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Korbulic and Stookesberry Target Irrawaddy First Descent in Myanmar
Posted on January 14, 2016

En route to Myanmar’s Irrawaddy

Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesberry’s first mission of 2016 could be considered for lack of a better word, ambitious. It’s a one-way kayaking journey that charts a course from the most remote corner of the Himalaya, 1,200 miles south into Myanmar through stretches of river never seen before by the outside world. The expedition begins in a zone only recently opened to outsiders near Myanmar’s northern border with Tibet. Here the team will target a first kayak descent of the Upper Maykha River, the highest headstream of the legendary Irrawaddy.


The trek alone to the put-in near Hkakabo Razi base camp will be a 70-mile, 10,000- vertical-foot epic just to access one of the most remote descents this team has ever attempted, which is saying something, considering the places these National Geographic Adventurers of the Year have gone and the long list of first descents on their achievement list. Once on the river, the pair anticipates a stretch of Himalayan-sized river that drops 5,000 feet in the first 55 miles, with another 150 miles to follow, described by locals as remote and unrunnable.

I would like to check seventeen bags and two windsurf boards please. CK and Ben in deep excess bag fee negotiations.

If all goes well they will follow these, the highest headwaters of the Irrawaddy, via paddle and local river boats all the way down one of the largest, still free-flowing rivers on earth to the Andaman Sea and the country’s largest city of Yangon. Unfortunately, with the impending major hydroelectric development, this may be one of the last opportunities to navigate the great Irrawaddy from source to sea. Here’s hoping Ben and Chris can make it happen, and tell us a few tales from along the way.

Please direct your inquires about the Kayak Myanmar expedition to Mr. C Korbulic. P: Stookesberry

We will have comprehensive coverage after the completion of the trip and will be posting updates as they become available on the Eddie Bauer Facebook and Instagram channels, but for now you can track their progress in tweets, pictures, and GPS coordinates live on the eddiebauer blog and at, as well as via the hashtag #KayakMyanmar. —LYA Editor

Author: - Thursday, January 14th, 2016

  1. Nlion

    Really?!?! There have been at least five runs of that stretch prior to this findable on Google. Probably several more have been done as its on the radar of the Russian rafting community. Not to burst your bubble or anything…

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