Putorana is a very special place at the very north of Siberia. Surrounded by thousands of kilometers of arctic plains, these fortress-like mountains amaze everyone's mind when approaching them in a helicopter. By the way, a helicopter in the only option for the put-in and take-out.
The plateau itself is quite low (just 1000-1500m above sea level) and flat, valleys are often filled with long narrow fiord-type lakes and rivers typically have only one sort of whitewater interest - waterfalls. These falls can be HUGE and almost none of them have ever been attempted.
There is no local population in the area, with exception of casual hunters or fishermen. Nearest settlements are few hundred kilometers away from the plateau, separated by impassable swamp, taiga and tundra. While paddling there, you're on your own.
Type of Paddling
Expedition-style waterfall hunting. Rivers themselves are flat enough to have little interest, but the falls and canyons well worth visiting. Due to logistics problems Putorana is mainly for those who love wilderness traveling and do not mind taking time for a hardcore expedition in the middle of nowhere. Since many rivers have not been visited at all, there's much potential for exploration and first descents. Emergency escape can only be made using a helicopter, thus bringing a GPS and a satellite phone becomes a VERY good idea.
Season & Climate
Second half of July (early July is an option to seek high water and early August is the latest acceptable season). Being well beyond the Arctic Circle, Putorana keeps its snow and ice till late June. Summer is very short and weather is unpredictable, one day can be hot but next day you can get snow, although most days are just "cold and wet". Rivers are at low altitude of 400-800 m and are snow-fed so water level drops through July. Mosquitoes are hungry and countless, asking you to take appropriate measures.
Getting There & Away
The only way to get there is a flight from Moscow to Norilsk - the only city in the region and a major nickel mining and processing center in Russia. Toxic emissions have killed everything around the city, but thanks God it is far enough to the west from Putorana itself.
Putorana and Norilsk are for whatever reason borderland restricted areas (they are probably afraid of polar bears?), and you need to get appropriate permit in advance.