Riverwide keeper. Photo by Travis Winn
They portaged 38 rapids out of hundreds of challenging rapids on the ten day expedition. This 165 mile stretch, which has an average gradient of 20' per mile, was run at low flows (about 10,000 -15,000 cfs in February). A video by Nate Ostis is available. This stretch is largely occupied by Tibetans, is being dammed and is not a good repeat run. However, a group of six kayakers led by Travis Winn completed a second descent in November, 2010 at higher flows and only portaged once. Unfortunately, more dams are under construction so this is probably the last descent.
A Chinese team claims to have rafted the upper Yalong in Qinghai, but no documentation is available. A road parallels the river from Garze in northwest Sichuan to Yajiang, and dams are being built in the Yalong Great Bend section downstream from the Muli area.