The Marsyangdi is the mother of all rivers. In the local dialect, it means raging one and rage it does! Few rivers rival the Marsyangdi for exhilarating whitewater and unparalleled mountain views. It is steep, powerful and not to be underestimated. With some of the wildest commercially run white water in the world, sustained sections of steep technical rafting test our teamwork throughout the trip. Usually a turquoise blue in color, the rapids wrap themselves around weirdly sculpted boulders and steep chutes plunging into deep green pools as the river drops down from the Annapurna range. With the awe inspiring, breathtaking backdrop of the Manaslu and Annapurna ranges, it is a photographer’s dream.
It may be a dream of a whitewater run, but it is a logistical nightmare. Even still, our guides fight among themselves for the honor of running it. The huge boulders require instinctive and expert river reading skills to identify the right lines. The rapids are so continuous and technical that we run the rafts empty of gear for maneuverability. In true Nepali style, we employ porters to carry our gear. Don’t worry; we still manage to squeeze on board our extensive first aid kit and the exceptional Drift Nepal lunch box. If you ever see a group of wizened river rats drowning in a Pokhara bar, you may hear the Marsyangdi described variously as an adrenaline overload, most beautiful river I have ever done, orgasmic, a jewel of a river or liquid madness!