Moments Count kayaking the bashkus river

Jun 8, 2011 by

kayaking the bashkus river

Even in a land known for extremes, Siberia’s Bashkaus River stands out. In a remote backwater near Mongolia, it tumbles 32 feet (8 meters) per mile for 130 miles (209 kilometers). (By comparison, the Colorado River drops eight feet (2 meters) per mile through the Grand Canyon.) The gradient churns up a maelstrom of rarely run rapids, jagged rocks, and traps known as siphons, all sandwiched between stunning but inescapable gorge walls. “It was the toughest and most rewarding experience that I have ever been through,” says pro kayaker Sam Sutton, part of a 2010 Adidas-sponsored expedition (pictured). Of the few who attempt it, those who succeed reach the fabled riverside memorial built for six expert kayakers who perished there in 1976. Inside lies the Book of Legends, inscribed with the names of those who’ve faced one of the world’s most difficult rivers–and lived to tell the tale. Return to Gallery

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