Next summer, seven kayakers will be setting out to explore one of the most remote and untouched regions of the world when they begin a paddling expedition of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, located in the far east of that country. There aim is to raise public awareness of the region, which they call one of the last truly wild places on the planet.
The expedition is called the Kamchatka Project and it will focus on making the first descents of at least three rivers on the peninsula, which remains mostly unexplored, and with one of the lowest population densities on the planet, with fewer than one person per square kilometer.
The rivers that the team intends to run are wild waterways that flow unhindered by a single dam. They are also the spawning ground for nearly a quarter of the world’s salmon population, while offering up some of the gnarliest whitewater on the planet. If that wasn’t enough, the dense forests surrounding the rivers are teeming with brown bears and a variety of other wild creatures.
The aim of the expedition is to explore the impact of caviar poaching on the salmon population in the region, and how that effects the indigenous people living there as well. The team will use kayaks to gain access to never before explored regions, allowing them to get up close to the species they feel are most threatened.
As if making a couple of first descents on unexplored rivers through some of the roughest terrain on the planet wasn’t enough of a challenge, their website has this to say about some of the other challenges they expect to face:
The team’s adventure will go well beyond salmon and class 5 whitewater: the Russian government, mafia, enormous grizzly bears, sketchy Soviet-era helicopters, miles of hiking, and cultural barriers will all test the team’s ability to complete the project.
Seriously? The Russian Mafia? This has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster movie. Crazy!
Thanks to Anna over at Wend for dropping me a note on this one. Looks like a great expedition!
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