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Stone people of Sundurun
Stone people of Sundurun

Hiking expedition in Yakutia

New
Stone people of Sundurun
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
15 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 16 person
Duration
20 days

Accommodation during the trip

16 nights
2 nights
1 night

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 August 2022
  • 6 August 2022
End date:
25 August 2022
1 615 EUR

We invite you to join our expedition to one of the most unexplored and hard-to-reach corners of Yakutia — to the Sundurun River Valley. Here unique stone pillars of sandstone and quartz stand right in the middle of the subarctic tundra. The Even people called  these giants, as high as a 10-story building, "The Stone People of Sundurun". They remind of one of the seven wonders of Russia — the famous stone pillars on the Manpupuner plateau. However, there are not only 7 of them, but several hundreds, scattered on the territory of about 100 square kilometers!

New
Stone people of Sundurun
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 15 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 16 person
Duration
20 days

Accommodation during the trip

16 nights
2 nights
1 night

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 August 2022
  • 6 August 2022
End date:
25 August 2022
1 615 EUR

Experiences you'll have

Trekking to the Sundurun river rocks

The Sundurun River Valley in Yakutia is a real "terra incognita". The first photos of the Sundurun Stone People were made by biologist and photographer Alexander Dersu during his aerial expedition to count reindeer in the Yakut tundra in 2012. Since then, this place attracts the most sophisticated travelers and lovers of unconventional routes. However, it is not easy to get here: complete remoteness from civilization and the influence of the East Siberian Sea tides complicate the logistics. 

You have to cover 400 kilometers by small vessels along the northern rivers Indigirka, Sundurun and Kolyma Bay of East Siberian sea and pass over 40 kilometers on foot along the tundra. You will be accompanied by experienced instructors and local guides who will show you the main natural treasures of Sundurun Valley.

:Highlights of the expedition:

  • you will get acquainted with the wild world of the Yakut tundra — there is a great chance to meet polar and brown bears, reindeer and Arctic foxes on the route
  • visit a small island in the East Siberian Sea, where rare birds are nesting, such as white crane or Siberian crane, which are included in the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • feel like a real paleontologist — in the Sundurun river valley you can find the remains of prehistoric animals: mammoths, cave bears and etc.
  • see the "Stanchik" church — the monument wooden architecture related to XVIII century, as well as  the northernmost church in the world
  • if desired you can also visit the ancient village of Russkoye Ustye (Rus. for Russian River’s Mouth), where you will get acquainted with the everyday life and traditions of the Cossacks

Itinerary

The journey starts in Yakutsk, where you should get to on your own. We recommend you to arrive the day before the start of the program and rest in a hotel before the start of the expedition (accommodation is extra paid).

 

We are ready to assist with the purchase of tickets. If necessary, leave a comment in the application. 

Day 1 Flight to Chokurdakh village

After arrival to Yakutsk, you will take a flight to Chokurdakh village via a local airline (flight tickets for the flight from Yakutsk at 12:20 am and transfer to the airport are paid additionally).

 

At Chokurdakh airport you will be met by local guides and taken to the guest house where you will have dinner and rest

Days 2-3 Along the Indigirka river to the East Siberian Sea

These days you will travel by small motor boats to the first base camp on the Sundurun River. At the beginning the route will pass along the Indigirka River. Along the way you will make a stop to visit the ancient "Stanchik" church, built in the XVIII century. It is considered to be the northernmost Orthodox church in the world. 

 

Then you will move along the northern arm of the Indigirka River Delta to the Kolyma Bay and reach the East Siberian Sea. You will land on a small island for some rest and bird watching. Here you will find Canadian goose nestings, and see white and gray cranes, which are included in the Red Data Book of Russia. Polar bears also often come to this island.

 

Then you travel a further 170 km along the Sundurun River to get to the first base camp. During the river crossing you will see ancient yurts and abandoned fishermen's plots along the shore. You will spend the nights in tents these days.

 

The length of the route is 400 km by boat (9 hours during the first day, 5 hours during the second day).

Days 4-5 Reserve day

These days will be used as the reserve days in case of low water level in the rivers. At low tide there are long shoals in these areas that make it difficult for boats to navigate.

