Nouria Newman’s Scary Experience On Solo Expedition In India

"I'm cold, I'm Scared, It's time to keep going"

In 2018, kayaking world champion Nouria Newman set out on a solo kayak expedition in the Ladakh region of India. On this trip, she paddled the Indus River, one of the mightiest rivers in Asia, which travels through one of the most scarcely populated regions.

After getting a ride in on some sketchy mountain roads, she is dropped off at a put-in to the Tsarap River. She is now alone and ready to start her seven-day journey downstream.

Map of Newman’s route for her solo expedition in India | Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

Her first day went smoothly and she was enjoying her time in these isolated regions, finding an abandoned village that she turned into her camp for the evening.

Day two was where things started to get interesting. The river started to pick up and Newman found herself in some larger sets of rapids. Partway down one of the larger sets, she gets pinned on a rock forcing her to exit her boat.

Nouria Newman pinned on a rock in India
Nouria Newman is pinned on a rock on her solo trip in India | Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

After what appears to be a struggle to stay above the water while exiting her boat, she frees herself and floats downriver chasing after her kayak.

Nouria admits in the video she did not scout that set of rapids which is what caused her to get into this situation. She says she knows she was lucky to make it out of that alive. After collecting all of her gear from the river she says “I’m cold, I’m scared, it’s time to keep going.”

After getting back on the river, she enjoys the remainder of her paddle downstream. She is thankful when the local hiking trails appear back along the side of the river. An added comfort despite the lack of people in the area.

At the end of her expedition, she had covered a total distance of 375 kilometers, paddling three different rivers, including the Tsarap River, Zanskar River, and Indus River, finishing in Baima Village.

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