Nepal Earthquake a Scary Experience for Kayakers on Thuli Bheri

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According to Rush Sturges, who was on a kayaking trip in Nepal with Benny Marr and several other paddlers when the recent earthquake struck, the tragedy was far more deadly than most newspapers are reporting, with the death toll currently at 250 and counting. The region, he says, is so remote and resources are so limited that any outside help is taking a while to develop. He also says that if anyone, paddlers or not, feels like making a donation to help in the relief effort that even a little can go a long way. (Donate Here).

Below, we transcribe his Facebook post detailing where his team was when the earthquake occurred and how it affected both the local villages they passed through as well as their own expedition.

In His Own Words: (from Rush’s original Facebook post on his experience in Jajarkot):

“I was fast asleep in our camp when I felt the earth moving beneath me. There was a loud bang and it felt as if a fist punched up through the earth, throwing me a foot or two off the ground.”

“On Nov. 3rd at 11:45 PM we were hit at the epicenter of a 6.4 earthquake here in Nepal. We were on day three of paddling the Thuli Bheri River. I was fast asleep in our camp when I felt the earth moving beneath me. There was a loud bang and it felt as if a fist punched up through the earth, throwing me a foot or two off the ground. I couldn’t find the zipper to my bivy bag and had to ride out the quake in a state of panic while screaming and trying to get out.

It was undoubtedly the most terror I have ever felt in my life. Rock slides fell all through the canyon and the air became thick with dust as rubble moved through the gorge around us. If this had happened on any other night at any of our other campsites, I’m not sure we would have been as lucky. We’re told that 100+ people died in the small town of Rimna just downstream and the numbers in the Jajarkot region are 150+ deceased and thousands homeless.

The hotel our fixer Gopal was staying in collapsed and he was the only one out of seven to survive. Paddling out through the destruction on our way back to Nepal Gunj yesterday was a surreal experience. I feel incredibly lucky for having survived this and also a deep level of sadness for those who were less fortunate around us. The saddest part of all this is that it seems that these types of incidents often impact those who have the least.

If you have any means, there is a link in my bio towards the relief effort. I’ve made the tough call to end my trip early and head home tomorrow. It’s been a hard decision but this has brought up a lot of emotions for me personally and I just don’t feel like I have a lot of juice left to squeeze at this point. Big thanks to my paddling crew @bennymrr + @gravyboat84 and huge thanks to @jetbutterflies @chand_rajiv @anupicepal and everyone else who supported us in this beautiful and special corner of the world. ”

To donate to the victims  CLICK HERE.

I couldn’t find the zipper to my bivy bag and had to ride out the quake in a state of panic while screaming and trying to get out. It was undoubtedly the most terror I have ever felt in my life.

Nick Hinds
Nick Hindshttps://paddlinglife.com/
Nick Hinds grew up in NC, spending time canoeing and c-1ing around the western part of the state since he was 11 years old. During his 4 years at University of Colorado at Boulder he added whitewater kayaking, so he could earn money teaching at Boulder Outdoor Center. Starting as an intern at Paddler magazine in 2003, Nick began his 20 year career in the Paddlesports Industry. He worked for 4 years with Eugene in Steamboat at Paddler, then 8 years with Canoe & Kayak magazine after moving to Seattle. Spearheading the guidebook for Washington and Oregon, in 2016 he helped publish Paddling Pacific Northwest Whitewater . After 4 years with American Whitewater and 3 with Werner he now handles advertising and marketing partnerships for Paddling Life.

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