Team 2022 was composed internationally: Olda Stos (Czech Republic), Jari Triboldi (Italy), Benjamin Schumacher, Jerome Normand (France), Jack Huddleston (USA), Max Schuh, Gregor Zakel (Germany), Louis Rogissart (Belgium).
Team 2023: Olda Stos (Czech Republic), Jari Triboldi (Italy), Lionel Rias, Benjamin Schumacher, (France), Max Schuh, Gregor Zakel (Germany), Geoffroy Damant (Belgium), Sha Chao-Chi (Taiwan).
Goal of the expedition in 2022 is the area of the Annapurna massif. Specifically, the area between Machapuchare (6993m) - Annapurna II (7937m) - Annapurna III (7555m) - Annapurna IV (7525m). The source of the river Seti is a glacial plateau "Sabche Cirque" with a catchment area of 50km2. It is accessible only by helicopter. Located at an altitude of 3400 to 5000 m.
Goal of the expedition in 2023 is the area of the Annapurna massif. Specifically area between Machapuchare (6993m) - Annapurna II (7937m) - Annapurna III (7555m) - Annapurna IV (7525m). Source of the Seti river is a glacial plateau "Sabche Cirque" with a catchment area of 50km2. It´s accessible only by helicopter. Located at an altitude of 3400 to 5000m.
Upper part - represents an elevation of 1000 m of dark, narrow and steep passages first excavated in glacial conglomerates and sediments. After that, profile passes into the limestone and later granite and gneiss layers of a very deep "sewer" immediately between Machapuchare and Annapurna IV. Geological conditions will be diverse. All progress in the upper part with few exceptions will take place in the dark in a very narrow profile. Canyon is here very deep and narrow. Watery content varies depending on day/night glacier melt. Water temperature around 2 degrees. Middle part - is a technically demanding passage. About 3-4 km long central corridor with a width of 15 to 40 m. River here falls about 500 m down. Main corridor is deeply cut in a labyrinth of huge stone blocks (tens of meters high), numerous river crossings and waterfalls with a height of max. 20-30 m. Lower part – already represents a relatively low risk. It is primarily about climbing in the river bed of the Seti river with numerous technical crossings across the river and acrobatic jungle climbing in glacials sedimentaries hills. Area is dangerous due to the presence of bears and other beasts. In a length of 6 km, the river flows down 300 m. Exit from the canyon is in the small village of Jimerbari, where there are hot springs. Total length about 18 km, altitude difference 2000 m.
It will be another huge project. Approach will be at least 4 days by walk. Last day through very challenging terrain. Every day it is 600 to 1500 m elevation. It is necessary to evaluate the use of the helicopter. Start at an altitude of more than 4200 m. Descent elevation 2400 m. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_0UUP9RZM4&feature=youtu.be - from time 6:20 min. you can see the upper and start of the middle part of the canyon. Upper part - very narrow, steep, technical. Waterfals +/- 200m max. Less emergency exits. Estimated duration of descent 2 days. Middle part - open in places, but still very steep. Strong flow A3/A4 and rapidly changing descent dynamics. Estimated watery of this part at least A5. Estimated descent time 1 day. Lower part - more open profile, possibility of escape into the jungle, many bypasses, high watery flow, min. A5. Estimated descent time 1 day. Descent together: 4 days min.
It´s a watery tributary of the Dandunge Khola. It joins at the end of the middle section of Dangdunge. So the lower part is common. Access by walk 3 days. Beginning around 4000 m.a.s.l. Waterier, more difficult, but probably more emergency escapes. Estimated maximum watery flow around A5/A6. Descent elevation 2400 m. Challenging exit, bear area, acrobatics climbing on sedimentary walls between wild jungle. Descent together: 4 days min.
Narrow and dark Seti gorge has been known to the local people since time immemorial. Primarily as the source of the Seti Gandaki river. In May 2012 an extraordinary disaster struck the area. In the pre-monsoon time, several massive snow avalanches from the Annapurna IV massif fell into the upper part of the canyon. Blocked a massive boulderchocks was established literally nature massive dam at narrow upper part of the canyon. As a result of temperature changes a huge lake of glacial silt and sediments was created in the upper part of the canyon. Subsequently due to the very unstable and fragile geological conditions a massive slab of rock with a width of more than 500 m and a thickness of 100 m was torn off from the southwest wall of Annapurna IV, which created the so-called phenomenon "Himalayan tsunami". A stone avalanche fell directly into a glacial mud lake in a blocked part of the canyon. Natural, hermetic dam has been broken. A huge avalanche of water, ice and rock swept through the canyon and swept away several villages in the upper Seti Gandaki delta outside Pokhara. Large numbers of people died and many villages were destroyed. First wave was up to 30 meters high and swept away everything in its path. Disaster was analyzed by the US Geological Survey in collaboration with Japanese scientists who conducted extensive research in the area to determine the cause. Wall of Annapurna IV is very unstable, so it is only a matter of time before such a disaster happens again. It's not a matter of if, but when. Pokhara is place, where the Indian-Himalayan and Indian-Oceanic plates meet. Last extreme earthquake was in 2015. Gorge is unexplored, unclimbed and untouched by human feet. You can see the video here. Fly over Seti. Visible is only beginning of the last lower part: https://youtu.be/I_0UUP9RZM4
Expeditions in the 1990s in India and Nepal were the first pioneer swallows. Greatest boom and development of canyoning was recorded in Nepal between 2003 and 2012. Definitive opening of Chamjé Khola in 2011 was in many ways a timeless expedition and mainly the starter of other big projects. First repetition of Chamjé Khola and the first complete descent of the canyon in 2018 was a confirmation of this experience and preparation for other huge projects. Continuous training, development of canyoning techniques and adaptation to huge descents of a completely new dimension gave rise to the preparation of other big expeditions.
We knew about canyoning potential in south part of Annapurna since 2015. However it lay dormant for several years. Priorities were elsewhere. We began to show a closer interest from 2018, in more detail from 2019 and very sophisticated from 2020. In 2021 we made two exploration flights by hélicopter over the upper part of the canyon, mainly looking for a suitable place to landing as well as analyzing visually available obstacles in detail. 2022 expedition opened several smaller projects on the upper Seti. We managed to open the fantastic line "Romli Khola" (4 days, of which 2 days of access, difficulty V6.A3.V, approach by walk +1870m, start 3295 m.a.s.l., elevation 1700m, highest waterfall 160m "Hungry Birds") and Bhalaudi Khola (3 days, of which 1.5 day access, difficulty V3.A3.V and 800m elevation, fantastic line great for acclimatization). Further progress was stoped by the early onset of the monsoon. A large amount of mixed precipitation, unfavorable temperature and inversion.