Bren and Adrian headed out to Tibet earlier this year. Check out their first video instalment.
Mid-July we left towards Southern Asia and joined an international group of kayakers to go and explore the whitewater in Tibet. Being known as the roof of the world and containing the tallest mountains in the world left us to wonder what rivers must lie deep in the heart of the Himalayas.
There has been a lot of expeditioning going on in countries like Nepal or India, but there are still a lot of places, rivers, and countries which haven’t necessarily been on the list of kayaking expeditions. There have been a few trips to Tibet done by kayakers, the most famous one probably being Scott Lindgrens and Steve Fishers trip to the Tsang Po, but the eastern part still largely remains untouched, just waiting to be explored. So we followed the call and sent it to Tibet.
It’s been only a short while since the one day Tsarap Chu and Zanskar descent. In Ladakh, India. The 20hr50min paddle. The 240km descent, the boxed walls, the long rapids, the silent cries in the night.
I get asked daily, why? What pleasure was in it? Is it worth it?
I’ve not come up with a real answer before – Mallory’s quip unsatisfactory – it’s always going to be there.
Perhaps I can sum up why I enjoy the isolation of a long paddle, even with peers, perhaps it’s also an explanation for those that don’t understand solo paddling as a concept. They both run as parallels for me.
Flowing from high in the mountains of Tibet, the mighty Upper Bhote Koshi winds it’s way across the border from it’s source on the Zhangzabo glacier into Nepal before becoming the Sun Kosi and continuing it’s journey in to India. In 2014 a landlside of gargantuan proportions occurred in the Lamo Sangho area, depositing an estimated 13.5 million tonnes of rock upon the town thats was there. The dam that resulted drowned much of the landscape upstream and the river was changed dramatically.
The river still offers world class whitewater, and is one of the most famous runs in the Himalaya, offering quality commercial rafting trips on the lower sections and harder test-piece kayaking in the upper gorges.
Expedition Inception (EI) is a whitewater journey from South Africa to China. The team will follow the kayaking seasons through as many countries as possible on their way to the finishing point in the Tibetan province of China.