Archive | August, 2010

Into the Tsangpo Gorge

Last week, on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, I sat at a small table with Steve Fisher, considered by many to be the world’s best kayaker, two other friends, one old and one new, stuffed grape leaves, tabouleh, za’atar, some turkish coffee and a couple of local beers. We listened to a jet-lagged Fisher reminisce about his experience in Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge, which would become a book, Hell Or High Water, by Outside writer Peter Heller, and a documentary, Into The Tsangpo Gorge, that you can watch for free on Hulu. It’s an amazing story, and while I had the advantage of hearing bits and pieces in between bites of pita bread, the short documentary on Hulu is well worth your time.

From IndieBound:

The Tsangpo Gorge in southeastern Tibet has lured explorers and adventurers since its discovery. Sacred to the Buddhists, the inspiration for Shangri La, the Gorge is as steeped in legend and mystery as any spot on earth. As a river-running challenge, the remote Tsangpo is relentlessly unforgiving, more difficult than any stretch of river ever attempted. Its mysteries have withstood a century’s worth of determined efforts to explore it’s length. The finest expedition paddlers on earth have tried. Several have died. All have failed. Until now.

In January 2002, in the heart of the Himalayan winter, a team of seven kayakers launched a meticulously planned assault of the Gorge. The paddlers were river cowboys, superstars in the universe of extreme kayaking who hop from continent to continent ready for the next death-defying pursuit.

August 9, 2010 | Long Hairs, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

…And I’m Back

I spent last week in Salt Lake City at Outdoor Retailer (photos and words to come), and from Utah, I went to New Jersey/Pennsylvania for a three day canoeing adventure down the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (photos and words also to come). I have brown skin, a Chaco tan like you wouldn’t believe and a black pinky toe on my right foot that I have no recollection of breaking.

One of the most exciting parts of the canoe trip – which doubled as a bachelor party for a guy who used to, way back, write a post here and there for Cold Splinters – was watching bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) fly over our heads while sipping on warm beer. While the one pictured above hails from Alaska, there are quite a few living on the Delaware River, and when you don’t see them that often, it’s hard to remember that they’re real and not unicorns. 

That is one hell of an animal to see on the trail. 

MP3: Red Shadow Singers – Eagle Song **

August 9, 2010 | Flora/Fauna | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }