The Sayan mountains extend almost 1000 km along the Mongolian border, from Altai in the west to Baikal Lake in the east. The region is distinctly separated in two areas -- Western and Eastern Sayan -- of which Eastern Sayan is of most interest to the whitewater paddler (easier logistics and steeper rivers). Expedition style multi-day paddling with difficult logistics and in general trek-ins and flat paddle-in/out required.
When to go
Rivers are rain-fed and the weather is unpredictable with periods of long heavy rains in the summer. Best chance of suitable water levels is in July/August.
How to get there
Fly into the Irkutsk, the biggest city of Baikal region.
Logistics are difficult: hiring a 4x4 for the duration of your trip is possible but due to the nature of the paddling (longer multiday trips) it will sit around un-used most of the time. A better option is plan a few missions and arrange local drop-off/pick-up as required. You can hire a helicopter directly in Irkutsk, which may be economic for the remote runs in the area.
Wet and cold; most of rivers are between 500-1200m but come prepared for lower temperatures than the altitude would indicate.