The best rivers for catamarans in Russia

The history of domestic tourist frame kayaks: from Nicholas II to Soviet water tourists

A mountain sheep or argali, sometimes argali, kachkar, arkar is a wild and very graceful cloven-hoofed animal from the bovine family that lives in the highlands of Central Asia (Himalayas, Tibet, Altai). This is the largest ram in the world. Experts did not agree on the number of ram species; many taxonomists identify 7 species. The term "mountain sheep" itself is used both in relation to all species and to one species - arkhara.

Species origin and description

In Latin, Ovis ammon is an artiodactyl mammal belonging to the bovid family. The name "arkhar" is a Mongolian word meaning "wild sheep". The Latin name for the species ammon is the name of the god Amun. According to the myth of Ovid, the inhabitants of Olympus, out of fear of Typhon, reincarnated into various animals. Amon took the form of a ram.

Currently 9 subspecies are recognized:

  • Altai mountain sheep;
  • Kazakh;
  • Tibetan;
  • Tyanshansky;
  • Pamir;
  • Gobi;
  • Karatau;
  • North Chinese;
  • Kyzylkum mountain sheep.

Some experts have classified the mouflon as Ovis Ammon Musimon, but DNA testing has not confirmed this. Several subspecies of the mountain sheep were genetically tested for the presence of DNA, as a result of which new subspecies were discovered, and some subspecies were grouped into one subspecies. Over the past two hundred years, the number of all subspecies of mountain sheep has declined.

Video: Mountain Sheep

It should be noted that the decline in the number of these rams poses a threat to the populations of predators that prey on them. They also play an important role in the succession of some plants because their sedge-eating habit allows the herbs to thrive.

Appearance and features

Photo: What a mountain sheep looks like

The bighorn sheep, or shank, or bighorn sheep (Latin Ovis nivicola - "a ram that lives in the snow") is a species of artiodactyls from the genus of rams. Distributed in Eastern Siberia.

Some authors do not distinguish the bighorn sheep as a separate species, but classify it as a bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) as a subspecies of Ovis canadensis nivicola.

Bighorn sheep are very beautiful, large animals for their kind. Males are noticeably larger than their partners, they gain weight in 140 - 160 kg, females are small compared to them, only 70 kg.

Weight also depends on the time of year, in the summer, individuals eat enough, adding well to the mass, which cannot be said about the winter period, when it is often necessary to survive on the body's fat reserves.

The first at the withers grow up to 115cm, the body length is a little more than one and a half meters, the second is not higher than a meter, with a body length of up to 60cm.



The horns give the animal a special flavor. They are big and pretty. They begin to grow almost in the middle of the forehead, at the base, a diameter of 30 cm.

At first, the horns are twisted back a little, then, like a spiral, they are scrolled and directed with their tips down and forward. The bases are crowned with keratinized age rings.

Their average length is 1m. Only males can boast of such luxurious horns; in the weaker sex, the processes are much smaller, directed backward and slightly curved upward.

The thick neck sits on a stocky, knocked-down body. The loin is straight, wide, the tail is small, 10 - 12 cm. The legs are thick, short, ending in large hooves.

The ram's body is covered with thick, coarse hair. Two changes of wool cover take place per year. The first occurs in autumn, when a dense undercoat begins to grow under the short summer coat.

His hairs are soft, but thick, which helps out well in sub-zero temperatures. In spring, wool sheds, freeing the body from excess mass, helping to regulate temperature, saving from heat. A short, soft hairline remains.

Just make a reservation: sports kayaks are out of this material, I will write only about tourist ones, on which they rest, and not places at sports competitions are taken. Also, I will not touch on the topic of tourist kayaks - there is a separate article about them.

Kayaks of Emperor Nicholas II (), his family and his entourage

Grand Duke Nikolai Alexandrovich fell in love with kayaking in childhood, when he visited the Gatchina residence of his father, Emperor Alexander III, with its large ponds. In May 1881, his parents gave Nikolai the first kayak for 13 years. It was made in the Boat Workshop of the St. Petersburg River Yacht Club for 245 rubles: kayak - 200 rubles, tarpaulin - 15 rubles, 2 stands - 5 rubles, delivery of drawings and models on May 6 - 5 rubles, delivery of the kayak to Gatchina with a messenger - 20 rubles.

On May 13, 1917, in the diary of Nicholas II it is written: "I rode in a kayak and a boat."

The history of collapsible kayaks ()

The first folding kayak was made in 1907 by Johannes Klepper and Alfred Heurich.

In 1955, his kayak was already a set of various improvements and adaptations.

The very first kayaks in the USSR appeared in the 1950s. It was "Ray". Length 5.1 m, width 0.86 m, carrying capacity - up to 300 kg. Weight - from 35 to 40 kg.

The "Ray" was very difficult to assemble.

No. already on it it was possible to sail with a sail - few know about this feature of kayaks, even many who went on them are not aware.

Salute M-,

Produced by the Moscow plant "Salut" (hence the name) until the mid-1970s, after which they were discontinued and replaced by kayaks of the "Taimen" series.

On this ship I learned to go kayaking and crossed the Belaya River.

Rivers for rafting on catamarans flow in our country in abundance. There are forest or lowland reservoirs in all regions, so every water manager will find at least one route for a quiet hike near his city.

Recreational rafting does not require exceptional skill and special equipment, but you just have to start ... Most water tourists still want to try white water. This article has a suitable route for everyone in terms of difficulty.

How to choose a place for a water trip

Choosing a river for rafting is not a trivial task for novice water enthusiasts, so you can't do without help in the first trips. To begin with, you can contact the Tourist and Sports Union of Russia, whose specialists develop categorical routes for all types of tourism. It is worth looking at the main river classifications.

Experience Orientation

The first thing to take into account is the experience, both floating and tourist, since trials during a hike are not only water trials. Setting up a camp, orientation on the terrain, setting up belay and providing first aid - all participants in the rafting should have such skills.

Beginners should prefer the simple but picturesque routes of Karelia and the Urals. There are a dozen run-in paths in the Caucasus, but they have peculiarities: complication by canyons or local rapids, the passage of which is only possible for a prepared group. Before the hike, you need to find out the current water level on the planned section of the path.

Experienced tourists prefer the Caucasus, Altai and Sayan Mountains. In these three regions for rafting in Russia, there are the most difficult, legendary rivers. But it should be remembered that on rivers of the highest category of complexity, any mistake can become fatal.

Goal and interests of the trip

The second criterion for choosing a region for a water trip on a catamaran is its purpose:

  • A specific river. If a group wants to pass a certain river without considering other options, the issue of choosing a region will be solved automatically.
  • Increase the difficulty category. The group went, for example, several routes 4 k. and wants to level up. Rivers 5 K. there are several places, so you have to choose between them. Usually they prefer those that are closer, where it is easier with the transfer and there is the possibility of emergency exits from the route.
  • Educational and contemplative interest. Hikes provide an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with various sights, and often water workers choose the river, for example, in the Sayan Mountains to see Baikal, or in Karelia to visit Kizhi.
Amur Region

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