Rolling on a river

Rolling on a river
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First Published: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 08 25 PM IST

Water rush: The Chamoli-Rudraprayag section on the Upper Alaknanda is perfect for adventure buffs. Aquaterra
Water rush: The Chamoli-Rudraprayag section on the Upper Alaknanda is perfect for adventure buffs. Aquaterra
Updated: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 08 25 PM IST
Water rush: The Chamoli-Rudraprayag section on the Upper Alaknanda is perfect for adventure buffs. Aquaterra
As a means of getting around, kayaking is probably as old as the wheel. If so, white-water kayaking is to paddling what F1 is to city traffic—only, you don’t have to be a wannabe Schumi to take on the thrills of the Indian mountain rivers. Aquaterra Adventures, with years of white-water experience, is launching an introductory course in kayaking for those among us who’ve gazed on longingly at helmeted men with paddles, navigating rough rivers with grace and discipline. The four-day course holds novices by the hand as they learn to paddle in a straight line (one of the hardest things to do!), graduate to tackling class 1 and 2 rapids, and then finish off by conquering the big mamas of class 3 and 4 rapids. Expect classes in theoretical kayaking and safety and rescue techniques before they allow you to step into the water (on Day 2) for lessons in paddling skills, wave-surfing, rolls and eddy turns—and trust the instructors as they decide whether you can take on the real trashing saved for Day 4.
To run from 1-4 October at Aquaterra’s Silver Sands camp (27km from Rishikesh), the course costs Rs14,000 plus taxes per head. There’s place for only six people in a course, so if white-water is your next frontier, sign up right away.
Contact Aquaterra at 011-41636101, or email at vaibhav@aquaterra.in
White-water highs
If the rafting season’s upon us, can the itineraries be far behind? Leading outfitters are checking out their safety jackets for what promises to be yet another thumping season in the white-waters—the upper reaches of the Ganga, Satluj, Kali, and the mother of them all, the Brahmaputra. So put on your goggles, and hit the white highs!
Satluj: The seven-day river run begins at Rampur Bushair and ends at Tattapani, 44km from Shimla.
Outfitter: Aquaterra
Departure: 5 October
Cost: Rs55,000 per person, plus taxes
Upper Alaknanda: Six days, and 80-odd class 3 or 4 rapids. The Chamoli-Rudraprayag section is perfect for the adventure buff who isn’t quite sure of his extreme chops.
Outfitter: Aquaterra
Departures: 24 October, 25 December
Cost: (ex-Delhi) Rs 25,000 per person, plus taxes
Alaknanda: Starting at Srinagar, Day 1 encompasses a good introduction to class 2 and 3 rapids for beginners. You raft past Devprayag, the confluence of the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi, and on Day 3, encounter Daniel’s Dip.
Outfitter: Mercury Himalayan Explorations
Departures: 24 November, 15 December
Cost: (ex-Shivpuri) Rs9,700 per person, plus taxes, for a group of six minimum
Mahakali: The river forms the border between India and Nepal, passing through scenic terrain of villages, orchards and jungles. Days 6 and 8 will take you through thick forests and challenging rapids.
Outfitter: Aquaterra
Departure: 2 November
Cost: Rs29,830 per person plus taxes
Kali-Sarda: Starting from Pancheshwar, the trip makes for six days on the Kali river on the Nepal-India border. Day 6 encounters a big class 4 rapid at Chooka, where Jim Corbett shot a man-eater.
Outfitter: Mercury Himalayan Explorations
Departures:7 November, 23 March
Cost: Rs36,000 per person, plus taxes
• Brahmaputra: One of the greatest rivers in the world, it makes for a holiday you won’t forget in a hurry. The 13-day trip begins at Pasighat, 80km from Dibrugarh, and throws in interaction with tribal villagers.
Outfitter: Aquaterra
Departure: 28 November
Cost: Rs1.2 lakh (inclusive of Delhi-to-Delhi airfares)
Upper Subansiri: This could well be the last opportunity to ride this tributary of the Brahmaputra, as a hydel power station is scheduled to come up on its lower mountain mouth by September 2010. The 10-day trip promises challenging rafting.
Outfitter: Aquaterra
Departure: 21 December
Cost: Rs1.3 lakh (inclusive of Delhi-to-Delhi airfares).
Mercury Himalayan Explorations: 011-23340033 09999747041.
Aquaterra: 011-29212641
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First Published: Fri, Sep 11 2009. 08 25 PM IST