Pakistan – Indus River, Day Nine
We woke up at the nice restaurant, hotel/truck stop Roland had found a for us the night before. It was all in one room! I was exhausted from paddling and the flu and had crashed out before dinner, but the next morning I managed to keep down the standard breakfast, chapati bread and chai tea.
The previous afternoon we had set a general put in time, and we arrived right on schedule. Ben Stookesberry leads the charge for another big day.
The first several rapid looked like a nice read and run affair.
Phil Boyer and Rafa Ortiz enjoying the Indus.
Here are the boys scouting out a rapid that had a classic big water move, a side to side ferry above an absurdly large hole.
Rafa Ortiz and Ben Stookesberry start the ferry.
Roland Stevenson looks on.
A properly decorated Bedford.
Shortly downstream the team had to get out for another long scout. Scouting on the Indus takes a long time. Ledge holes like to hide at the bottom of rapids, and with the rough terrain and long rapids many scouts were fifteen to twenty minutes one way.
Phil Boyer dwarfed by the Karakoram at the lip of a massive cascade.
Most of the group ran left, but Ben Stookesberry opted to go right and then make a big ferry across.
Chris Korbulic tries to escape the breathtaking wave of the same rapid.
Our drivers Mustaffa and Rashid waiting for the group to come around the corner.
Chris Korbulic and Rafa Ortiz make the move.
The big holes proved to be no problem, but there was a mysterious rodeo hole that gave up some ends.
Phil Boyer and Ben Stookesberry run the same.
Rafa Ortiz with a nice lead during some read and run.
Chris Korbulic is probably wishing he had his All-Star for this one.
There were a handful of rapids that stood out from the others during the drive up. This one was distinctly memorable to me because I didn’t expect to see anything remotely manky in a river this size, but this one was bad from several hundred feet above.
The group scouts the sketchy cataract.
This drop was something I would expect to see on a creek at high water, basically a sieve with some water flowing over it.
I don’t think it was too hard of a choice for most of the team, but Rafa Ortiz decided to give it a good long look.
There certainly was a move in the rapid, but it didn’t look easy. Lead in flows pushed left, and the line would be driving hard to the right and over a big breaking green wave to avoid a fold that was also potentially a sieve.
Rafa Ortiz styles the mandatory entrance move.
What followed next was one of the most skilled braces I have ever seen.
Rafa Ortiz, master of the low brace.
Back up in time for the gigantic hole.
A nice angle correction before the melt down.
Rafa Ortiz finishes it with style.
Rondu Gorge of the Indus River, when there is read and run, it’s big!
Rafa Ortiz takes the lead…
into a big wave-hole.
surfs up! Somehow I had a feeling this wouldn’t be the last surf for our group…
Ben Stookesberry in the same rapid.
It was early afternoon so all the kids were out of school and came out to observe.
One more scout and big rapid for the day, another “death ferry” above an atrocious ledge hole. Ben Stookesberry and Rafa Ortiz squeak past the hole.
Taking in the scope of the Karakoram, the kids are still watching from the hill while Chris Korbulic and Phil Boyer run the same rapid.
Even the run out on the Indus can be gripping, Phil Boyer finishes the day strong.
Boats were stashed by the river, and we drove a kilometer down to a very friendly restaurant.
Roland Stevenson helps make some delicious subji.
The cornerstone of any meal in Pakistan, fresh baked chapati bread.
Finishing off a great day, from left to right, Phil Boyer, Chris Korbulic, Ben Stookesberry, Rafa Ortiz, Mustaffa.