Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kayaking Road Trip, Alakanada Valley

From L-R, Author, Kanhan Singh, Phil Carrivick at the put in of the Pindar river.


This trip we keep talking about at camp. It got sorted out when I visited Rana with a bottle of 15yr old Dalwhinnie. Got him to check the schedule not once, but twice, thus giving us a total of 3 days off and secured a jeep and driver for the trip.
The next afternoon at 2pm we were off. It was a seven hour drive to Karanprayag and when we arrived the Pindar river looked like it had a nice flow. After some rum, a dinner of roasted murga(chicken), dal chapati and bhat and a good sleep, we were off to the put in a few kms above Thrali. The whole run is roadside and approx 50kms long of grade 3-4 continuous rapids.
It was done for probably the first time in 1993, and has seen a few other descents since then. That is the neat thing about India, no guide books so you don't know exactly what is around each corner. We ran pretty consistently with a few photo stops, a scout or two, and lunch and the run took us about 6 hours.
This would be a nice run to do in a couple of days. There is another town to stop in, this would make it a light two day trip. There also was numerous nice little play waves spread along the river, with a handy one at the end of the river, but after 6 hours of boating we were all pretty tired. So it was back to the truck, get changed, have a cup of chai. From there it was off to Nandprayag.

Phil and Kanhan dropping into one of the fun sections.

Kanhan after making it though a nice one.

The boys running together as the river drops around the corner.

Phil at the entrance to one of the steeper ones.

Phil pointing out the hydraulic at km35 that we where glad we stopped to look at.
Using my high gear watch to measure the gradient of the Pindar river.
See graph at top of watch.
We drove up from Nadaprayag the next morning to have breakfast in Ghaat. This road follows the Nandakini river for 19kms. We where hoping to have a go on this river. Unfortunately it was too low, firstly due to the fact that we were there a bit late in the season, secondly due to the fact that there is one run of river dam project on it, and another currently being built. Still a beautiful drive and nice to see where some companies start the Kuari Pass trek from.
After having breakfast we headed off to the upper Alakanada. The section we did runs from Bhari, about 9kms above Chamoli, to Nadaprayag giving us a nice grade3-4+ 20km long section. This was another just read and run section with a couple of scouts and a nice play wave three quarters of the way down.
After that it was time to head back to the banks of the Ganges. All in all a good three day paddling trip.
Watchful children at the put in to the upper Alakanada.
Boating among the boulders.

Kanhan Singh styling down one of the bigger ones.
Phil enjoying the day.
Phil going past a local fisherman sitting on the right side of mushroom rock.

Author surfing it up in the SCUD on the upper Alakanada. Photo by Phil Carrivick

Photos by David Prothero

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David, Just to say well done again on your blog which we love. So glad you are having these amazing experiences. Cheers and love , the folks