Lhasa River, Tibet

Photo by Steve Swann

Earth Science Expeditions drove by the canyon entrance to a tributary to the Kyi Chu (Lhasa River) on its way to explore the Salween north of Lhasa in 2000. The canyon looked enticing, so in 2002 they returned to explore it. They put-in near Poindo (30.190550, 91.344975 elev 13,400'), above which the river is called the Reting Tsangpo. Between 2000 and 2002, the Chinese built a road along the river, which is a braided stream with a few Class 2 rapids and challenging route picking through extensive gravel bar islands. A few years later the Chinese completed a dam at 29.968434, 91.876899, just above the take-out. This 50 mile stretch is not a good repeat run. However, the stretch of the river above Poindo, called the Reting Tsangpo, is a great Class 3-4 run. See 2003, Wind Horse Adventures.

See Lhasa River Expedition, 2002 for details.

Geology of the Lhasa Headwaters Area

Return to Yarlung Tsangpo First Descents
Info about rivers in Tibet and western China