|Difficulty in August:||2-3 (5)|
|From:||Obogo - Alt. 860 m (2820 ft)|
|To:||Biya Confluence - Alt. 420 m (1380 ft)|
|Distance:||60 km (37 miles)|
|Average Gradient:||7 m/km (35 ft/mile)|
|Est. Max Gradient:||60-70 m/km (300-350 ft/mile)|
|Typical Flow in August:||20-25 cms (700-900 cfs)|
The Pyzha is a left tributary of Biya, the only river flowing out of Teletskoye Lake. It is not a particularly interesting whitewater journey with exception of a 1-km long “waterfall” section.
The river starts on the plateau west to Teletskoye Lake (not far from sources of Greater Chili) and generally flows to the north and parallel to the lake. Upper part of the river is rather flat and boring, as well as the lower part before Biya confluence.
In the middle stretch the river makes a left elbow, cutting through a mountainous range and creating a 10 km medium difficulty gorge. The only really attractive whitewater feature in the gorge is a so-called “Pyzha Falls” section, about 1-km long and consisting of some quite hard and dangerous steep rapids and falls. This section has been kayaked once in 2001.
Access & Logistics
The good paved road goes all the way up the Biya, to the Iogach (also called Artybash) village at the point where Biya flows out of the lower end of the lake. This road is easily accessible from either Gorno-Altaisk or Biysk. From Iogach a 40-km rough road goes south to a small forester’s post Obogo located on the right bank of the Pyzha. The road then continues for another 10 km down the river and allows saving some distance paddling the flat meandering section near Obogo.
Take-out is at the Biya confluence or anywhere down the Biya on the Biysk-Iogach road mentioned above.
There are no roads or settlements for 20-25 km below Obogo. There are some farms and tiny settlements in the lower stretches of the river, but they can be well abandoned the time you come there, so you should be self-supported on this river.