On 16 th Dec 2011, after an online vote at Berghaus I became proud to be awared funding for a solo kayak descent trip to Everest.
Everest cries two rivers of tears into Nepal, the Dudh Kosi and Arun Gorges, both remote and challenging white water rivers. It is a matter of respect, personal dreams and hope. A challenge, one man, one mountain – to show that Everest, goddess of the earth, is more than the mountain alone, more than the foot steps; these well-worn tracks cry.
These rivers have seen few descents. In Tibet the Arun is named the Rongbuk as it arcs from the plateau. Its name changes as it crashes from the top of the world carving away from Everest. None except myself have paddled all these rivers and in the spring of 2012 I am setting out again to challenge the raging rapids of the tears of Everest. In the spring it is intended that I will make a solo unsupported descent of these rivers, back to back. A solo duo combination, never attempted, a further notch for the only kayaker to have descended all the rivers that flow from Everest and k2.
First the mighty Dudh Kosi from the entrance to the National Park, this descent of over 12 days – self contained. Paddling left to India as it joins the Sun Kosi. I will then journey overland back toward Everest to the Barun confluence, perhaps higher, on the upper Arun. Its time to descend the famous Arun gorges at this point, returning again to the Sun Kosi after the 6 day walk-in and unsupported 6 day paddle through some of the most dangerous rapids in the Himalayas enclosed in this tight gorge, as it makes its passage to India.
Whilst in Nepal I will offer free guide training for remote village communities, allowing them funded training in Kathmandu and the chance to train to be adventure leaders, a career then develops futures. Everest is the flagship of adventure tourism and a unique sales point in Adventure Tourist sector and brand identity. It allows the general public to see the pioneering spirit and the continued promotion of the adventure. Berghaus is a brand intrinsically linked to adventure with the Extrem and activity specific ranges to the production of childrens gear, supporting youth to grow in the outdoor arena – this expedition to the river of Everest allows Berghaus the chance to grow at a tangent from the historical mountaineering background whilst still planning its feet firmly on the mountain.
Adventure is my life line, it is all that life gives, all that it can ever be. For over a decade I have been forging river descents in Asia, from the Braldu as it crashes from K2 to remote first descents in Tibet. I have challenged some of the world’s most dangerous rivers in Alaska, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal and Europe. Now I lead and guide expeditions with my company Pure Land Expeditions and write books.
But without my first steps as a youth this would not be possible. We, need to give back – to nurture the growing sports and development positive relationships and understandings of personal risk, personal gain and personal hope.
For me kayaking is not about what gear I use, what risks I take, what moves I make. It is about more, much more. It is about the freedom of the spirit, the freedom of actions and understanding the mind. The place the mind goes in the dark hours in nightmare and in day dreams. It’s not about the sponsorship. Been an ambassador for many brands, quit and now choose gear I trust. Berghaus is the home of great gear that I use without financial gain, this challenge is a way to keep growing as an explorer, to keep moving, to do more.
Stay Safe, stay connected, explore.