Triumphant Himalayan rafters back in Russia
The rafters from Tomsk, Omsk and Vladivostok managed to travel l,130 kilometers down the river, in eastern Nepal. Translated as Milk River it is considered among the most dangerous in the world.
The first canoeist to conquer the river was Britain's Mike Jones in 1976. Since then there have been no further successful international expeditions. Until now.
Many of the rapids on the river Dudh Kosi are classed in the sixth and highest category for their danger. One mistake can cost a canoeist his life.
Team member Vasiliy Chesnokov just survived when his kayak got stuck in the stones.
Tatyana Kirina is the only woman who has conquered the river until now. The challenge was a hard one, she confessed.
“They kept yelling at me, ”What's wrong with you? Hurry up!“ How could I hurry up?! I mean, I have an abyss in front of me; one of my feet is already there. I have this huge vest on, this heavy life-buoy attached to my waist-and I look the abyss in the eye,” Kirina recalled.
Yevgeny Kovalevsky, the rafter's team leader, has dedicated thirty years of his life to rafting, but this he says would be his last great adventure. During the expedition every member of the team felt what it is like to be 'between life and death', he said.
“We almost capsized on several occasions. We lost our helmets and other gear. Physically, it is very trying; actually, I'd say it's terrible. But that's the whole point of an extreme journey,” Kovalevsky added.
However, such successful expeditions are very rare.
Six Russian sportsmen went missing in late August. They decided to take on another dangerous route, China's Yurungkax river. But they disappeared shortly after setting off. Three of them died.