by Egor Voskoboynikov
One of the best places for multiday kayaking in the world are Eastern Sayan mountains near Baikal Lake in Russia. Amazing beautiful nature, high mountains, challenging rivers and remoteness from civilization make this place attractive for fans of adventure. Together with my wife Alona Buslaeva I have spent a month in this area, travelling extensively in the rivers of the trips organized by Tomas Marnics
The Onot river was the first one on our list. Just a few kayak groups have been on this river before, so everything was new for us. It is a beautiful river flowing in the wilderness. There are two large, deep canyons, difficult rapids and two waterfalls that no one has ever paddled. The first one is 15 meters high, the second one 37 meters. But it looks completely unrunable. We had a big strong team and we had the appropriate flow, so we were able to organize a good safety and I was able to do the first descent of the first waterfall (15m). The waterfall was not dangerous, and 8 more people ran it after me. In addition to these waterfalls there are several must-runs in the canyons. With our water level we were able to run all of them easily and with a lot of fun! The Onot river left the best impression in us!
After Onot, we did two expeditions to rivers Kitoy and Biluty. They are considered to be the pearls of the Siberian rivers because of their beautiful marble canyons. I've been to these rivers in 2011 and Tomas was there with the Adidas Sickline team in 2009. Despite of the complexity of the trip - 9 days multiday kayaking and two days trekking with heavy boats on the Biluty river – it was a familiar trip for me. So I just tried to get maximum pleasure from the surrounding nature and the river. We were able to run both rivers without portaging, including the most difficult rapids which most people don´t run. We took a guitar with us, I tied it to the stern. It was quite a disadvantage while kayaking, but we had live music every night! In addition to the beautiful scenery, exciting rapids and nice weather we had a pleasant company of different people from all around the world on all the trips.
After kayak trips along these rivers, we stopped on Lake Baikal for a couple of days and enjoyed its beauty.