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Liquid off the Throne of Shiva

A review by Derrick Law for Kayak Yukon.

This video is part of the Outside Television series which appears regularly on the Outdoor Life Network. My interest in seeing this episode centred around my upcoming (now past) kayaking trip to Nepal, in particular to run the Karnali River, which is one of the featured rivers in this video.

The video covers two river trips taken over two years; the Yarling Tsang-Po runs 600 miles through the Tibetan Himalayas through the deepest gorge in the world (25,000 and 23,000 foot peaks on either side), and the first descent of the upper Karnali river in Nepal.

They have shot some spectacular scenery and river footage. The Tsang-Po is absolutely monstrous, probably some of the biggest water captured on film. Swimming is definately not an option.  A scene where a boater is attempting to cross from one bank to the other is particularly humbling.

The journey to the put in for the upper Karnali seemed like an arduous adventure in itself. Six days traversing the Tibetan plateau followed by a side trek around a holy mountain, and Chinese border crossings. The film also covers some of the religious and cultural aspects of the people who live in that corner of the world.

When they reach the upper Karnali, the water is lower than any villager can remember – that bodes well for Scott Lindgren and his companions. The river is still extremely pushy and fast, although it seemed a little bony in places. The river gets bigger as they drop down and more creeks and tributaries converge on it. They finally exit the last gorge and begin the lower Karnali (the 8 day section we ran when I was recently in Nepal) and the video almost immediately cut to the take out at Chisapani.

The video runs 47 minutes (so that they could fit commercials in for the hour-long TV broadcast) but seems too long. There is some duplicated footage and commentary, but my biggest complaint is that the video doesn’t seem to have identified its’ target audience. There is too much paddling for the adventure travel viewer, and the amount of off river footage and lack of typical ‘boater’ attitude and carnage doesn’t cut it as an engaging kayaking video.

But this isn't a typical adventure - it highlights the difficulties in logistics, reliance on lacking or inaccurate information, and paddling down extreme rivers which no one has paddled or even explored before.  For this reason alone, this video is worth watching.

Three stars (out of 5).

new.gif (351 bytes) Order the video LIQUID OFF THE THRONE OF SHIVA and use the sales code 'KY08LS' (that's a zero) in the 'special instructions/comments' box on their online order form. The discount will not show up on the order form, but the code and discount will be noted when the order is processed there.

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