to the river is no joke at 14,000'. Even though it
was flat stroll to the waters edge, I was breathing hard. This high up
in the watershed the Teesta was just a diminutive stream, but the
scenery was on a grand scale. Plus we knew it basically fell off the
world below the Talung Valley so it was good to paddle at least
something before being forced off the river by gradient.
who put the extra weight in my boat? It's
not often to get to paddle a river at tree line, Jesse Coombs.
expected the river to be a little flat in the valley, but it
quickly turned into non-stop III-IV. Non-stop action is the character
of the Himalaya, there is rarely class II let alone any real pools. In
one of the first larger rapids I rolled, and was unpleasantly surprised
by instantly being out of breath and almost swimming. Between the
elevation and near freezing water (ice on the banks) being upside down
was certainly something to avoid.
The endless descent of the Teesta.
The Talung Valley hosts a small military base and in juxtaposition, a
Buddhist Monastery. Jesse Coombs floats past some cultural sights.
epic scenery in the upper
reaches of the Teesta.
small mini-gorge, frigid
weather and our first class V rapid led us to our car. The boulder
garden wasn't too photogenic, and frozen hands were a great excuse to
leave my camera in the bag and paddle down to the car. Just below the
bridge, the river plummeted over the seemingly endless cascade we'd
seen on the drive up. Now just to find some access to something steeper
than what we'd done, but not off the scale.
up the road for a vehicular
assisted portage around the steep section.