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The harrowing account of the pioneering descent of Tibets Tsangpo River one of modern explorations greatest challenges which ended in tragedy with the death of Olympic Paddler Doug Gordon. A COMPELLING AND DRAMATIC EXPEDITION ACCOUNT set in one of the worlds most beautiful and remote regions. The Tsangpo is one of the last great uncharted rivers in the world. It's the Ever The harrowing account of the pioneering descent of Tibets Tsangpo River one of modern explorations greatest challenges which ended in tragedy with the death of Olympic Paddler Doug Gordon. A COMPELLING AND DRAMATIC EXPEDITION ACCOUNT set in one of the worlds most beautiful and remote regions. The Tsangpo is one of the last great uncharted rivers in the world. It's the Everest of whitewater, except unlike Everest, it's never been done. -- Arlene Burns, the Washington Post ROMANCE OF THE WORLD'S FORBIDDEN AND SECRET PLACES: Mysterious and sacred, Tibet has fascinated explorers for more than a century. The stretch of the Tsangpo attempted by Walker and his team is the source of the legend of Shangri-la, and the model for James Hiltons novel, Lost Horizons. CONTROVERSY OVER THE 'DISCOVERY' OF TSANGPO'S HIDDEN FALLS: In 1924 British explorer Frank Kingdon-Ward observed what he believed to be the highest waterfall on the Tsangpo, a waterfall to rival Niagra. His observations led to a race to document these falls, which has attracted generations of explorers.FILM TIE-IN: The Walker expedition is the subject of a National Geographic Explorer special that will re-air at the time of publication. In 1926 botanist F. Kingdon Ward described one of modern explorationIs greatest challengesUtracking the course of the Tsangpo River of Tibet. In a mysterious region called Pemako, the Land of Flowers, the mighty Tsangpo loops around the eastern anchor of the Himalayan Range, cutting the deepest canyon on earth and emerging more than nine thousand feet lower on the plains of Assam, India, renamed the Brahmaputra. He and others added pieces to the puzzle he called Ithe riddle of the Tsangpo gorges, O but no one has yet followed the river throughout its course. For almost four decades on several continents, a small group of American companionsUWick Walker, Tom and Jamie McEwan, and Doug Gordon were privileged to participate in the emergence of a new and thrilling sport, whitewater racing. Moving from World Cup and Olympic levels to expeditions around the globe, Wick Walker and his companions were drawn to an area of Tibet where the highest and deepest of the EarthIs recesses come together.Perhaps no place in the world is more dramatic (or less known and explored) than the magnificent series of gorges that lie in far southeastern Tibet. In late September 1998, after years of planning, including a month-long reconnaissance into the gorge in 1997, and garnering support from the National Geographic Society, Malden Mills Industries, and a host of other sponsors, the expedition finally launched into the treacherous gorges for a first descent. Four whitewater paddlers, perhaps the best possible team in the world, would descend the Tsangpo, supported and resupplied at intervals by a team of four trekkers accompanied by two sherpas, local guides and porters, and a videographer from National Geographic. The descent, which began with difficultiesUa huge river swollen by a season of Ififty-year floodsO ended in tragedy with the death of renowned chemist and Olympian, Doug Gordon, who perished on October 16th while running a small put powerful waterfall. Although his teammates searched for his body for four days, his remains were never found, vanishing into the treacherous waters. The expedition was immediately abandoned.Courting the Diamond Sow is a compelling expedition account shaped by the first-hand diary accounts of the kayackers as they passed through the gorges; the history of this mysterious corner of the world some refer to as Shangri La and the attempts to explore it; and a cultural profile of this remote Tibetan region.


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The harrowing account of the pioneering descent of Tibets Tsangpo River one of modern explorations greatest challenges which ended in tragedy with the death of Olympic Paddler Doug Gordon. A COMPELLING AND DRAMATIC EXPEDITION ACCOUNT set in one of the worlds most beautiful and remote regions. The Tsangpo is one of the last great uncharted rivers in the world. It's the Ever The harrowing account of the pioneering descent of Tibets Tsangpo River one of modern explorations greatest challenges which ended in tragedy with the death of Olympic Paddler Doug Gordon. A COMPELLING AND DRAMATIC EXPEDITION ACCOUNT set in one of the worlds most beautiful and remote regions. The Tsangpo is one of the last great uncharted rivers in the world. It's the Everest of whitewater, except unlike Everest, it's never been done. -- Arlene Burns, the Washington Post ROMANCE OF THE WORLD'S FORBIDDEN AND SECRET PLACES: Mysterious and sacred, Tibet has fascinated explorers for more than a century. The stretch of the Tsangpo attempted by Walker and his team is the source of the legend of Shangri-la, and the model for James Hiltons novel, Lost Horizons. CONTROVERSY OVER THE 'DISCOVERY' OF TSANGPO'S HIDDEN FALLS: In 1924 British explorer Frank Kingdon-Ward observed what he believed to be the highest waterfall on the Tsangpo, a waterfall to rival Niagra. His observations led to a race to document these falls, which has attracted generations of explorers.FILM TIE-IN: The Walker expedition is the subject of a National Geographic Explorer special that will re-air at the time of publication. In 1926 botanist F. Kingdon Ward described one of modern explorationIs greatest challengesUtracking the course of the Tsangpo River of Tibet. In a mysterious region called Pemako, the Land of Flowers, the mighty Tsangpo loops around the eastern anchor of the Himalayan Range, cutting the deepest canyon on earth and emerging more than nine thousand feet lower on the plains of Assam, India, renamed the Brahmaputra. He and others added pieces to the puzzle he called Ithe riddle of the Tsangpo gorges, O but no one has yet followed the river throughout its course. For almost four decades on several continents, a small group of American companionsUWick Walker, Tom and Jamie McEwan, and Doug Gordon were privileged to participate in the emergence of a new and thrilling sport, whitewater racing. Moving from World Cup and Olympic levels to expeditions around the globe, Wick Walker and his companions were drawn to an area of Tibet where the highest and deepest of the EarthIs recesses come together.Perhaps no place in the world is more dramatic (or less known and explored) than the magnificent series of gorges that lie in far southeastern Tibet. In late September 1998, after years of planning, including a month-long reconnaissance into the gorge in 1997, and garnering support from the National Geographic Society, Malden Mills Industries, and a host of other sponsors, the expedition finally launched into the treacherous gorges for a first descent. Four whitewater paddlers, perhaps the best possible team in the world, would descend the Tsangpo, supported and resupplied at intervals by a team of four trekkers accompanied by two sherpas, local guides and porters, and a videographer from National Geographic. The descent, which began with difficultiesUa huge river swollen by a season of Ififty-year floodsO ended in tragedy with the death of renowned chemist and Olympian, Doug Gordon, who perished on October 16th while running a small put powerful waterfall. Although his teammates searched for his body for four days, his remains were never found, vanishing into the treacherous waters. The expedition was immediately abandoned.Courting the Diamond Sow is a compelling expedition account shaped by the first-hand diary accounts of the kayackers as they passed through the gorges; the history of this mysterious corner of the world some refer to as Shangri La and the attempts to explore it; and a cultural profile of this remote Tibetan region.

