Mekong in Tibet

Trip Leaders: Pete Winn (USA), Masayuki Kitamura (Japan) and Liu Li (China)

Address:Shangri La River Expeditions, 202 North Aveneu #102, Grand Junction CO 91510, Exploration Club of Tokyo University of Agriculture, Club Room 1-1-1 Sakuragaoka, Setagay, Tokyo and Sichuan Scientific Exploration Association, Chengdu.

Put-in date: April 7, 2004

Neareast town to Put-In: Chandu, Tibet

Put-in elevation: about 10,560 ft

Nearest Town to take-out:Zogong, Tibet

Length: about 800 miles

Number of river days: about 8

Average gradient: 15 to 25 ft/mile

Estimated flow: about 5,000 cfs increasing to 10,000 cfs

Class: up to 6

Size of group: 3 rafts, 4 kayaks

References:First Descent of the Mekong in Tibet by Pete Winn.

Additional Info: In August - September, 1999, the Japanese team completed the first descent of the Mekong Headwaters, taking out at Qamdo, Tibet. In October, 2002, the Japanese completed a first descent of the Mekong in NW Yunnan. In April, 2004, this same Japanese team joined with Chinese rafters, American rafters and kayakers and an Australian kayaker completed the first descent of the first 80 miles of Mekong in Tibet below Changdu. The multicultural team originally planned to explore the river all the way to Yangijing, near the NW Yunnan border, but the river was too difficult for rafts. This section should be completed by self supported kayakers with Class 5+ bigwater experience. See the reference above for details.

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