Friday, May 16, 2008

Ron Fischers Pakistan Adventure

I’m looking back to an amazing trip to Pakistan. I was a little bit scared about a trip to this country, what with the media coverage of terrorist bomb attacks etc, but after these five weeks I’m sure that this will be the next kayak destination. The people are always friendly, the food is good, the rivers great and there’s a road into every valley. We found a lot of BIG rivers like the Indus, which have a flow between 500 and 5000 qm3/s, depends of the season. But there are also creeks and a lot of rivers for beginners as well.

We started our trip on the Indus River, where we did the first complete descent of the Rondu Canyon which is about 150 kilometres long. Many teams have attempted to run this canyon over the past years, but all of them gave up after the first half at latest, because of the high flow. It’s a big river with very technical rapids and numerous siphons and caves.

After this lucky mission we tried our good luck on the Astor River. This river flows down from the 8124 metre high Nanga Parpat which four members of our team will climb up and ride down with skies in June.
The first 50 km were beautifully white water between class III-V with a flow of 40 qm3/s. After that the river falls down with a gradient of 500 metres on a length of 5 km till the Indus. Bernhard Mauracher and I run this part including several portages. That was the most difficult and dangerous creek I’ve been ever kayaked. After two days in the gorge we finished on the confluence to the Indus River with a big smile in the face.

So, the hard rivers were done and we had two weeks more time to kayak just for fun. The Indus was a perfect play spot to check out the “BIG water ability” of the Nookie kit which was always a true friend of mine in Pakistan. It keeps me warm and dry all the time.
We also get the permit to kayak on two rivers in Kashmir, which nobody did before.

Wherever we came to, we found always friendly people and the best white water. That was my first and definitely not my last expedition to great kayak destination Pakistan.
See you

Don Ron
Pictures: Peter Fink