[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43]

We were just half a kilometer from our camp when we found a big constriction with a massive rock blocking the river and then converting into a fall, and presenting itself a rapid of grade VI. It looked difficult to kayak through, so we had no option except to wait for yaks and local porters for our first portage at Sutak. The second constriction came an hour after the first, when at one point the width of the river was less than the width of the raft. The water current here was unimaginable. We were cautious. After this was the real fun of rafting for almost 7-8 hours till Phuktal Gompa(monastery), but it was a complete white water section afterwards. Almost a kilometer before Phuktal, it was such an enjoyable rapid that our rafts were dancing like swans on the waves. We found some fresh marks of a leopard here so the boys named this rapid the Leopard Leave. Negotiating Leopard leave 'rapid Camp at Phuktal monastery Phuktal to Pume was approximately 4 kms and was pretty bad because there were rocks in the river, strong boils, pour-over, holes everywhere. We were forced to have our second portage here. We lost our kayak in a rapid of grade IV. Almost 2 kms short of Purne, Partho went into a hole and was desperately trying to come out of it. He decided to leave the kayak and catch it later on, but it couldn't be caught afterwards. We tried in vain to chase down our kayak, which had a non stop run. We camped near the bridge connecting villages on both sides. The Kayak was lost soon after Here came the third portage. We took 45 minutes from the bridge to reach a safer point for put in which was immediate after the massive fall combined with a hole. The whole day we were busy shifting our stuff. Phuktal to Padum is full of big rapids. Raru rapid was the most tedious, challenging and dangerous. The members named this rapid 'Maut Ka Kuan!' Almost an hour later when our trek to Padam came very close to the river and the river took a turn towards north, there was another massive rapid which carried on and on for many kilometers. Inspite of taking two hours to decide on the route here, our first raft led by Rajeev Thapa couldn't go all that safely as everybody had planned to. Zafar, Shu chi and I were the ones who tasted some mouthfuls of the river water for quite some time, but that is part of this adventure sport. Finally we were successful in reaching Padam which was almost 150 kms from Brandinala. We were an extremely satisfied lot as the first phase of the expedition was over and the record was established. Ours was the first and the only expedition to raft down on river Tsarp. Now no body was worried as we were to be on the Zanskar which has been run by many rafting expeditions. Rafting from Padam to Nimu was on river Zanskar which has a high volume of water, many boils and a never ending gorge section. We had to look for a camping place. Rafting from Nimu to Khaltse on the Indus was full of fun and enjoyment because there were big rapids and the volume and the current of the river was much Rose Bowl January 2014129

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