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First Accent


Any gallery we get from Chris Korbulic is epic. The places, the people, the imagery, and always a stunning star-speckled time-lapse, all make for a transporting viewing experience. But Korbulic’s photo submission from his recent expedition with Ben Stookesberry and Pedro Oliva to Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India to run the Siang and Siyom Rivers was one of his best. So we decided to break it up into three stunning galleries and asked for a summary from the man himself about his Epics of India series.

“The motivation for the trip was to return to an old favorite of the big-water Siang River and to complete another first descent in Arunachal Pradesh on the Siyom River,” summarizes Korbulic. “Arunachal is a wonderland of rivers and first descents, still almost completely dam-free and pretty wild-feeling but still very welcoming. It may be our favorite place in the world to paddle.”

That’s pretty high praise from an expedition kayaker and pro photographer who has paddled some of the most remote and spectacular rivers in the world. But we’ll let his images and his captions do the talking. —LYA Editor

Prayer flags above Tuting along the Siang, near where we met the border official who tipped the scales in our favor.

Top: An assorted chai stop along the way up the Siang and Siyom. Above: Prayer flags above Tuting along the Siang, near where we met the border official who tipped the scales in our favor. L to R: 1. The Indian sky. 2. Flat tires and protesting road workers blocking the road makes for a slow day, or two.

Running the Siyom River, what may be my favorite place in the world to paddle.

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Top: Running the Siyom River, what may be my favorite place in the world to paddle. L to R: Assorted chai stops along the way up the Siang and Siyom.

Ben Stookesberry passing under an old fisherman's bridge on the Siyom.

Top: Ben Stookesberry passing under an old fisherman’s bridge on the Siyom. L to R: 1. Generations of fishermen and family along the Siyom.

Making fresh, delicious foods in the family bamboo hut down by the river. Hospitality at its finest.

Above: Making fresh, delicious foods in the family bamboo hut down by the river. Hospitality at its finest.

 

Star shot on the Siyom

On Monday, we ran the first in a series of three galleries from Chris Korbulic, Ben Stookesberry, and Pedro Oliva’s recent expedition to Northeast India. It’s an epic but it had a purpose. “It was all filmed for another season of our Kaiak TV show in Brazil with Pedro Oliva,” emphasizes Korbulic. “Please do mention Pedro!”

So today we’re mentioning longtime friend of First Ascent, Brazilian reality TV star, and general expedition instigator Pedro Oliva for the unspoken role he has played in countless Stookesberry/Korbulic missions that have appeared in his long-running Brazilian Kaiak TV series. And, we’re publishing round two of Korbulic’s exceptional images of the trip, with the following recap for readers who missed the visuals of round one:

“The motivation for the trip was to return to an old favorite of the big-water Siang River and to complete another first descent in Arunachal Pradesh on the Siyom River,” summarizes Korbulic. “Arunachal is a wonderland of rivers and first descents, still almost completely dam-free and pretty wild-feeling but still very welcoming. It may be our favorite place in the world to paddle.” —LYA Editor

Images and Captions  by Chris Korbulic

Walk of truth on the Star shot on the Siyom

Top: Timelapse two. Above: The walk of truth. L to R: Portaging, scouting, and preparing to run the end of the major bedrock canyon on the Siyom  River.

Indian Whitewater on the Siyom

Above: An Indian Falls on the Siyom. L to R: 1,2. Ben Stookesberry was the only one to drop in to run the falls. 3. Ben taking on the shuttle when our driver didn’t show up.

Local's Crossing on the Siyom

Above: Local’s Crossing Local’s Crossing on the Siyom. L to R: Siyom River Scene

Parting Shot. With Pedro, interviewing Ben…a common sight for the Kaiak crew.

Above: Parting Shot. With Pedro, interviewing Ben…a common sight for the Kaiak crew.