West Hansen and Jeff Wueste paddling the Volga River

Posted: May 19, 2014 07:10 am EDT


(By Correne Coetzer) Two men from Austin, Texas, West Hansen and Jeff Wueste, are paddling the Volga River, Europe’s longest river, from its source in the Valdai Hills of Russia to the Caspian Sea, a distance of 2300 miles (3700 km). According to them, they are the first to do so. They started April 13 and plan to take approximately 50 days to complete the journey.  


“The men are carrying their supplies in their kayaks and will resupply, as needed, with cities along the river. They do not have planned bank support,” Barbara from their home team said to ExplorersWeb. 


The team is currently just over half way on the river. Latest update is that they are to portage a very large dam, about 10 km across, at Tolyatti tomorrow. West and Jeff were told the river starts to move faster after the dam at Tolyatti.  They are hoping this is the case so that they can make up some time.  


Total miles to date: 1227.41 

Total days:  37

Miles countdown: 1072.86


In 2013 West Hansen was the first person to paddle the entire Amazon River from its then newly discovered source to the sea, the Mantaro River. He had a support team. 





7 rivers, 7 continents: Mark Kalch going for his third source-to-sea river: The Volga


Hansen and Wueste’s Volga website and blog:



Wiley Online Library:
Correct placement of the most distant source of the Amazon River in the Mantaro River drainage 



#Oceans #volgariver  #WestHansen #JeffWueste #sourcetosea






West Hansen and Jeff Wueste. (Click images to enlarge)
Image May 8.
Video: This is a four part series. Each post is about 12 minutes long and picks up where the last one leaves off. This is a typical morning, with dialogue, out on the river. This is the little island they stayed on outside of Cheboksary on 5-9-14.
The Volga.
Video: West Hansen's Amazon River paddle documentary trailer.