The Total Tons Tonnage


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.

Day 01:
Arrive at Camp Lunagad (435 km from Delhi) in the Tons valley. Overnight at camp.

Day 02-03:
Rafting on the Tons from Mori-Khunigad. Familiarization with paddling commands and paddling strokes. Overnight at camp.

Day 04-05:
Trek up to Ringalli Rest house and back, an old British Rest House. Overnight stay near the rest house. Camp. Return to Camp Lunagad 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.

Day 06-08:
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.

Day 09-11:
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

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Trip Details

Location: Uttarakhand
Duration: 11 Days
Grading: Challenging
Custom Travel Only


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