For 5 weeks I have been in Nepal on one of the most incredible expeditions I have ever done and been part of. Together with Francesco Salvato (ITA), Raphael Thiebaut (FRA), Stephane Pion (FRA) and Jakub Sedivy (CZE) we hiked into the upper Dolpo region and followed the Langu Khola river from its source all the way down to the classic lower Karnali take-out. This is a quick summary of this unbelievable adventure. For the full report and photos please check Kayak Session Magazine #45 (spring 2013)
On october 22nd I met up with the other team mates in Kathmandu the capital of Nepal. After organizing the permits, porters, food and the last equipement needed we‘ve been happy taking the bus to Pokhara. One last night we spent there in the bar, eat a proper steak, drunk some beers and played pool...
The next day we took off for our adventure. We hired a 4x4 truck for the 2 day drive up to Jomsom where the hike started. 9 days it took us on feet to reach the Langu Khola at it‘s source in the upper Dolpo region. The highest pass we had to cross was 5560 meter! and some more are higher then 5000 meter. It was incredible scenic, beautiful, but also very exhausting. Fighting not only with the high altitude, but also with the cold at night with temperatures down to -20 °C! This hike was one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I look forward to tell you more about it in the next Kayak Session Magazine.
On November the 3rd we put on the river at 4600 meter above sea level. Ice was covering the shores, on some parts the whole river. We had to wait for the sun to melt the snow to have enough water under the kayak to paddle for the first day. The river got bigger with every tributary and by the end, 19 days later we paddled on 600 qm3! We also travelled through incredible canyons, met people that have never seen foreigners before, avoided some siphon‘s paddling class 5+ lines ;-) , spend endless nights staring at the campfire and eating ton‘s of rice. - still starving though.... We covered more then 550 kilometers and took out in Chisapani at 190 meters above sealevel. Here there are crocodiles in the river and even freshwater Dolphine‘s are coming up the Ganges in India up until here.
A 17 hour horror bus ride brought us back to Pokhara where I spent a few days relaxing and paragliding before I went home.
The days are passing by now and with every day the satisfaction about the mission is getting stronger and stronger. Thanks to everyone for taking part and to all the sponsors supporting me on this adventure!