Twenty-five years ago, 35 expedition kayakers from fourteen countries gathered on the banks of Nepal’s Trisuli river to celebrate the end of an epic whitewater season. We called this gathering the first “Himalayan Whitewater Rodeo” and it was one hell of a good time. As the years went on, and more Nepalis began kayaking and working professionally on the rivers, the Rodeo began shifting – from a competition dominated by Western kayakers to one hosting a strong field of talented Nepali whitewater athletes. Not surprisingly, this corresponded with a growth in Nepali-owned whitewater operations, guides, and outfitters.
It’s been a pleasure watching our Nepali friends take over the reins of their own whitewater industry. And now…after being a part of this fabulous story for a quarter century, the time has come to help this amazing annual event step up again to the next level. We want to leverage the event’s popularity into a broader celebration of
Himalayan adventure sports and the opportunities this sector provides for community, economic, and environmental resiliency.
Based now in the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara (a basecamp for Nepal adventure travel), the new 2017 Himalayan Whitewater Festival will continue to serve as Nepal’s premiere kayak competition, bringing together paddlers from around the world to compete on the Seti river which drains the mighty Annapurna
mountain range. However, the newly expanded “Festival” format – incorporating music, food, film, and special events – will add even more fun and substance for athletes, enthusiasts, tourists, and supporters. Over the years, we intend to gradually build a multi-day festival schedule that includes environmental/adventure films,
inspirational speakers from the adventure sports world, a sponsor/exhibitor booth exhibition area, and valuable symposiums on topics like career literacy for whitewater athletes and sustainable business practices for river outfitters/operators.
We invite you to join us in Pokhara this November and most importantly – we invite you to join us in supporting and celebrating the power of adventure to change lives.
International Goodwill Ambassador for Adventure Travel & Tourism, Nepal