Riding the Dragon's Back: The Race to Raft the Upper Yangtze

Richard Bangs, Author, Christian Kallen, Author Atheneum Books $29.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-689-11932-3
From the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau at more than 17,000 feet above sea level, the Yangtze sweeps nearly 4000 miles to the East China Sea near Shanghai. Its source, in a remote and sparsely populated area, was discovered in 1985; few travelers had seen the upper river in one of the last unexplored regions on Earth. Bangs and Kallen, coauthors of Rivergods , wanted to be the first Americans to raft the uncharted ``Great Bend'' section of the upper Yangtze. They lost out to Ken Warren and his Sino-USA Expedition; in addition, two Chinese groups planned to run the river from its headwaters (altitude 17,660 ft.) to Yibin (797 ft.). In three ill-fated expeditions of 1986 there were six fatalities. The following year, Bangs and Kallen successfully took a team of experienced rafters and well-heeled clients to the river. To their first-rate adventure story, the authors add background material on ethnic groups and early explorers of the region. Photos . (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21000-9
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-1-4935-7238-0
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