Altai - One of the Best Kayaking Regions in Russia
Born of King of Asia
The idea of the King of Asia came about in the spring of 2010, when the first rumors about the construction of hydroelectric power plant were around. Several years ago in Austria, group of local kayakers managed to stop a construction of a similar kind on their local river. They organized now world-famous competition "Adidas Sickline", attracting sponsors, mass media and spectators. Team Riverzoo.ru following Austrian's example, have managed to preserve the Altai gorge untouched by organizing their very first race, the King of Asia in 2010. Four years ahead, the popular and successful event is still going strong and we can look forward to another great whitewater race this June 31 - August 2.
Location - Mazhoyski Stage
The race takes place in the Mazhoy gorge of the Chuya River, 80 km long, significant right tributary of the Katun River. The Mazhoy gorge became popular among extreme kayakers for its powerful class 5/5+ rapids. Right here, the Mazhoysky Cascade, one of the best rafting areas in the country, the most difficult stage thresholds 20 km long, will put King of Asia's competitors to the test.
First passed on an inflatable raft in 1976 by a team of Michael Kochevnikov, the Mazhoy still remains the top spot. That's why more and more kayakers from different cities and countries come here every year. No wonder, the last part of the cascade was compared with the legendary Yangtze and Zambezi and the famous rivers of Costa Rica and Nepal. But back then, it took weeks to pass the cascade. Nowadays, experienced kayakers conquer it in approximately 2-3 hours.
"This place is a very powerful, emotional and full of energy. Indeed, some say that when checking out of the canyon, you feel like a hero. When the canyon ends and you swim on a smooth water, you're like being born again." - Alain Buslaeva from Kiev talks about his first rafting on the Lower Mazhoyu.
To sum it up, the area around Chuya River is the most interesting and accessible kayaking spot in the Altai. Here you can go several times a day and never get bored. The river is followed on its right bank by the Chuya Road, one of the main routes connecting Siberia and Mongolia, full of shops, internet, and even a few little hospital accommodations for those who like comfort and white sheets; all of this together with the river makes Mazhoy one of the best whitewater locations.
King of Asia 2014 Schedule:
9:00 – Registration
13:00 – Qualifications K1M
21:00 – Kayak cinema
12:00 – Qualifications K1W
17:00 – Chineese Race
12:00 – Superfinals
18:00 – Prize giving ceremony
21:00 – Party. Fireshow. Russian Bar
Organizers headquarter: Chibit village, Altai Republic, Russia - Mazhoysky Cascade Golf Residence.
Coordinates: 50.322998, 87.505245
Editors note: Very soon, the Mazhoyskogo Cascade and surround lakes of the area might be due to the planned construction of hydroelectric power plants. If someone cares for Mazhoyskogo stage and someone have an idea how you can save this unique place, please send an e-mail to Riverzoo.ru - firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently the construction of HPP cascade is suspended.
King of Asia 2013
All images are courtesy of RiverZoo; Copyrights applied.