North South Divide

Our season based in Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh has come to an end -We have secured the logistic support for our Paradise India schedule for next season, Ganga, Alaknanda, Pindar, Manadakni and Tons, this is set to be an premier trip with base camps, overnights and hotels throughout.


It is now time to travel south to Malabar to explore some new rivers and the great contest. From the south we fly to the FAR NORTH, to Zanskar season – our first trip starts on 2Aug, we just know you will love it up here. The Zanskar is a classic canyon, with time to explore the monastic and cultural landscape along with the river.


For the second year running we are proud to announce our Tsarap Chu Kayak descents are all set to go. This amazing river is a class4/4+ tight canyon that we run in a self support fashion, kayakers only – 23rd Aug Tsarap/Zanskar Combo  NOW REDUCED TO  £1100 AND STILL SAVE 10% WITH GROUPS OF 4 OR MORE  (£990)

Following Zanskar season its the move back to Nepal, our all time classic Sun Kosi trip along with Poon Hill treks and bespoke adventures.

Our 25th Oct raft and kayak Sun Kosi special has spaces available at a REDUCED RATE £800/900 for groups of 4 or more. Now is no better time to book.


See you in the flow.


Daz, Andrea and the daz


Our season, our life


Our seasons are our lives, spring is Nepal, when the rain of monsoon sets in andwe pack up and move on to the high paths of India, first off to the Ganga, to rafts and yoga in Rishikesh then the city of Leh becomes our base.




The raging water of the Indus, the climb at Stok and the hidden places within the Zanskar gorge. As winter sets in on this Tibetan culture we head back to Nepal.



2013-11-02 16.58.00

Poon Hill, kayak schools, raft adventures and Hindu beliefs. Its back to India for December and then the cycle begins again. At each stop we train and build the sports at a grass roots level. We know that without a grass roots arena for growth the passion for these kind of adventures will fade. As a company we are lucky, we know its a lifestyle job that few have the chance for. Due to this we know that what we do matters and we pride ourselves on the offering premier trips in these lands of adventure. Opening doors for experiences of a lifetime. From the classic Zanskar and Sun Kosi river expeditions to the treks and motorbike tours the journey never ends. We welcome each and every one of our guests as friends who join us for adventures. We know you will love been part of these unique expeditions and with a breathtaking arrangement of location and activity choices now is the time to explore.


nepal tuna


Oh and we also sell Waka kayaks.


We all look forward to seeing you soon.

All New, Who Knew?

Over the last few months things at Pure Land Expeditions have taken a giant leap for many reasons. Pure Land Expeditions, and our sister company Elements Adventure Nepal, have been joined by Waka Kayaks UK to form part of the Round Peg Square Hole ltd group.

Round Peg Square Hole, is a company like no other. Unlike others we pride ourselves on the flexible approach to our guests needs. We deliver unique services for personal growth, life enjoyment and adventure. Our belief is simple, life is to be lived. We plan to chase butterflies of the heart and soul.


With this growth Pure Land Expeditions is able to develop further premier international quality raft, kayak, adventure and trek expeditions across the Himalaya. Now based in Pokhara Nepal, just off Hallan Chowk and also in Leh, India our fully trained and skilled staff are leaders in the field. This means our high quality international standards are kept. All our trips offer this premier service, without question. Our guides are market leaders with head guides having over 20 years experience of running our classic departures such as Poon Hill treks and Sun Kosi river expeditions.

As 2014 races towards 2015 we are proud to offer kayak expedition trips to Thule Bheri, Dudh Kosi, Tsarap Chu and Arun. Whilst these are remote and challenging trips our team is able to facilitate the smooth running of the expeditions with safety and back up, without question. We run these trips as a bespoke service to enable each member the unique experience they deserve. Our Motorbike expeditions from Manali to Leh are becoming one of our most popular trips for petrol heads – nothing like riding an Enfield over the high pass. The flow of pray flags in the wind and the chants of the monastic life.


