A low to medium volume, Class IV river, the Tons was
first run in 1980 by Jack Morison, followed by a commercial
exploratory trip in 1986, which ran the entire length
of the river. Since then, apart from a 15 km commercial
section, the river has hardly ever been challenged.
The main raft section is around Camp Lunagad, Aquaterra
Adventures summer camp, near Mori village.
Aquaterra Adventures made the first Indian descent
on the hardest section on this river (Khunigad
Tiuni) in April 2003. We followed it up by running
the first fixed departure expedition on the Lower
Tons, an exciting 75 km journey down this Class 4
section of the medium volume Lower Tons river. In
May 2005, Aquaterra Adventures operated the first
rafting descent on the entire Tons river since 1986,
almost a first descent as the river had changed considerably
over 19 years.
This adventure kicks off from our base camp on the
Tons river, with familiarity gained on the 15-km-long
commercial section of the upper Tons near Mori. A
short overnight hike into the hills adjoining whets
the appetite before we begin the 60 km expedition
journey, down to Icchari, where the river is dammed.
Below Tiuni, we encounter Foreplay, Premature Ejaculation,
a series of Class III+ rapids, followed by Afterglow,
Channel Rapid, Pillow talk, Thrice Bitten, Deadly
Dedsu before we reach the bridge at Atal, the village
below which we camp on Day 01. Day 02 begins with
several Class 3 rapids after which we flow into a
gorge where we tackle the Lone Ranger, Three Musketeers,
and the Roaring Bagni. We reach our campsite near
Atal for the night, covering approx. 20 kms.
Below Atal, we paddle through a long gorge where
we hear ample chatter of monkeys and the call of cuckoos.
The land takes a more gentle and tropical rhythm from
the upper, more alpine, valley near the base camp.
Palm trees grow at the edge of cliffs and their roots
drop 80 ft into the nourishing water of the Tons.
The gorge opens out at the bridge near Minus and
the river flows gently for the next 7 kms till we
reach Major Surprise, the biggest rapid on the trip.
Major Surprise is followed by a series of big rapids
before the river flattens out again near the dam at
Icchari. The river section till Major Surprise is
about 25 kms and depending on whether its a
portage of not, and the time at hand, we either camp
there or continue to reach Icchari.