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River Guide • Altai • Akkem
Rivers by Region

Difficulty in August: 4-5
From: Akkem Lake - Alt. 2020 m (6630 ft)
To: Katun Confluence - Alt. 810 m (2660 ft)
Distance: 35 km (22 miles)
River Days: 2-4 (plus 2-3 days trekking in)
Average Gradient: 35 m/km (175 ft/mile)
Est. Max Gradient: 50-80 m/km (250-400 ft/mile)
Typical Flow in August: 15-20 cms (500-700 cfs)
Best Season: August
First-hand Information: NO

Akkem area map
Akkem area map

The Akkem is smallest of three rivers that flow straight north from the Katun Range, meeting Katun where it passes eastwards along the range.

The river starts from snow and glacier fields straight at the north face of Mt. Belukha, which rises stunning, nearly vertical 2 km wall (known as the Akkem Wall) above the upper valley. Just as neighboring Kucherla, the Akkem then passes through a lake (known as Akkem Lake) before start dropping down to Katun confluence.

The river has prevalent snow- and glacier- component, and is not recommended for run in July as the water is too high then. But thanks to the lake buffering its drainage, the Akkem hardly have water fluctuations from morning to evening.

Access & Logistics
The only way to get to the river is hiking up the valley, all the way from Katun confluence. The major trail that leads to Belukha goes along the left bank of the Akkem, at times so close to the river that you may slip into the water.

Take-out is possible at the Katun confluence; or you can proceed down the Katun river (see Katun description for details).

There are no settlements in Akkem valley and you should be self-sufficient on this trip. Still, being so busy with trekkers, there may be some supplies available at Akkem Lake. There’s also a weather station at the lake.

River Description
There is no reliable information about the river; although it is highly unlikely it has not been run before. Gradient values and few photos available suggest that for most of the distance it should be at least quite sustained class 4 run.

Akkem Lake, Akkem Wall and Mt. Belukha Akkem River Akkem River Akkem River

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