For those that want to patch together day trips or simply need logistic assistance Elements Adventure Nepal is the only place you need to look. We have a team of guides, porters and equipment available to use along with the ability to join our daily sessions or plan your personal expedition. Here at Elements are pleased to team up with the adventure legend Sano Babu at his resort for paraglide flights -you know you want to learn to fly like a bird, dont you. Babu is perhaps the best pilot in the world. A pioneer in this sport, a dear friend and a gifted adventure leader.


As part of Round Peg Square Hole we operate to provide confidence and personal growth across the social care sector – to live a life you deserve.

Tsarap/Zanskar Combo

Tsarap/Zanskar Combo

Jonny and Mike sat exhausted. This long hard rapid never gave up, wave after wave – move after move. The river was wider now the box canyon sections had gone but it was no easier. Between each breath they still knew they were only half way done with this river. It had proved to be more than they ever hoped for. It showed them a world of beauty and calm, chaos and drama.


Our Tsarap Chu expedition is a world classic featuring breath taking canyons, local culture, committing rapids and expert guiding. It is a class 3-5 self support expedition in high altitude deep in the Himalayas. You must be a confident class 4 kayaker with some class 5 experience to commit to this expedition.


Tsarap Chu and Zanskar combo £1375. Min 2 pax, max 6 per group. Price includes: expedition food, guides, hotels, logistics.


We have available hire kayaks, from old school playboats to more modern creekers, please email if you wish to hire a kayak, we have a wide selection available. We also hire paddles, pfds, skirts and helmets.

Splish, Splosh, Splash

Our famous Nepal Multi River Schedule features classic Himalayan river descents guided by experienced international guides and includes all logistics, expedition foods, lodges/hotels and transfers. It is suitable to all kayakers who love adventure and love to explore. Our spring trip is ideal for class3 and 4 kayakers looking to spread their wings.

Cost per person £1200, deposit £200

Bhote Kosi, Ian Ganderton

Tip starts – 5th April

Day 1 We will collect you from the airport in Kathmandu and rush you to your base hotel in Thamel district Kathmandu, time to soak in the culture and visit the temples, or sit with a beer and watch the sun dip below the Himalayan sky.

Day 2 Trisuli class 3+ We will leave the chaos of Kathmandu stopping for breakfast on our route to the river. Arriving at the Trisuli river for lunch time we spend the afternoon kayaking and getting to grips with Himalayans water. We will stay in Fishling village overnight (beach camping) and eat in local homestay.

Day 3 Lower Seti 2-3 This is a idyllic river where kingfisher and monkeys play, a perfect introduction to raft supported expeditions

Day 4 Lower Seti 3+ We finish the river as it empties in the Trisuli and head towards Pokhara, to clean clothes and warm showers.

Day 5 Kali Gandaki class 4+. We will journey to this deep gorge after breakfast, this is a very special river and we will make our journey in a raft-supported fashion, running the class 4+ rapids with safety paramount. We will sleep on the first night next to the holy confluence

Day 6 Kali Gandaki

Day 7 Kali Gandaki and return to Pokhara hotel.

Day 8 Morning rest and an afternoon on the classic Upper Seti A great day run with tight lines (3-4) surrounded by white peaks.

Day 9 Marsyandi, Our journey starts with our journey to Besi, We overnight in the hotel (B/B)

Day 10 Marsyandi 3+4. After breakfast we begin our descent from Bhule Bhule. This is class 4 and 4+. Overnight in lodge, evening meal provided

Day 11 Marsyandi 3+, As morning breaks we journey to Paundi and journey down river to the main highway. Return to KTM, Hotel

Day 12 Bhote area upper &balephi as needed a time to paddle in commiting canyons or relaxed class 3+

Day 13 Bhote area retrun to Ktm, a change to revisit the favourite sections of the Sun Kosi, Balephi or Bhote Kosi

Day 14 Sighseeing

Day 15 Fly to host country

Please understand that Nepal is a developing country and that at time we need to change the schedule due to logistics, road closures and landslides.


