VIDEO – Chamje Khola – extreme first descent of a Himalayan canyonTue, 18/09/2012 - 10:14 — Petzl
In the spring of 2011, the Himalayan Canyon Team made a first descent of one of the highest and most committing canyons on the planet: the Chamje Khola canyon. The film, by Laurent Triay, presents an historical achievement for both canyoning as well as for mountaineering in general. A new door has just been opened into techniques for descending difficult canyons in faraway lands.
The Chamje Khola canyon is located in the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas, between Annapurna (8091m) and Manaslu (8163m), along the right bank of the Marsyangdi River, near the village of Jagat. Since 2004, the Himalayan Canyon Team, from France, has made more than thirty first descents of canyons in the area, but they needed to wait until 2011 to be ready to take on the daunting Chamje Khola.
Exploring the 7km long canyon took 5 days, with snow making access difficult at the higher elevations, for a total vertical drop of 2300 meters. Rodolphe Sturm and his team masterfully handled the expedition, flawlessly preparing for all contingencies and leaving nothing to chance. The team confronted the elements and resolved serious challenges with unwavering focus and fortitude.
The most committing canyon to date took 55 hours to descend in 6°C waters; they owe their success to a combination of team spirit and the excellent physical condition of each team member following a three-day approach, crossing over a 4200m high mountain pass in horrible weather, plus a bivouac at 2033 m altitude.
For more information:
- Purchase the extended version of the film (52 min) on DVD or VOD
- The Chamje Kola expedition blog
- The Himalayan Canyon Team blog
- Canyoning equipment and technique
- The Guidebook of Chamjé Khola