Salween from Po to the Yunnan border, southeast Tibet, 2007a

Adam Elliott and Eric Southwick, Breakfast Gorge on Day 3.

Winn, Weingarten, Kern, Elliott, Southwick, Deschler kayaked this stretch of the Salween from the Paksho bridge (30 06 22N, 97 11 54E) to near the Tibet-Yunnan border (28 10 18N, 98 28 59E) at very low water in March, 2007. It is clearly not raftable - there are numerous rapids that can't be lined and require difficult portages. Put-in elevation is about 9,500', average gradient is about 18'/mile (with sections that are much higher), Class 5-6, about 180 miles minimum.

Worthy of repeat? Yes, for expert paddlers, only at low water (estimated 7000 cfs at the put-in - a very low flow compared to average). It's one of the worlds most intense runs, physically and culturally. Make sure you have the proper permits - in this part of Tibet they are difficult to obtain. See for photos by Adam Elliott.

Return to Salween First Descents.
More info about rivers of Tibet and western China