed or transport, but also entertain.
The Nerl is an absolutely simple river, without rapids and obstacles, and its banks are ideal for parking and rest. You can pass it from May to June, and then the river will become overgrown and shallow, becoming not very convenient for rafting. The kayak is considered the best vessel for the Nerl, if only because the catamaran does not go everywhere between the banks.
However, for those who do not like to row, there is a more comfortable option here - renting a motor boat, sometimes directly with the captain. If in May you can still meet groups of training schoolchildren here, then by summer only swimming summer residents remain on the Nerl.
The most vivid memory: “Of course, this is the moment when the snow-white Church of the Intercession-on-Nerl suddenly appears among the greenery. She is so touching, defenseless that you freeze in front of her, unable to tear yourself away. Many people drop the oar, and the boat just bumps into the shore. They say that it is better to see the church at sunrise or sunset, but this is nonsense - it is equally beautiful regardless of the time of day. "
Known to all water tourists, Msta is not only an excellent place for a spring warm-up before going out into the big water, but also a place for annual competitions in kayak and catamaran rafting. People come here on May holidays from all neighboring regions, and there is simply no place for parking on the shore.
However, by May 9, the crowd of tourists is already thinning and only on the Opechensky threshold is a volunteer rescue team on duty. It is also worth passing Mstu in the first half of May, because then the rapids become shallow and become uninteresting. However, after a snowy winter, the water can last until June. The only drawback of Msta is the numerous villages along the coast. Because of them, it is difficult to choose a place to sleep, and residents who are tired of tourists are not very friendly.
The most vivid memory: “The most unusual line that you can imagine gathers in front of the Opechensky threshold for the May holidays. Dozens of kayaks, kayaks, catamarans and rafts are waiting for their rafting right in the water. Of course, this happens only in the midst of preparation for the competition, but the spectacle is still unforgettable. "