Slowly, slowly catch the monkey” was the bizarre mantra reverberating through my oxygen-deprived brain as we approached 6,000m. Vikram Hirani, one of our mountain guides, had spoken these wise words as we fastened crampons onto our snow boots and roped up at the foot of Stok Glacier five hours earlier.
Everybody get down!” yelled Vaibhav to his laid-back crew. I looked up to see the raft just ahead of ours get sucked into a big hole where it began to surf on the recirculating water. As the river thundered over a submerged rock, the pourover created a strong backwash that latched onto the 14-foot raft and prevented it from breaking free. The boat gyrated wildly as it surfed the powerful hydraulic. Bow paddler Rohan Guptan was the first to go.
Many of north India’s finest rafting rivers remain largely unvisited: the preserve of adventure-seekers and wilderness-lovers alike. Here’s where to begin your rafting adventure.