Russian rafters to navigate world's highest river

MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian rafters will travel from Novosibirsk, in Siberia, to Nepal, south Asia, to join an international expedition on a 130-km (80.7 miles) trip down the world's highest river, in the Himalayas.

The team of Russian athletes from the cities of Tomsk, Omsk and Vladivostok, will join rafters from Nepal and New Zealand, before descending down the relentless Dudh Kosi River.

"We leave for Novosibirsk today and will arrive in Nepal October 3. We plan to spend 45 days in Nepal," the head of the expedition, Yevgeny Kovalevsky, said.

The group will set up base camp on Mount Everest's southern slope and then travel down the river from the 5,660- meter (18,500 ft) high peak of Kala Patar, in the heart of the Kumbu region in the Himalayas.

The first descent of the Dudh Kosi River was made in 1976 by a British expedition under the leadership of Mike Jones.

The expedition comes just a month after six Russian canoeists set off down the Yurungkax River, in northwest China. The group went missing on September 2, and after a lengthy search, rescuers found the bodies of three Russians and two survivors. A sixth man is still missing.

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