Location Map of Earth Science Expeditions First Descents

The map above and all maps in the following journals are
modified from Rand McNally's Deluxe New Millenium World Atlas.

Links to Journals of Previous Expeditions in Tibet and China

Many of these are long files that you may want to download and read offline or print and read at your leisure. Links to other pages (such as pictures, geology/geography or other journals) are at the end of each journal.

1994: Yangbi River, Yunnan

First Descent by Pete Winn

1995: Yong Bao Gorge of the Mekong, Yunnan

Dragon's Teeth by Steve Van Beek

Thrills and Danger During First Expedition of the Lancang by Fred St Goar

First Descent of the Yong Bao Gorge of the Mekong by Pete Winn

1996: Yong Bao Gorge of the Mekong, Yunnan, 1996

Down the Mighty Mekong by Lori Golze

1997: Man Wan Gorge of the Mekong, Yunnan

Bigger Than the Grand Canyon by Marion Softky

First Descent - Rafting a Wild River in China by Steve Van Beek

First Descent of the Man Wan Gorge of the Mekong by Pete Winn

1999: Mekong Headwaters, Qinghai

"First" Descent of the Mekong Headwaters, Qinghai, 1999 by Pete Winn

The Search for the Source of the Mekong by Pete Winn

2000: Salween Headwaters, Tibet

By River Through a Wounded Land by Gordon Bare

First Descent of the Nu River by Phillip Wegener Kantor

First Descent of the Salween Headwaters by Pete Winn

2002: Lhasa River Headwaters and Yarlung Tsangpo, Tibet

The Lhasa Headwaters (First Descent) and the Renqinding Gorge of the Yarlung Tsangpo by Pete Winn

2003: Rivers of the Gongga Shan Area, Sichuan

Kayaking in the Gongga Shan Area by Travis Winn


First Descent of the Mekong in Tibet by Pete Winn.

Reflections on leaving the Mekong in Tibet by Travis Winn.

Rafting in China - The Glory and the Dream by Shui Jiaojie, translated by Nan Hettig.

First Chinese Descent of the Grand Canyon in Arizona by Mike Bao & Liu Li, translated by Hanli Liu.

First Descents of Rivers in the Gongga Shan area of western Sichuan by Roy Hovland.


Trekking Mt. Kailash and Kayaking the Indus and Raka River Headwaters in western Tibet, China by Pete Winn.


First Descent of the Salween from Biru to Sadeng in Tibet by Pete Winn.

First Decent of the Salween from Sadeng to Marri in Tibet: Mens Journal Article by Craig Childs.

Since 2008, Last Descents has been running commercial river trips on the Mekong and Yangtze headwaters in Qinghai in the summer and the Salween in Yunnan in the spring. Trips on the Great Bend of the Yangtze are no longer possible due to large dams, and trips for non-Chinese in Tibet have not been possible since 2011 due to government restrictions, though this may change in the future.

More info about rivers in China