30 review for Courting the Diamond Sow: Kayaking Tibet's Forbidden River

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda Robinson

    A thorough, thoughtful and evocative account of the fated 1998 expedition to paddle the first descent of the Tsangpo River written by the expedition leader. With journal entries from the participants bringing us up close to the campfires each night, we can feel the drenched majesty of the mountain gorge, feel the brows of Namcha Barwa and Gyala Peri frowning down on the tiny travelers 16,000 feet below, and hear the tumultuous roar, crash of the flooded Tsangpo with its 20-foot haystacks and 20 A thorough, thoughtful and evocative account of the fated 1998 expedition to paddle the first descent of the Tsangpo River written by the expedition leader. With journal entries from the participants bringing us up close to the campfires each night, we can feel the drenched majesty of the mountain gorge, feel the brows of Namcha Barwa and Gyala Peri frowning down on the tiny travelers 16,000 feet below, and hear the tumultuous roar, crash of the flooded Tsangpo with its 20-foot haystacks and 20 ft. deep keeper holes; the kayakers bobbing like fleas on its surface. A holy terrifyingly beautiful place and a remarkable portrayal of intrepid adventurers who challenge wildwater in the hidden gorgeous places of the earth.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Anderson

    This book was a gift from a friend due to my kayaking hobby and conversation to Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore I might be a little biased on this one. In all actuality, I did not expect much. A travel account from an adventure participant who is not an author leaves little room for high expectations. However, I found this book to be well written. I liked that Wickliffe brought in accounts from historical expeditions in this area and depictions of the locals they meet on their trip. Especially insig This book was a gift from a friend due to my kayaking hobby and conversation to Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore I might be a little biased on this one. In all actuality, I did not expect much. A travel account from an adventure participant who is not an author leaves little room for high expectations. However, I found this book to be well written. I liked that Wickliffe brought in accounts from historical expeditions in this area and depictions of the locals they meet on their trip. Especially insightful were the excerpts from other participants journals. Actually, one of those writers had wonderful writing skills, and I would love to read an entire account from his perspective.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    This book is the 3rd I've read about the expeditions to the Tsangpo Gorge, and it was my least favorite. The first 3/4 of the book was truly uninteresting. The author failed to capture the intensity and give the reader a true feeling of what was happening. The disappearance of Doug Gordon is when the book became page turning, which is sad, because if Walker had only used that style of writing for the rest of the book, the entire book could have been page turning. It is only after this point did This book is the 3rd I've read about the expeditions to the Tsangpo Gorge, and it was my least favorite. The first 3/4 of the book was truly uninteresting. The author failed to capture the intensity and give the reader a true feeling of what was happening. The disappearance of Doug Gordon is when the book became page turning, which is sad, because if Walker had only used that style of writing for the rest of the book, the entire book could have been page turning. It is only after this point did I feel any emotion. I won't reveal any more, but I feel Walker did honor Doug Gordon in a well respected manner.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I have always been interested in the Tibet culture and stories of those taking part of an extreme sport or adventure. This book met both of those needs. Although the book was a good read, I felt it was missing a little something ... that unknown unqualifiable "something" that would take it to the top. Still enjoyable read, though. I have always been interested in the Tibet culture and stories of those taking part of an extreme sport or adventure. This book met both of those needs. Although the book was a good read, I felt it was missing a little something ... that unknown unqualifiable "something" that would take it to the top. Still enjoyable read, though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    de verboden rivier

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    For some reason this account didn't feel as intimate as I had wanted, yet it was still a fascinating story. For some reason this account didn't feel as intimate as I had wanted, yet it was still a fascinating story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Keith Boynton

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ruhlen

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Martin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trish

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Whipple

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jason Policastro

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Monika

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lulu

  19. 4 out of 5

    James

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Orris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Cline

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew S.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven Ott

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jae

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roxy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janellech

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