The Team

Jun 28, 2004
Outside Magazine
Scott Lindgren Interview

Lindgren talks with Outside Television about his ten-year dream of descending the Tsangpo click here.

Close to a hundred people will join forces on the ground and water to make the descent of the Tsangpo possible. Expedition members will represent seven countries, and hail from as far away as South Africa and the United States, and as close as the riverside villages of Pe and Gyala.

Filmmaker and paddler Scott Lindgren, 30, is the expedition leader. The Auburn, California, resident has some 35 Himalayan expeditions under his belt and has led teams down some of the world's most challenging rivers, including first descents of Nepal's Thule Bheri and Tibet's upper Karnali. He scouted sections of the Tsangpo and its main tributary, the Po Tsangpo, in 1998. The scouting of the Tsangpo and descent of the Karnali were featured in Scott's film for Outside Television, "Liquid Off the Throne of Shiva."

Six other paddlers will join Lindgren on the water. New Zealander Mike Abbott, a veteran of numerous Himalayan expeditions and former raft guide, is the expedition co-leader, marshaling the Chinese side of the logistics. Johnny and Willie Kern, 29-year-old fraternal twins from Vermont, have seen much of the world from the cockpits of their boats, which these days are designed by Johnny. Willie Kern was with Lindgren in 1999 for the 300-mile first descent of the upper Karnali. Englishman Allan Ellard, an accomplished freestyle kayaker, is in charge of the technology equipment and will be the online reporter for the expedition. South African Steve Fisher, 26, did most of his growing up on Zimbabwe's Zambezi River and placed third in the 1999 World Freestyle Championships. At 24, Oregon native Dustin Knapp is the youngest member of the expedition, but according to Lindgren, the most talented paddler.

Leading the ground team out of Pe is David Allardice, co-author of White Water Nepal. Allardice, 44, runs Nepal-based outfitter Ultimate Descents and has spent the last 20 years running rivers in the Himalayas. Four Nepali Sherpas will help him organize the trekking teams and coordinate work of some 60 porters from local Monpa villages. A fifth Nepali Sherpa will help former Ultimate Descents guide Rob Hind lead the second smaller ground team of porters hiking down the Po Tsangpo provide the essential resupply at the confluence with the Tsangpo. Kenneth Storm, Jr., who documented the 100-foot Hidden Falls with Ian Baker and two other Americans in 1998, will be making his sixth expedition into the Tsangpo Gorge, providing the team with detailed knowledge of the terrain. Mountaineer Andrew Sheppard will commandeer the critical portage over Sechen La pass. Expedition photographer Charlie Munsey, 34, paddled the Thule Bheri and upper Karnali with Lindgren and was on the 1998 scouting trip to the Tsangpo. Scott's brother Dustin Lindgren is in charge of all ground team filming, and Outside contributing editor and kayaking writer Peter Heller will document the trip as the official expedition historian.

Dr. Liang Limin of the Institute of Geology and Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences provided invaluable assistance in the planning of the expedition. He leads a contingent of CAS members coordinating the transportation of the team to and from the gorge.

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