–             The expedition is fully inclusive whilst on the river, we will provide Hotel and breakfast in Kathmandu/Pokhara. Kayak hire is Free for all trips booked (deposit paid) before 31 Dec 2013. After this Hire cost may vary ($10-$25) depending on model and age. When hiring a boat please bring hip pads and airbags.

Kayak Fleet available from us in Nepal

Everest x2, Large Burn, Small Burn, Speedo, Phat, Spice (m), Bliss, Mamba (m), Nomad (l), gride (l), Rpm, (l), Whipit, Salto evo, Bazooka (m), Blowfish, Remix79(welded), Charger(welded), Raptor, Overflow. H2 (m), Shiva (l)

Kayak Fleet available in India

Gus, Hoss, Little Joe, Karnali, Phat, Burn(m), Whiplash, Jefe

Kayak Fleet available in UK

Diablo, Salto, Karma, Bazooka


Workshop: Build Confidence And Control Fear


Darren has been asked many times to run one of his ‘fear’ workshops down south. So here it is. Places are limited. Email to secure a place.



SAT 7TH DEC 2013





The river doesn’t care about the kayak we ride in, it doesn’t even care about the experience we have, so we must care. We must understand our own experience and how we interact with the river that forms our experience.


Perhaps this is how we can control our understanding of fear and our projections in the flow from the times where we put over selves in the place of fear.

How many times have we, ourselves, witnessed a mini drama, a crisis of thought or a greater crisis only to emerge from the pool fresh and in the ‘now’.




This is land and water based. The day will offer a holistic approach to the moment and the truth we can find in each stroke, each drop of water and each breath. This requires an open mind. We will not be thinking about stroke analysis, its not about that, its about how our unconscious works.


Is it for me? You’re paddling with peers but have mind games and doubt on some features. Perhaps you want to start pushing your grades, know your have the skills but lack confidence. The day will use methods from NLP, Auto Suggestion, Crisis Intervention Therapy and Meditation.


Dudh Kosi

We are super excited to be running expeditions for our guests to the mighty Dudh Kosi, the River from Everest.

This excerpt is from RIDING THE TEARS OF EVEREST (1st Edition).

Classed as one of the best multi-day trips anywhere in Nepal if not the world was finish enough as it flowed ever onwards

Since breakfast we have been awaiting this moment. Waved off by the villagers whose hospitality had been unsurpassed. The curried eggs and rice had been a fitting last meal on the river. Evident relief on our faces as our teeth tried to push forward through the long growing beards forcing out a smile. Hope sparkled in our eyes and a relaxed dialogue flowed like the river. In the heat of the morning I had put my waterproof dry top in the back of my boat. Sandwiched under my camera and next to my bag of rescue rope it offered a comfortable backrest if nothing else. I only wore a pair of shorts that were well past new and a smelly thermal top. I no longer wore my T-shirt as I feared that all the dirt and debris was forming its own eco-system. When worn on such a hot day I could feel that the red rash of prickly heat would run down my spine. The thermal was just more comfortable. With the relaxed attire I was pleased that the river held no major rapids, no surprises.

A few quick strokes and the kayak, that had been my beast of burden, turned towards the bank just before the river of Everest ended its path. Grounding my boat on the rocky shore was a relief I jump out of the seat. I knew that this journey is not the true finish of the trip but the Dudh Kosi mingled with the drainage of the Sun Kosi on its way to India.


after the dudh




This month The Paddler ezine issue 12 – has a multi page interview with Pure Land Expeditions owner Darren Clarkson-King

It seems so long along that Darren did his amazing Everest descent (the article will appear in the ezine next month) and longer still that he paddled from K2, although this doesn’t mean that he as been quiet, oh no. His kayaking life is about more, much more than this. His passion for adventure and wild rivers still fuels Pure Land Expeditions and underpins the guide ethos – think, feel, do. All water offers us places to grow and develop – its not about the river, or the boat you ride.

