Pakistan, Indus River -Day Ten-
Moonlight views over another beautiful beach camp – thanks to Greg Garrison for the bivy sack loan.
We had a good night of sleep behind us and were glad to have the full team again for what appeared to be another full day.
No time was wasted in getting on the water and the day started off in true Indus style with a long scout, Phil Boyer and Chris Korbulic
Rafa Ortiz punches the entrance move of our warm up.
Ben Stookesberry makes the second move of the same.
Rafa Ortiz finishes off the warm up rapid with a nice goal post between two holes.
The warm up was a nice start to the day, we were all glad to have it as we scouted the next rapid, another large multi-move affair.
Rafa Ortiz runs an entrance move as large as the average rapid in most rivers.
Ben Stookesberry rides a curler to thread the needle between two hydraulics.
Rafa Ortiz with some scenic views at the bottom of the read and run.
It was already apparent that the Indus River does not have the long flat sections typical to big water. Between the long rapids we were glad to catch our breath in the few flats there were.
Chris Korbulic floats through the longest flat yet.
The rapids all run together, most required long scouts and contained classic moves. Phil Boyer focuses on the lead in…
…to get to the left of a rather retentive spot.
We had some fans on the bank too.
The canyon opened up considerably with a good sized village perched over the rapid mentioned above.
As the village ended the river stayed in character with another big hole.
Rafa Ortiz runs the lead in.
Rafa Ortiz exits the hole like a rocket.
It was early afternoon, so everyone was free to watch the strange sight pass through town.
The day was already getting late, at least for our location. Light fades fast during November in the Karakoram, and most days we started looking for a campsite at three, because the sun would be down by four and light would vanish only too expediently.
Just a short bit past the town we pulled out on a nice beach on the right, debating using it for a campsite when we were greeted by a large group from the town.
Darin McQuoid and the greeting party.
As we hauled our gear up to the vans, Roland debriefed us on the situation. During the permit process, word of our group had spread, and from an unverified source we had been issued a police escort. The local people were confident there were no Taliban living in the area, but the escort was issued in case some were passing through.
The AK-47 is standard police issue in the Northern Areas.
The complication was that the police requested that we stay as many nights as possible in motels on the road. Our preference was for the pristine beaches, they were generally more relaxing than the busy little truck stops that doubled as motels. Unsure of how the situation would play out we bunked up in what proved to be a 24 hour truck stop.
What pushed the situation to be nearly unbearable was the myth that before shutting down an engine it needs to be revved to high rpms before shutting down. Generally this would happen about ten feet from our heads. For the first time we were wishing for a nice walled in section the following day…