|Difficulty in August:||3-4|
|From:||Saigonosh Confluence – Alt. 1540 m (5050 ft)|
|To:||Katun Confluence - Alt. 560 m (1830 ft)|
|Distance:||70 km (44 miles)|
|River Days:||2-3 (plus 2 days trekking and 1 day paddling out)|
|Average Gradient:||14 m/km (70 ft/mile)|
|Est. Max Gradient:||20-25 m/km (100-125 ft/mile)|
|Typical Flow in August:||15-20 cms (500-700 cfs)|
The Sumulta is a medium size right tributary of Katun, the major river of the Altai; it is very popular river due to its proximity to the city of Gorno-Altaisk and moderate difficulty.
The river in fact consist of two major sources, called Smaller Sumulta (right) and Greater Sumulta (left) correspondingly, which join only 20 km before Katun confluence. The combined river is also often called Greater Sumulta.
The run is always begins on the Smaller Sumulta, because the other source is too far from the road head and the trek there would take at least 4 days.
Access & Logistics
When driving from Gorno-Altaisk, the Chuya road leaves Katun River at the village of Ust-Sema. A dead-ended local road still goes up the Katun, via Chemal, Elanda and Edigan to Kuyus.
Edigan village is the place to hire horses (according to reports, is not a big deal here) and start trekking up the small stream Edikhta towards the Tamanel pass. The trail then follows the ridge in north-east direction, crossing sources of couple of small rivers. Finally, it swings east, climbs Saigonosh pass and follows the creek of the same name all the way down to Smaller Sumulta confluence.
There’s no road on the Katun river at the Sumulta 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.