Eneko Yarza Kayak

IBAI BIDAIAK: Blog hau nire bidaiei buruz da, munduan zehar ibaiak jaitsiaz kayakari eta ibai gida moduan.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Beste bizimodu bat ezagutzera gonbidatuak zaudete.
RIVER TRAVELS:This blog talks about my travels around the world, as a passionate nomad kayaker and as a river guide.
VIAJES POR RÍOS: Este blog habla de mis viajes por el mundo como kayakista y guía de ríos apasionado y nómada.


First complete descent Likhu Khola River (Nepal)


On November 14, 2012 the three Basque kayakers reached the confluence with the Sun Kosi River, which gathers all the waters of eastern Nepal. We performed the first complete descent of the Likhu Khola River from Dudele nearly 2000m of altitude until Sun Kosi at 400m altitude. 4 days kayaking, the first three class V with long canyons, and far far away from any road or outside help. Risky and successful feat with a new slogan: "Zorriak inoiz baino zorriago" The Lice more lice than ever.

     The Likhu Khola river (lower left) flows from north to south between the rivers Tamba Kosi and Dubh Kosi, the latter coming from the south of Everest, the highest mountain in the world (top right).

     With the waters of the glaciers of Numbur, Likhu Chuli and other mountains of almost 7000m, Likhu Khola river runs through a narrow valley with steep slopes.

     Years ago the normal  Everest Base Camp trekking started from Jiri and went east across the Likhu Khola river by Kenja village. Today almost everybody flies by plane or helicopter to Lukla or Namche Bazar.

     It seems that only one expedition explored this valley. It was in 2001 when four Nepalese kayakers with two more as a ground support, including our informant Achyut Gautam, who entered Kenja and reached the Sun Kosi. Water was low in February and reported that most of the rapids were dangerous and many non-navigable, porteaging entire canyons. Now it was our turn and we were going with more water and from above.

     With a map in hand, asking along the way, with little money in their pockets (no cash machine on the area), Zorriak improvising, we reached Bhandar in mountain bus. After that we had to walk, and we did it without porters by ourselves. At first the route of Everest base camp and then Likhu Khola valley up by river right past Gundel village. After three days walking with the kayaks on the head or back we reached the Dudele wooden bridge at nearly 2000m of altitude. With porters should be day and a half.

Link: 3 días caminando con kayaks. De porteadores por Nepal. The article about the 3 days walking with kayaks, as porters in Nepal.
     Mino passing under a post monsoon wooden bridge.

     When embarking river flow was slightly less than 15 m3/s. Four days later the Likhu Khola emptied into the great Sun Kosi with almost 50 m3/s.

     On the right buffing over a rock.

     Botton photo, a good rapid of several movements and at the end jumping over the hydrolic with full and heavy kayak. Still, it seems that my Zet Kayak is still lighter than the others, hehe.

     When we looked back after running the rapids is when we realized the gradient we were descending.

     The three of us went on patrol kayaking well, without fail, well communicated, without disturbing, supporting and caring each other. Solid Zorriak Team.
     We went under a few bridges and in front of a few strangely and curious glances.

     There were stretches we didn't see anyone and other more fertile and open sections were inhabited more.

     In the photo below we get the map to ask information and situate. Always friendly and curious, the Nepalese are made of a hard material, and kids don't even cry when they get hit or fall. In a hostile natural environment pleasures are diferent and laments few.

     The rapids were dangerous and committed. All we could we analyzed from the kayak and boat scouting ran the rapid. If we couldn't sensed any line and it had danger, one of us was out of the kayak to the shore and communicated the line to colleagues. If it was not clear, the three went out to the rocks to watch the rapid. Then descended the rapid the three together, or by turns doing safety and taking pictures.

     Mino+Txomin entering the rapid and going under the bamboo bridge.

     Rapids and gradient were continuous with few flat. The first three days were strong with long class V sections. The third day, after five hours of class V stretch, the three zorriak had enough and wanted to have the valley opened and flow without stress or surprise rapids. The fourth day was quiet.

     We also navigate through green enjoyable and romantic canyons.

"When you decide to leave this kind of sports come through the operating room" told me the audiologist.

     Because I have the right eardrum perforated for 2 years for a bad reception in a waterfall, to avoid infections I can not get even a drop of water in the ear, so I wear an ear-plug and the black band around the head so the plug does not leak.
     Top stylish!

     We descended all the rapids in kayaks except 4. Were four short rapid portages as those seen in these photos. Simple and obvious portages. They are nothing desirable the long portages with full and heavy kayaks.

     Eneko buffing with the yellow banana. Txomin covering from behind the rock.

     There's the way, between the rocks and down.

     A good place on the bank of the river for lunch noodles, our favorite expedition dish as it weighs little and we can eat without cooking. Pasta fast food! And continue on to the valley bottom.

     Without hotel reservations we were not too bad.

     0 Green Camp
     Night 0, the put in, the wellcome. Drying of wild plants and green tea.

     1 Wood Camp
     Near Roshi among wood chips. Take things out of kayak (sleeping bag, mat, tarp, dry clothes, pot, food) and put them back next morning.

     night 2 The House
     Near Pirti it was late, it began to rain and we stopped to look for flat ground to camp before entering the next canyon. Good decision.

     People started arriving and we ended up being accompanied to the house about 40 rice fields above our kayaks. Coincidence the tenants had gathered all these people to help with the harvest of rice and had finished the day's work. The best time to stay watching these strange beings, and they didn't remove the eyes from over us neither for changing our clothes.

     When it went to obscure and all helpers went home we asked "tatopani", hot water, to cook our noodles. They invited us to sit with them around the fire inside the house. Without ventilation or chimney the smoke was bothering and the elderly woman was coughing badly, but they did not give importance, they had been accustomed to living like that.

    With Nepali + English words and gestures we communicated. We share our pasta with them, but the ladies did not eat until they had prepared their plate: dubh roti. Fresh milk from a cow that was within 5 meters and when was boiling throw chunks of bread dough and continue boiling. And among all we emptied, them with their hands, we with spoons. It tasted so well, was so good and warm filling our stomaches that we will remember it for a long time. Dhanyabad! Thank you!

    night 3 Humid Camp of 5 Stars

     We spent the last night in a wide beach on a more open valley near Sangutar, under thousands stars sky  and penetrating moisture. Each morning champa was for breakfast, Nepali cereal powders in hot water.

The Likhu Khola leaving its waters into the Sun Kosi river.
     After 4 days of kayaking on November 14, 2012 we reached the Sun Kosi River descending for the first time in history the Likhu Khola river from the 2000 m elevation and arriving seconds to 400m altitude (hehe), self-sufficient and without outside help.

    The Basque lice from left to right: Fermin Perez Mino, Txomin Abadia and myself Eneko Yarza. The three satisfied.

     At the end of the mission, 500m downstream of the confluence, we are waiting for the bus to go back to Kathmandu, if it arrives. The environment adapts to man, and we are integrated with the Nepalese: almost no possessions, dirty, hardened, lively and cheerful. NAMASTE!

1 comment:

  1. Wow,What an adventures kayaking pics seen ever.it really seems awesome.
    Thanks a lot.
    Kayaks Toowoomba