Lower Tons River Rafting Expedition

from 40,500.00

This adventure kicks off from our base camp on the Tons river, with familiarity gained on the 15-km-long commercial section of the upper Tons near Mori. A short overnight hike into the hills adjoining whets the appetite before we begin the 60 km expedition journey, down to Icchari, where the river is dammed.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Camping, Family, Rafting
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Medium Group
    12
Lower Tons River Rafting Expedition.

The Region
The Tons river flows through Garhwal, the western part of the Himalayan state of Uttaranchal, bordering Himachal Pradesh. With its source in the 20,720 ft high Bandarpunchh mountain, it is the biggest tributary of the Yamuna, and, in fact, carries more water than the Yamuna itself. The Tons valley lies in the Jaunsar Bawar region of Garhwal, a little known area, unique in culture and history. Another name for Uttarakhand was Panchaldesh, referring to the five Pandava brothers from the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas, and their rivals, the Kauravas, figure especially in the anthropology of the Tons valley, where the villagers actually claim to have descended from the two clans. Their social customs are very unlike the rest of conservative Garhwal. Polyandry, and to some extent, polygamy, are the normal practice.

Economically, these customs probably owe their origin to a necessity to keep population down and prevent division of property. A system of bride price, where the worth of a to-be-bride increases with the number of past husbands she has had, is still prevalent.

The Trip
A low to medium volume, Class IV river, the Tons was first run in 1980 by Jack Morison, followed by a commercial exploratory trip in 1986, which ran the entire length of the river. Since then, apart from a 15 km commercial section, the river has hardly ever been challenged. The main raft section is around Camp Lunagad, Aquaterra Adventure’s summer camp, near Mori village.

Aquaterra Adventures made the first Indian descent on the hardest section on this river (Khunigad – Tiuni) in April 2003. We followed it up by running the first fixed departure expedition on the Lower Tons, an exciting 75 km journey down this Class 4 section of the medium volume Lower Tons river.

In May 2005, Aquaterra Adventures operated the first rafting descent on the entire Tons river since 1986, almost a first descent as the river had changed considerably over 19 years.

This adventure kicks off from our base camp on the Tons river, with familiarity gained on the 15-km-long commercial section of the upper Tons near Mori. A short overnight hike into the hills adjoining whets the appetite before we begin the 60 km expedition journey, down to Icchari, where the river is dammed.

Below Tiuni, we encounter Foreplay, Premature Ejaculation, a series of Class III+ rapids, followed by Afterglow, Channel Rapid, Pillow talk, Thrice Bitten, Deadly Dedsu before we reach the bridge at Atal, the village below which we camp on Day 01. Day 02 begins with several Class 3 rapids after which we flow into a gorge where we tackle the Lone Ranger, Three Musketeers, and the Roaring Bagni. We reach our campsite near Atal for the night, covering approx. 20 kms.

Below Atal, we paddle through a long gorge where we hear ample chatter of monkeys and the call of cuckoos. The land takes a more gentle and tropical rhythm from the upper, more alpine, valley near the base camp. Palm trees grow at the edge of cliffs and their roots drop 80 ft into the nourishing water of the Tons. The gorge opens out at the bridge near Minus and the river flows gently for the next 7 kms till we reach Major Surprise, the biggest rapid on the trip.

Major Surprise is followed by a series of big rapids before the river flattens out again near the dam at Icchari. The river section till Major Surprise is about 25 kms and depending on whether it’s a portage of not, and the time at hand, we either camp there or continue to reach Icchari.

Video Preview

  1. Day 1 Arrive at Camp Bagi

    Arrive at Camp Bagi (435 km from Delhi) in the Tons valley. Overnight at camp

  2. Day 2 to Day 3 Rafting from Mori-Khunigad

    Rafting on the Tons from Mori-Khunigad. Familiarization with paddling commands and paddling strokes. Overnight at camp.

  3. Day 6 - Day 8 Raft from Tuni (confluence) till Icchari Dam

    Drive 1 hr (30 km) down to Tiuni, below the confluence of the Pabbar and Tons rivers. Begin rafting expedition to raft till Icchari dam. Overnight camps on the river. Arrive Delhi.

Responsible Travel

We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.

Please take a few minutes to read the following:

The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.

Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.

Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.

Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.

Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.

Be safe
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.

Activity Level
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.

Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.

  • Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
  • Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
  • Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
  • Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.

The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at info@aquaterra.in to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).

Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.

References
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.

Services provided
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
Inclusions

Includes train fare from Delhi to Dehradun and back, all transfers, meals from Day 01 dinner till Day 8 brunch, stay on twin share, all activities as detailed above.

Accommodation

Deluxe tents (beds, mattresses and quilts provided) on twin share. Each tent is furnished with 2 camp cots, a table, two cane chairs. Toilet tents have dry-pit toilets (the only toilets allowed as per Reserved Forest camping regulations) with western style commodes over a pit. We can accommodate upto 30 persons at camp. We can take upto 50 with ample notice, though our Ganga base, Camp Silver Sands, has ready occupancy for 70 persons.
Note: We don’t accommodate drivers at camp. Drivers are requested to get accommodation and meals at Mori, 5 km away.

Meal Plan

We are proud of the excellent cuisine served in camp with emphasis on wholesome, hygienic and delicious food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are obtained locally.

  • Breakfast: Continental & Indian: Corn flakes/porridge, eggs, toast/pancakes/french toast, parantha, butter, jam, baked beans/french fries, fruits, tea/coffee.
  • Lunch: Indian: Normally vegetarian consisting of Dal/rajma, two vegetables, rice (fried/plain), chapati, papad, salad,& fruit
  • Dinner: A special meal with variations of Barbecue, Indian, Continental or Chinese cuisine complete with dessert.
    Note: Dinner is served from 8:30pm-9:30pm, keeping in mind our need to adhere to strict Forest Department guidelines. Dinner will not be available should you not serve yourselves before 9:30pm.
  • Tea Breaks: Tea/coffee with snacks/biscuits.

Activities at Camp

Beside rafting one could go for a hike to a typical village near the camp or even go for longer hikes (5-6hrs) in the surrounding hills. Afternoon hikes to the Lunagad pool is a great option – a 45 min walk gets you to a great pool to swim around in, non-swimmers carry lifejackets. Overnight treks are also possible. Facilities are available for camp games like volleyball, frisbee, tennis ball cricket etc. A day in camp is rounded off with a campfire and a leisurely evening with fellow rafters.

Equipment & Guides
We have unmatched top of the line self-bailing rafts and accessories used by professionals globally. With the country’s most experienced guiding team, we assure the first-timer and even the non-swimmer a trip of a lifetime – we run the most number of rivers in the country today – leaving the competition far behind with our superior experience, guiding team, equipment and array of adventure trips.

Exclusions & Cancellations

Whats not:

  • Airfare
  • Airport Transfers
  • Visas
  • All optional additional tours or activities during free time
  • Transportation outside of the tour program
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature like phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, bottled beverages, laundry, souvenir etc.
  • Costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.

Booking conditions: All bookings are subject to availability of space at Camp. We book space on a 100% advance. All payments by wire transfer, cash or cheque/draft in favor of “Aquaterra Adventures (I) Pvt. Ltd.”

Cancellations

If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:

  • if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
  • will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
  • if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
  • tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
  • if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.

Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.

The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.