Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Friday, October 26, 2007

The intensity of India

Image - Walled in. Zak considers the options for escape. Massive gorge on the Supin - Image Ben Jackson.

After two days of patience my kayak arrived and we hit the road. Our first week has been interesting to say the least.
Since leaving the chaos of Delhi and its 12 million occupants weve had it good and bad. On one level its to be expected, its called "adventure kayaking" and there are always going to be things that cant be planned for.

Image Zak Shaw - Packman gets a wake up call "time to go paddling bro"

When I look at my left hand alone and count the 47 inflammed scratches I am certain this week has been hard work. Our week has been filled with picturesque alpine villages, dominating landscapes, classic whitewater, incredibly committing gorges and back breaking portages.

Image - Zak Shaw - Team rest, "Im so ?xx$!!" After 5 hours we reached the ridgeline.

Oct 20th, 11am Ben Jackson launches out and lands flat in airated water off a beautiful 6m drop. That day we completed a two day first descent of the Upper Yamuna upsteam of the village of Sayana Chatti. The gorge was continous in nature and held mostly read and run class four whitewater.

Image - Zak Shaw
The 21st, 5 samosas each and a 150 rupee entrance fee paid we entered the Govind National Park. We headed straight for an incredible canyon on the Supin river, the largest tributary of the Ton's River. Shalab had paddled the gorge in very low water in March and ensured us that the narrow unscoutable passage was "good to go" Feeling good about life we paddled 600m of pushy class five and arrived at the entrance to the gorge. Fresh snow on the mountains meant that the river was flowing high and none of us were prepared to enter into the vertical walled canyon which had no eddies and no oportunties to escape once committed. The result hike/climb/drag out number 1.

Image - Zak Shaw, This is our vehicle for the mission.

We hauled our boats up 400m on bloody steep loose rock, rigging several rope stations to the truck. The positive = 6 kayakers get to eat at least one more curry!

On the 22nd we scouted the Obra gorge, our team split in two in order to cover more ground and get as much information about the river as possible. With its gradient being 80m/km in a carved bedrock gorge and some uncertainty surrounding two big 15 metre waterfalls we walked away despite Shalab unsuring us it was "definately, definately good to go"

Image Zak Shaw, Jakhol village kids
23rd our team and six porters hiked up the Supin/ Harkidun river with overnight gear and camped at a muelbridge/footbridge ready to descent the gorge the following morning.

24th - At 11am Shalab wisely descided the gradient looked to much and began to climb up away from the gorge. 12.30, JJ and Scuba (Steve) didn't feel good about another massive gorge and class five whitewater storming into it. Four miserable hours later they arrived back in camp exhausted.

Team Kiwi along with Packman portaged high above the gorge believing a river descent was still a viable option once the gorge relented.

What actually happened? Six hours of thick undergrowth, no tracks and brutal kayak carrying/dragging up and away from the mayhem.
25th we descide to finally "trust my judgement, not your own" (Shalab) and that we need to be reminded that kayaking is fun. We paddled an 8km section of the Rupin river which was just great.
Image Zak Shaw - JJ enjoys one of the great drops above the Supin gorge.
But its not just about the kayaking. Despite our efforts to pull off big things this week our spirits remain high and much humour has come through our hardship. Our health is stable and stomachs settled (touch wood)
The rural people of Uttaranchal have welcomed us into their villages and slate roofed shacks.
The size of the landscapes in this region are just astounding and so each day is quite amazing in itself.
The Supin, Obra, Rupin and main Tons river catchments all have hydro electric projects planned in the coming years, get here quick!
Stay tuned - Zak Shaw

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