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Meghalaya 2014

This year’s season in Meghalaya has been absolutely ridiculous. For the past two years we’ve ended up paddling into steep gorges with crazy geography that for the most part have offered up awesome adventures, but often not that great whitewater. This year has delivered on the awesome adventures, but now we’re really starting to make headway with finding some gems!

Scouting one of the first rapids on the Kopili

Scouting one of the first rapids on the Kopili

What has become apparent this year is Meghalaya’s two distinct seasons – monsoon runs and lower water multi-days.

In the monsoon the rains hit hard (wettest place on earth hard), which combined with the sandstone and limestone bedrock in the more modestly steep areas makes for some awesome steep creeking.

As the rains mellowed out we started looking for larger rivers. This year we paddled two new rivers that, combined with the already known lower section of the Kynshi, now means that Meghalaya has three accessable multi-day runs that have enough whitewater to entertain any kayaker looking for a jam packed two and a half weeks.

The Umtrew was one of the first we headed to and is an absolute gem of a river! The first descent (which I unfortunately missed) took the guys three days, on the second run we paddled it in a fairly stress free two days, and whilst I was busy Dan, Jamie and Jakub smashed it in an impressive four hours. This is such an awesome find for Meghalaya’s whitewater as the put-on is only three hours from Shillong, the capital.

One river which kept drawing us back over this season was the Kopili. We paddled it first in September, and returned two more times. Each descent was totally a different water level which really changed the charachter of the run, but each time it was nothing short of world class. Great camping, a wild jungle and a shuttle shorter than an hour for those who would like to smash out laps.

In October I flew home for a wedding, and missed out on the only epic of the trip – The Khri Bah, a river that cuts through a very remote area draining the northern platau. Reports from the lads say it could be immense with less water, so who knows, we might be checking it out in future years.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Meghalaya without paddling the Kynshi, and as we were there for nearly four months this year we made sure we got in a lot of laps. From scary highwater to dirty low water the Kynshi never failed to blow my mind with its incredible scenery, remoteness and phenominally unique whitewater. The more I paddle it the more I love it and it is unquestionably my favorite river in the world.

2014 was an epic season, and I can’t wait to get back next year to see what else is hidden away in Meghalaya’s deep gorges. As always thanks to Zorba Laloo for being a total lad and keeping us away from trouble, Greg Diengdoh for allowing us to convert his house into a paddlers den, and everyone else who makes Meghalaya such a great place to visit year after year.