 

If the waterborne trip to the first camp was successful on the previous days, these days you will have additional walks to the Sundurun stone pillars. In case the boat cannot reach the first base camp by water, you will have to hike about 11 km with the backpacks.

Days 6-14 The The Stone People of Sundurun

On these days you will explore the unique landscapes of the Beyl Urukchen Sundurun. The name translates from the Even language as "Stone People of Sundurun". They are unique rock outcrops of sandstone and shale up to 30 m high, scattered in the middle of the tundra on the territory of about 100 sq. km. The rocks have a variety of forms: some of them resemble figures of people and animals, others resemble stone castles and intricate structures.

 

The Sundurun River Valley in Yakutia is a real "terra incognita". During this expedition you can feel yourself not only a discoverer, but also a paleontologist. The remains of mammoths and cave bears are preserved here in the depths of subarctic tundra.

 

On day 6 you will make a radial hiking route from the first base camp to the nearest rocks. On day 7 you will hike with backpacks to the second base camp, located at the foot of the far rocks (11 km on foot with backpacks with equipment and personal belongings). On days 8-12, you will explore the surrounding area and do lightweight excursions to the far rocks of the Sundurun River (20-30 km on foot). On day 13 you will return on foot to the first base camp on the riverbank.

 

The length of the route is 22 km on foot with backpacks (personal belongings + equipment) and 20-30 km on foot without backpacks.

Days 15-18 Return trip to Chokurdakh settlement

These days you will have a return trip by boat to Chokurdakh village. Upon arrival you will be accommodated in the guest house and have a rest. You will be able to visit a bathhouse (sauna) if you would like.

 

In case the water transfer takes place as planned in these days you will have free time in Chokurdakh village. You may go on an excursion to the Russkoe Ustye settlement (paid extra). The first mentions of it date back to 1638: at that time a Cossack detachment led by Tobolsk Cossack Ivan Rebrov opened a sea route across the Indiga River and built two fortresses in the lower reaches of the river. For a long time the settlement was isolated from the outside world. Thanks to this, the locals managed to preserve the traditional lifestyle and culture of the first Cossacks.

Day 19 Flight to Yakutsk

This day you will have free time in Chokurdakh village. In the evening we will take you to the airport from where you will depart to Yakutsk at 6:45 pm by local airline (flight tickets are paid additionally).

 

Upon arrival in the city (about 10 pm) you will be met and taken to the hotel, which you should book by yourself. 

Day 20 Departure

On this day you will depart from your hotel on your own to the Yakutsk airport.

New
Stone people of Sundurun
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
15 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 16 person
Duration
20 days

Accommodation during the trip

16 nights
2 nights
1 night

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 August 2022
  • 6 August 2022
End date:
25 August 2022
1 615 EUR

Accommodation during the trip

You will live in a tent camp for most of the trip. The first base camp will be located on the banks of the Sundurun river, the second one — directly near the stone pillars. Each tent is designed for two people and has two separate entrances. All the necessary camping equipment (sleeping bags, tourist mats) will be provided.

 

Before and after the end of the hiking route you will spend the night in the guest house in Chokurdakh village. You will be accommodated in a shared room for 5-6 people. There is a toilet in the house, also you will be able to visit the sauna on the territory of the village.

 

You need to book hotel accommodation in Yakutsk before and after the expedition on your own.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

You will be accompanied by qualified instructor guides. They will help you cover the route with maximum comfort and safety. The guides have a satellite phone to contact the Ministry of Emergency Situations in case of emergencies. Before going on route your group will also pass registration in the Rescue Service of the Sakha Republic.

 

In Chokurdakh village your group will be joined by local guides who grew up in the area and know the terrain perfectly. 
 

Meals +

The cost of the tour includes three meals a day during the active part of the route. Additionally, you will need to pay for dinner on the final day of the expedition, as well as meals in Yakutsk in case you arrive the day before the start of the tour.

 

If you are a vegetarian, please inform the manager about it when booking the tour.

Can I participate in the tour +

This is an expedition program for active tourists in good physical shape. You will have to walk about 22 km with backpacks (personal belongings + camping equipment and food). Total weight of your backpack is 18-20 kg for women and 25-30 kg for men.

 

You will also take part in radial hiking routes, which are 20-30 km long, without backpacks

Can children participate in the tour +

Children over 15 years old can take part in this trip.

