The Last River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-La is a breathtaking account of the ill-fated October 1998 expedition of an American whitewater kayaking team who traveled deep into the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet to run the Yarlung Tsangpo, known in paddling circles as the "Everest of rivers". For Wick Walker and Tom McEwan, extreme whitewater pioneers, best friends, and trip leaders, the Tsangpo adventure was the culmination of a 25-year quest for glory. Yet the team's magnificent dreams crumbled when their ace paddler was swept over a thunderous eight-foot waterfall, never to be seen again.
Here is a fascinating exploration of both the seething big water and perilous terrain of the legendary Shangri-la, and the men who dared challenge the furious rapids that raced through this 140-mile-long canyon. The Last River invites us to view the Himalayas from a totally new perspective - on a historic river so remote that only the most hardy and romantic souls attempt to unlock its mysteries.
©2000 Todd Balf (P)2012 Random House
"Todd Balf's saga of an assault on the 'Everest of rivers' - the fabled Tsangpo - is a rich and troubling story about the dark side of America's infatuation with extreme adventure. It's a must-read for anyone who loved Into Thin Air - or who might be contemplating that next first descent on a killer river."(Erik Larson, author of Isaac's Storm)
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