To find out how one of the most recognizable characters in paddle sports inspires, motivates and thinks click the links, enjoy.



Tsarap Chu and Zanskar combo.

We just got back from a season in Leh, already people are talking about 2014, before we update the site, here is a quick post and a small teaser about what is to come.



Jonny and Mike sat exhausted. This long hard rapid never gave up, wave after wave – move after move. The river was wider now the box canyon sections had gone but it was no easier. Between each breath they still knew they were only half way done with this river. It had proved to be more than they ever hoped for. It showed them a world of beauty and calm, chaos and drama. It had everything.

Our Tsarap Chu expedition is a world classic featuring breath taking canyons, local culture, committing rapids and expert guiding. It is a class 3-5 self support expedition in high altitude deep in the Himalayas. You must be a confident class 4 kayaker with some class 5 experience to commit to this expedition.


We only run 3 departures a year so book early to avoid missing out.

Price includes: expedition food, guides, hotels, logistics.

Tsarap Chu and Zanskar combo £1375 for 2 weeks.
Min 3 pax, max 6 per group.

10% Discount on group bookings of 4 or more.

Aug and Sept dates 2014 to be published soon.


BUDHI GANGA- THE OLD RIVER- First descent: solo.

Even before the birth of Pure Land Expeditions, Darren was out pushing and exploring in Nepal. This is an old article from 2000 – its pretty raw – but goes to show adventure and exploring are the basis of Pure Land Expeditions.


Location: WEST NEPAL, FALL 2000

We have fine recreational adventurous activities but we rarely get the chance for genuine new discovery that qualifies as adventure, as Columbus did.

So there I was stocking up on medical supplies in Nepalgunj all the time thinking about my impending trip to this uncharted river. As a matter of fact it felt like I was in the backend of no place, heading for a solo self support trip (not even porters) further up the backside of the back end of no place. And all the time there is the possibility that it might have bugger all water in or perhaps too much water.

It was a strange turn of events that lead me wandering the streets of Nepalgunj between my meals at Hotel Batika in the first place…I suppose its all about personal goals and one upmanship. Perhaps things weren’t good back home? Whatever the reasons and the consequences I was mission bound.

Even with the supposed political (terrorist) trouble in the area, that Unicef had warned me about, I had bought the bus ticket so was gonna get to the river. For those not coerced in the modes of transport in Nepal, It was yet another bus ride on a road that was not complete. This was a night bus, a groggy, smelly 18 hour ride that shook all the bones in my body. A bus ride, which you know, is bad since there was only one driver and I never remember stopping for him to sleep.

The bus crawled sleepily into Saphe Baggar at lunchtime the following day and I wasted no time in untying my kayak and walking towards the river. I am the first to admit that I could have walked upstream for a further 2 days to a village called Martadi, but to honest I didn’t fancy being alone in a strange land with all this political upheaval all around. Anyway it seemed flat. So I think I must be content with the descent from Saphe down to the Seti and hence forth into the Karnali. Perhaps later I will do the walk in.

Putting on in Saphe was a surreal experience and unique even for Nepalese standards. It seemed as I walked through narrow streets that I was the main attraction of the millennium. Launching into the meandering flow the villagers, men, women and children raced down the banks watching until I was out of sight or they could not keep up. Just then, as the last remnants of Saphe’s community faded into the distance, further villagers came to watch the show. Then suddenly without warning it was all over, the groups of villagers were gone, and the river had closed in. I was about to enter a gorge; a rock filled gutter of concentrated white water. As luck would prove it was only a class 4, technical and remote (some might say a 5) but honestly it was only a 4.

