By Todd Balf
The final River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-la is a panoramic account of the ill-fated October 1998 excursion of an American whitewater kayaking workforce who traveled deep into the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet to run the Yarlung Tsangpo, recognized in paddling circles because the "Everest of rivers." For Wick Walker and Tom McEwan, severe whitewater pioneers, top acquaintances, and journey leaders, the Tsangpo experience used to be the end result of a twenty-five-year quest for glory. but the team's outstanding desires crumbled while their ace paddler was once swept over a thunderous eight-foot waterfall, by no means to be noticeable again.
Here is an engaging exploration of either the seething vast water and threatening terrain of the mythical Shangri-la, and the boys who dared problem the livid rapids that raced via this 140-mile-long canyon. The final River invitations us to view the Himalayas from a wholly new viewpoint -- on a ancient river so distant that merely the main hardy and romantic souls try and liberate its mysteries.
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Additional info for The Last River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-la
Within the inner most, such a lot unforgiving holes, the primeval energy of the flowing water took on natural shape, dwarfing every thing, engulfing every little thing. yet there has been constitution and cause to it—like the natural, completely shaped crystalline molecules he solid from the torch of a 1,500-degree flame—and fierce, fierce lifestyles. Now to be absolute to it. After a number of mins the very important indicators develop faint—the body’s security mechanism opposed to the extraordinary pressure of chilly and oxygen hunger. on occasion the chilly water is a lifesaver, now not a killer—sending the physique right into a conservation mode, giving extra time. however the mind starts off to alternate idea for sensation—sometimes prepared, occasionally drifting, dimming. the place are you? emerging, falling, tumbling. Don’t quit. Roll. yet now the pile of water deepens, darkens. Water on water on water. AFTER A MILE AND A 1/2 PORTAGING AND PADDLING, JAMIE catches up with the others. they're blocked at river point by means of cliffs. It’s 3:00 P. M. and there’s nonetheless no signal of Doug. was once he held somewhere—drawn via the present less than a big boulder and pinned? if that is so, and just for that cause, he would’ve swum if attainable. Or had he easily been flushed downstream, speedier than they can in all probability continue speed with? within the or 3 hours they’ve been looking, he might simply be a ways downstream, past the ten-miles-away falls part and already into the looping decrease canyon. Tom and Roger take off prior to Jamie, back, scaling a excessive, steeply uncovered cliff to determine round the nook. not anything. They choose to go back to their boats again on the website of the twist of fate. the single position more likely to carry someone—a huge eddy after a sweeping bend within the river—is empty, too. As they march downheartedly again upstream, numbed by means of the occasions and the unrelenting artillery sound of the river, they detect there isn't any signal of Jamie. Had he ferried around the river and persisted the quest down the opposite facet? close to the twist of fate web site is Jamie’s apparatus. Figuring he’ll be returning to it, they organize camp on a close-by bluff and dangle a flashlight as a beacon. Jamie stumbles in at 11:00 P. M. No Doug, no apparatus, not anything, he stories. part of Jamie tells him Doug is long past; part of him won’t allow move: “The chilly, analytical a part of me says it’s over, he isn’t coming again, yet there’s an element that says one way or the other, through a few miracle, he acquired out. ” because it seems, Jamie had searched down the left financial institution, simply as Tom and Roger had performed. As they retreated and Jamie pressed ahead, the 2 events truly handed each other. the truth that they by no means observed Jamie (or his boat, which he ditched past due within the day so one can make larger time at the steep terrain) bargains a bit desire. in the event that they ignored Jamie—the maze of boulders lining the financial institution have been towering, simply obscuring something human-sized—maybe they could’ve neglected Doug by some means. all people is torn up, Jamie particularly, however the selection is made to proceed the hunt within the morning, and to alert Harry and Wick to allow them to work out how to get all the way down to the river and begin looking, too.