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River Guide • Altai • Kadrin
Rivers by Region

Difficulty in August: 4-5
From: Ulusuk Confluence - Alt. 1180 m (3870 ft)
To: Katun Confluence - Alt. 650 m (2130 ft)
Distance: 70 km (44 miles)
River Days: 2-4 (plus 3-4 days trekking in and 1-2 days paddling out)
Average Gradient: 8 m/km (40 ft/mile)
Est. Max Gradient: 30-35 m/km (150-175 ft/mile)
Typical Flow in August: 20-30 cms (700-1000 cfs)
Best Season: July-August
First-hand Information: NO

Kadrin area map
Kadrin area map

The Kadrin is a medium size right tributary of Katun, the major river of the Altai; it is almost-never-run river mostly because of terrific access to the put-in.

The river starts on an uninhabited plateau between Katun and Teletskoye Lake and generally flows west all the way to Katun confluence. The Kadrin has several class 4 gorges (with some definite class 5 rapids), separated by long easy sections. Reportedly, the river contains a 12 m waterfall, but there is no information whether it is runnable or not.

The way to the put-in requires long and difficult trek from somewhere in the middle Bashkaus valley, from the middle Sumulta valley or from the Aktash – Ulagan road.

A weird thing about the river that everyone notices its volume apparently slightly decreases by the confluence; possibly because of water leakage into some underground caverns. Time to think and be cautious about undercuts...

Access & Logistics
Apart from hiring a helicopter, any other way to the put-in is highly arduous; this area is equally distant from any road to the east, west, north, and south.

Two groups that reportedly have been on this river were trekking from middle Bashkaus (east) and middle Sumulta (north) valleys correspondingly, but neither way seems to be optimal. Both treks involve crossing several passes with significant altitude gain and drop and it took them 5 to 6 days to get there.

According to local sources the best way to the upper Kadrin is from the south, starting halfway at the Aktash - Ulagan road (see Bashkaus description for details). Theoretically you can try to hire horses in Ulagan or nearby settlements. A large shepherd’s trail goes north along the plateau, avoiding major climbing and descents. Overall trek distance is about 50-60 km (30-35 miles) and should be possible in 3-4 days. Nobody has undertaken this trek though.

There’s no road on the Katun river at the Kadrin confluence, and you will have to proceed down the Katun to the nearest village (Kuyus, Elanda or Chemal, 1-2 days, see Katun description for details).

The entire trip must be planned completely self-supported; there are no settlements along the way. Reportedly there is a hunting resort with a helipad on the middle Kadrin, but there’s no guarantee it will exist when you come there.

Emergency escape from the river most likely has to be hiking along the river down to Katun confluence, because all gorges are relatively short and valley is quite open most of the time. The Chuya Road comes to the left bank of the Katun about 10 km above Kadrin confluence; therefore you would have to cross the Katun somehow to access the road.

River Description

Ulusuk to Hunting resort, 20 km (13 miles) – 1-2 days
The river is formed by three nearly equal streams – Tayozen, Ulusuk, and the Kadrin itself. From this point it is nearly flat for 6-8 km, flowing through densely forested area. Beware of log heaps, often multiyear, those often block the whole river and require portages.

First major class 5 rapid, The Wreckage, some 500 m long, comes clearly marked by the landslide from the left and sharp gradient rise. About 2-3 km later there is another 300 m long class 5- rapid, The Dinosaur.

Several easier rapids come in the following 2-3 km, and then Kadrin enters rock corridor just before Sugary, first noticeable left tributary comes in; 12 m waterfall is located few hundred meters below confluence. A rapid of undeclared difficulty immediately precedes the fall and another difficult rapid immediately follows it. There is no detailed information about the fall itself, and it is not clear if it can be run; scout/portage right.

After about one km of flat water another big tributary, Odunsuk, comes in from the right and 2-3 more km of flat lead in two difficult rapids, Karatash (5-) and Ufimsky (5/5+) . The latter one contains several insane chutes between rock walls and apparently has not been run yet.

After Ufimsky the river eases to flat again, and exits the gorges. Few houses of a hunting reserve can be seen on the right bank in about 4-5 km.

Hunting resort to Katun confluence, 50 km (31 miles) – 1-2 days
Flat section with some multiyear log heaps requiring portages continues for the next 8-10 km, where the river gradually enters another gorge, and another long 700-900 m class 5 rapid, The Rafting Rapid, follows.

Yet more 20 km of nearly flat water leads into last class 5/5- rapid, The Kadrin Gate, however this appears to be slightly easier than previous ones. From here it is only 20 km left to the confluence; this stretch is class 2-3 with possibly one 4- rapid straight at the mouth of the Kadrin.

As you enter the Katun, continue down and take out at Kuyus, Elanda or Chemal (see Katun description for details).

Trekking towards Kadrin Upper Kadrin Upper Kadrin, logs in the river The Wreckage
The Dinosaur 12 m waterfall and the rapid afterwards The Karatash The Ufimsky
The Ufimsky The Rafting Rapid The Kadrin Gate Katun confluence

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