Performing boof after boof, pour-over dodging and siphon avoiding this technical adventure flowed on. First to appear on the horizon line was a presumed river wide rock choke. It looked, without a second glance, that the river had beaten me so soon. Upon closer inspection I found a little sneak on the river left just where the water squeezed through a break in the rocks. From this sneak the water refracted off more house size boulders. It was a boulder maze, the likes of which I had never seen before.

Flowing on through the tiny enclosed walls of the gorge, eddies became less frequent whilst the river vanished off the face of the earth. A steep fall on river left and a series of boulders hiding blind rapids on river right. The choice had to be made, no portage was available. Skirting the first boulder on the right I was forced into a pinion, a miss placed boof making me land sideways on a shallow rock shelf. Whilst greater rock slaloms showed up all along the section. It was tight and heavily boulder infested; yet in or just after monsoon I fear that I would be full of the greatest stoppers and be completely unnavigable.

On the flatter section of the river, when I had time to slow down and take a breath, I saw animals that I think even Darwin forgot to catalogue. Small hamlets few very infrequent and the sense of loneliness was always paramount. In front of me was the final section of the Budhi Ganga its steep creekiness receding as it joined the placid Seti Karnali. The descent was over. Other days (no matter how many) spent on this river were nothing new to the paddling community, although they were new to me.

So there I was on this confluence beach, huddled under a rock cooking my first meal of the day. I had paddled the river faster than expected but I knew that I still had a fair few river miles to go until I could reach the take out at Chisipani on the banks of the Karnali. Tucking into the smash and the noodles made of concentrated monosodium glutamate, I though about my little achievement, sure it wasn’t the biggest, wildest or most dangerous river in Nepal. Although perhaps it could have been if things were different, nature had done me proud, she had been gentle. Then it dawned on me. Unlike the mighty Sun Kosi or the wide Seti (that the Budhi Ganga joins) and Karnali all great rivers but they had seem literally thousands of paddle strokes over the years, but the Budhi Ganga had only seen mine.

For the following 2 days I descended the Seti and Karnali. Resting one night by the village of Bijora. As the stars hung in the full moon sky, I lay half-asleep alone on this beach listening to the flow of the mighty river…Suddenly without notice shouts prevailed from across the river. In the darkness I couldn’t quite make out the sources of the voices, but the shouts were violent and my heart missed a few beats. ‘Was this my end,’ a little voice in my head said ‘these guys are Maoist’s, they are the bloody terrorists, you know,’ it continued. All the time I comforted myself with the fact that these people whoever they were appeared to be on the far side of the river and with me on this side there was little chance of any involvement. But then it happened, I saw from the corner of my eye a ripple in the water…a dunga was making its way across the river and it was aimed directly for me. As sleep over took me there was nothing I could have done should they want to kill me.

The voices were quiet, but they managed to wake me from my half-sleeping state. Peering over the edge of the bivvy bag they were not 10 feet away. Chatting in front of a fire these figures from the darkness seemed oblivious to the bright yellow piece of plastic and the kayaker sleeping beside it. Then again sleep over took me and I drifted into the land of nod. Only to wake at the crack of dawn by the shouts and cheers of the local village kids who were attending to the fire that had been left.

Who were the strange visitors, I still don’t know? But I doubt that they would have harmed me since in all probability they were perhaps fishermen. Embarking into the flow again I arrived at Chisipani on the banks of the Karnali pulling out where expected I jumped on a bus back to Kathmandu. ‘It had been a long strange trip,’ I though as I sat down on the small seat, but the journey was not over yet…

Many thanx go to Vagabond, Nookie, System X, Paddle. To. and the Hotel Batika for all there help.

Logistics-Bus from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, Bus from Nepalgunj to Saphe Baggar (possibility of flight)
Number of days 3 from saphe to karnali take out [1 DAY FROM SAPHE PUT IN TO SETI KARNALI]
Grade in November-low tight 4, monsoon would make it interesting


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