The Total Tons Trek n Raft
This raft trip is for those who want to transcend to the next level of river running. What sets this trip apart from the other great rafting trips is the consistency of quality whitewater, set in some incredible high mountain scenery.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Medium Group
This raft trip is for those who want to transcend to the next level of river running. What sets this trip apart from the other great rafting trips like the Bio-Bio, the Brahmaputra, the Alsek, the Futaleufu and the Zambezi, is the consistency of quality whitewater, set in some incredible high mountain scenery.
We run several rapids ranging from Class III to Class IV+/V, with whitewater sections separated by maybe a hundred yards or less of flat water. It aims to propagate the sheer adrenaline and magic of taking on 90 kms of quality whitewater from Gyunhatti till Icchari, in what could possibly be, one of the finest whitewater experiences possible in the world today. Adrenaline pumping river days are followed by relaxed afternoons, to be spent under leafy alders, taking short hikes into the alpine forests and camping out near fields of calf high mint and marijuana.
This trip was first offered in a 1986 edition operated by Jack Morison of White Magic, California. In May 2005, Aquaterra Adventures operated the first rafting descent successfully on the entire Tons river since 1986, almost a first descent as the river had changed considerably over 19 years.
On the Middle Tons between Lunagad and Tiuni, the river drops at an average rate of 32 feet per kilometer. This includes a drop of 78 feet/kilometer over the last three and a half kilometers before Tiuni. Amazing scenery, world class whitewater make this a premier expedition for the white water paddler.
Below Tiuni, we encounter 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.
Arrive at Camp Bagi
Arrive at Camp Bagi (435 km from Delhi) in the Tons valley. Overnight at camp.
Rafting on the Tons from Mori-Khunigad
Rafting on the Tons from Mori-Khunigad. Familiarization with paddling commands and paddling strokes. Overnight at camp.
Trek up to Ringalli Rest House or drive downriver and see the rapids
Trek up to Ringalli Rest house and back, an old British Rest House. Overnight stay near the rest house. Camp. Return to Camp Bagi by the afternoon of Day 05 for lunch. Alternately, drive downriver and see the rapids, get ready for the expedition with more rafting on the home stretch.
Begin the 80 km rafting expedition with three days dedicated to the 21 km section from Mori till Tiuni
Leave Camp to begin the 80 km rafting expedition with three days dedicated to the 21 km section from Mori till Tiuni, where the Pabbar River meets the Tons. This is the more continuous part of our expedition. Days are mixed with running several continuous Class 4 rapids in a day and camping by lunch on beautiful alpine meadows above the river, taking walks into the forest and breathing rhododendron-scented air. It’s a great mix of high adrenaline rafting and soothing camping in very scenic surroundings.
Raft 60 kms till Icchari and return to Delhi
Below Tiuni, the Tons takes on more volume with the Pabbar river joining in. We move further downriver into the more tropical part of the valley with excellent whitewater, more spaced out after the frenzy of the top section, and enter a beautiful gorge. We raft 60 kms till Icchari, where the river is finally dammed and return to Delhi
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.
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.
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 [email protected] 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.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
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.
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs is not permitted upto 6 hours before or on a raft trip. We will, without refund, refuse intoxicated persons.
- All meals are served at a central dining area – including tea, coffee (twice a day) and soft drinks. There is no room service.
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 Aquaterra, 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.
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.
- 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.
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.