What transport is used on the route +

Water transfers will be organized on small boats with awnings and seating for 5-6 people. There are no toilets aboard the boat.

What to bring with you +

Required documents:

  • passport
  • health insurance

 

Clothes and shoes:

  • trekking boots
  • wading boots
  • comfortable shoes for the camp
  • light warm jacket, preferably with artificial insulators
  • windproof jacket
  • windproof pants
  • fleece pants
  • waterproof pants with a membrane (preferably)
  • thin and warm thermal underwear (2-3 sets)
  • fleece jacket
  • thin hiking socks (3 or 4 pairs)
  • warm trekking socks (2-3 pairs)
  • wool socks
  • raincoat
  • hat
  • waterproof gloves
  • protective household gloves

 

Personal belongings and equipment:

  • 100-liter backpack (can be rented on site)
  • 600-1000 ml thermos flask
  • tourist seat
  • first-aid kit
  • sunglasses and sunscreen
  • minimal amount of personal hygiene products
  • mosquito repellent (we recommend two cans)
  • spare batteries/power bank
  • 20-40 liter rafting plastic bag for personal belongings
  • plastic bags for small trash
  • polyethylene bags up to 240 liters (for transportation of backpacks)
  • duct tape, universal adhesive
  • light and compact mug, spoon, bowl, knife
  • matches, lighters, kindling (birch bark, pieces of rubber, etc.)
  • protective equipment against aggressive animals (flares, pepper spray)
  • fishing equipment: spinning rod, float rod, fly fishing rod (optional)
Mobile communication on the route +

Mobile communication will work in Yakutsk. Only satellite communication will be available on the rest of the route.

Insurance +

The cost of the tour includes life and health insurance against accidents to the amount of 100,000 rubles.

What will the weather be like +

You will travel in subarctic summer conditions: at this time even in the daytime the temperature seldom rises higher than +12°С. You should be prepared for cold winds from the Arctic Ocean.

Booking

New

Stone people of Sundurun

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 15 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 16 person
Duration
20 days

Accommodation during the trip

16 nights
2 nights
1 night

Languages

EN
guide
1 615 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation in a guest house in Chokurdakh village and in tents on the route

  • three meals a day during the active part of the itinerary

  • all transfers on the route

  • rental of camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, mats, campfire kit, navigation facilities, satellite phone)

  • instructors, local guides and interpreter services

  • accident insurance

  • permits for visiting protected areas and border zones

Extra charge:
  • airfare to/from Irkutsk (starting at 750 EURO for a round-trip ticket)

  • airfare from Yakutsk to Chokurdakh village and back (starting at 590 EURO for a round-trip ticket with luggage up to 20 kg)

  • breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 19

  • hotel accommodation in Yakutsk on the eve and after the expedition

  • transfer from Yakutsk airport to the hotel (in case of arrival on the day before the expedition) and back

  • single accommodation in a tent (+35 EURO per person), optional

  • backpack carrying services during the hiking part of the route (+60 EURO per person/day up to 15 kg), optional

  • rental of a 100 liter backpack, optional

  • excursion to the ancient Russkoye Ustye village (+115 EURO per erson), optional

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation in a guest house in Chokurdakh village and in tents on the route

  • three meals a day during the active part of the itinerary

  • all transfers on the route

  • rental of camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, mats, campfire kit, navigation facilities, satellite phone)

  • instructors, local guides and interpreter services

  • accident insurance

  • permits for visiting protected areas and border zones

  • airfare to/from Irkutsk (starting at 750 EURO for a round-trip ticket)

  • airfare from Yakutsk to Chokurdakh village and back (starting at 590 EURO for a round-trip ticket with luggage up to 20 kg)

  • breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 19

  • hotel accommodation in Yakutsk on the eve and after the expedition

  • transfer from Yakutsk airport to the hotel (in case of arrival on the day before the expedition) and back

  • single accommodation in a tent (+35 EURO per person), optional

  • backpack carrying services during the hiking part of the route (+60 EURO per person/day up to 15 kg), optional

  • rental of a 100 liter backpack, optional

  • excursion to the ancient Russkoye Ustye village (+115 EURO per erson), optional

6 Aug 2022, Sat — 25 Aug 2022, Thu
1 615 EUR
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