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1 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Nautical- Kayak and Canoe

Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River

by

Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A grand adventure — an elite kayaking team's heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River.

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 its 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. Accompanying them was author Peter Heller. A world-class kayaker in his own right, Heller has logged countless river miles and several major first descents. He joined the Tsangpo Expedition as a member of the ground support team and official expedition journalist, and was also granted the exclusive opportunity to write the book about the descent.

Hell or High Water is that book — greatly expanded from his coverage for Outside magazine. Filled with history, white-knuckle drama, and mutiny in one of the world's most storied — and remote — locations, Hell or High Water is as riveting as any of the great epic adventures throughout history. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.

Review:

"Dedicated kayakers have long had their hearts set on the Tsangpo River, which cuts a gorge through Tibet many times deeper and steeper than the Grand Canyon; successfully navigating it is akin to snowboarding down Everest. The last major expedition of the 1990s ended when one of the kayakers drowned in the raging currents, but in 2002 a group led by adventure filmmaker Scott Lindgren, one of the extreme sport's most prominent heroes, gave it another shot. Heller was assigned to cover the expedition for Outside and, despite having completely worn out the cartilage in one hip, he decided to go for it. The story takes him to one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, still almost entirely untouched, but also subjects him to the ugliest aspects of human nature. Heller is unflinchingly honest about the hostility he faced from Lindgren and his companions, who openly attack the journalist for 'getting rich' from their story, as well as the resentment that begins to well inside him at their condescension. Meanwhile, the locals hired to carry the equipment realize they have the upper hand and start extorting more money for their services. The drama on shore, however, is easily matched — sometimes surpassed — by the action on the river, which includes a few chilling brushes with death. Heller nimbly blends the history of the region into his gripping modern trek, as the crew lives up to the legacy of the great explorers before them. An offhand remark made to the paddlers early in the journey — that their story could be the kayaking equivalent of Into Thin Air — has come true in the best possible way. Agent, Kathy Robbins. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Heller does a smooth job of introducing the participants and, at first, a rip-roaring job of evoking the river's conditions....Heller works a difficult story gamely, getting enough color into the narrative to keep readers involved, if not exhilarated." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The author will occasionally grind a gear in his transitions between cultural passages, immediate events, and poetical evocations of river-gorge vistas, but he also stokes plenty of the action that propels thrill-seeking readers." Booklist

Review:

"[A] riveting adventure book....Readers who kayak no doubt will find within the book's pages a wave of thrills on the river-running experience." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"[A] wonderful book....[The] successful quest conveys all the drama and derring-do of the works of Thor Heyerdahl or the explorers of the so-called Dark Continent. An enthralling tale for anyone who joys in conquests of new frontiers." Library Journal

Book News Annotation:

Heller, a contributor to Outside magazine and world-class paddler from Denver, served as official expedition journalist in 2002 on the first successful kayaking trip through the Tsango River Gorge sacred to Buddhists. He describes extreme white-water kayaking through the world's deepest river gorge in the context of the political, geological, cultural, and exploration history of the region. The book includes a briefly annotated reference list and a satellite map of the Gorge.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In this grand adventure, an elite kayaking team makes a heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.

Synopsis:

A grand adventure-an elite kayaking team's heroic conquest of the worlds last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River.

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. Accompanying them was author Peter Heller. A world-class kayaker in his own right, Heller has logged countless river miles and several major first descents. He joined the Tsangpo Expedition as a member of the ground support team and official expedition journalist, and was also granted the exclusive opportunity to write the book about the descent.

Hell or High Water is that book-greatly expanded from his coverage for Outside magazine. Filled with history, white-knuckle drama, and mutiny in one of the world's most storied-and remote-locations, Hell or High Water is as riveting as any of the great epic adventures throughout history. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.

About the Author

Peter Heller, a seasoned adventure journalist and passionate kayaker, is a frequent contributor to Outside magazine. He lives in Denver.

Table of Contents

Put-in 1
1 The assignment 5
2 Lhasa to Pe 27
3 The river 53
4 Tripe to Selung Creek 67
5 Kintup the tailor 91
6 Gyala to Doug's Ledges 101
7 Doug's Ledges to the Spur 127
8 Pemakochung 143
9 The Kondrasong La to Kondrasong La Falls 165
10 Northeast Straits to Pine Camp 181
11 The grand portage 207
12 Gogden 231
13 The Lower Gorge 253
Take-out 273

Product Details

ISBN:
9781579548728
Subtitle:
Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River
Author:
Heller, Peter
Publisher:
Rodale Books
Subject:
China
Subject:
Kayaking
Subject:
Asia - Tibet
Subject:
Boating - General
Subject:
Special Interest - Adventure
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
October 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 8-pg 4-color inserts
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.58 x 5.88 x 1.135 in

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Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Kayak and Canoe
Transportation » Nautical » Kayak and Canoe
Travel » Asia » General

Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River Used Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Rodale Press - English 9781579548728 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dedicated kayakers have long had their hearts set on the Tsangpo River, which cuts a gorge through Tibet many times deeper and steeper than the Grand Canyon; successfully navigating it is akin to snowboarding down Everest. The last major expedition of the 1990s ended when one of the kayakers drowned in the raging currents, but in 2002 a group led by adventure filmmaker Scott Lindgren, one of the extreme sport's most prominent heroes, gave it another shot. Heller was assigned to cover the expedition for Outside and, despite having completely worn out the cartilage in one hip, he decided to go for it. The story takes him to one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, still almost entirely untouched, but also subjects him to the ugliest aspects of human nature. Heller is unflinchingly honest about the hostility he faced from Lindgren and his companions, who openly attack the journalist for 'getting rich' from their story, as well as the resentment that begins to well inside him at their condescension. Meanwhile, the locals hired to carry the equipment realize they have the upper hand and start extorting more money for their services. The drama on shore, however, is easily matched — sometimes surpassed — by the action on the river, which includes a few chilling brushes with death. Heller nimbly blends the history of the region into his gripping modern trek, as the crew lives up to the legacy of the great explorers before them. An offhand remark made to the paddlers early in the journey — that their story could be the kayaking equivalent of Into Thin Air — has come true in the best possible way. Agent, Kathy Robbins. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Heller does a smooth job of introducing the participants and, at first, a rip-roaring job of evoking the river's conditions....Heller works a difficult story gamely, getting enough color into the narrative to keep readers involved, if not exhilarated."
"Review" by , "The author will occasionally grind a gear in his transitions between cultural passages, immediate events, and poetical evocations of river-gorge vistas, but he also stokes plenty of the action that propels thrill-seeking readers."
"Review" by , "[A] riveting adventure book....Readers who kayak no doubt will find within the book's pages a wave of thrills on the river-running experience."
"Review" by , "[A] wonderful book....[The] successful quest conveys all the drama and derring-do of the works of Thor Heyerdahl or the explorers of the so-called Dark Continent. An enthralling tale for anyone who joys in conquests of new frontiers."
"Synopsis" by , In this grand adventure, an elite kayaking team makes a heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.
"Synopsis" by ,
A grand adventure-an elite kayaking team's heroic conquest of the worlds last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River.

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. Accompanying them was author Peter Heller. A world-class kayaker in his own right, Heller has logged countless river miles and several major first descents. He joined the Tsangpo Expedition as a member of the ground support team and official expedition journalist, and was also granted the exclusive opportunity to write the book about the descent.

Hell or High Water is that book-greatly expanded from his coverage for Outside magazine. Filled with history, white-knuckle drama, and mutiny in one of the world's most storied-and remote-locations, Hell or High Water is as riveting as any of the great epic adventures throughout history. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.

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