Paddle the Himalayas, on the River of Gold

A whitewater rafting expedition on the Subansiri River, Arunachal Pradesh, NE India

with Jock Montgomery, Druv Rana and Friends

  • December 1 — 11, 2018 (an 11-day tour)


Wet and wild!

At the end of last year’s Zanskar River expedition, everyone wanted to know where we might go in 2018. Over a frosty Kingfisher, Rana and I did some serious cogitating on our next river adventure. We came up with half a dozen Himalayan river options, but the one that stood out was the Subansiri.

Like the Zanskar, the Subansiri passes through stunning Himalayan wilderness with exciting whitewater, but it traverses completely different geology, flora, fauna. High altitude desert scenery and cold glacial melt waters are replaced with the lush jungles of Arunachal’s middle hills, with waters that run warm, clear and clean. The upper river passes through only a handful of villages and on the second half of the trip we are immersed in an untouched jungle corridor. On his last trip on the Subansiri Rana found tiger tracks and heard wild elephants trumpeting. Each day we have a mixture of bouncy class III and IV whitewater, and the campsites are on impressive sandy beaches. Need we say more?

Come boating with us!

The trip is open to all river rafting experience levels, and experienced class IV whitewater kayak-bums. This is a great trip for families!


  • Float down one of the few remaining major wilderness rivers left in the Himalayas
  • Spend seven days paddling exciting class III and IV whitewater through the jungles of the middle hills near the border with Tibet
  • Enjoy clear warm-water paddling and the camaraderie of navigating rapids as a team
  • Meet locals from the Adi, Memba and Tagin ethnic groups
  • Camp on pristine riverside beaches, where there’s plenty of driftwood for campfires every night!
  • Enjoy a layover day to go on a day hike or just relax on the beach at tiger camp

Camping is on riverside beaches

Blue skies and whitewater!

Our scenic highway through the wilderness!



We make every effort to keep our plans, but we will also remain flexible so we can adjust to unexpected problems and take full advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Please note: three meals a day are included in the cost except for first and last days.

Map of our Journey

A typical Subansiri campsite

Day 1, 12/1: Arrive on your own at Dibrugarh airport. You’ll be met at the airport by a staff member and transferred to our hotel. This evening we will have a trip briefing and our first meal together as a group.

Paddle forward!

Day 2, 12/2: We drive to Boghiwheel Ghat and cross the famous Brahmaputra River by local ferryboat. There’s a chance we may see river dolphins here! We contain to the town of Basar arriving in the late afternoon.

Day 3, 12/3: Drive through the Himalayan middle hills to the remote village of So Nala, and camp at our put-in point.

Day 4, 12/4: After repacking our gear, and an all-important safety talk we board our rafts and head downstream. It will take us about six hours to reach our camp at Taliha.

Day 5, 12/5: Paddle to Menga, roughly four hours on the water.   

Day 6, 12/6: We raft for about six hours and camp at the wild jungle camp 

Take in the gorge-ous scenery

Day 7, 12/7: It’s a shorter run today with three hours on the water and time to hang out at our campsite at the long tree beach camp.

Day 8, 12/8: Paddle for four hours to our beautiful camp at tiger beach.

Day 9, 12/9: A layover day! Relax around camp or go for a day hike.

Day 10, 12/10 Our last day of paddle takes about an hour and a half. We pack up our gear and drive three to four hours to the ferry at Boghiheel Ghat, and finally to our hotel in Dibrugarh. We have a final celebratory meal tonight!

Day 11, 12/11: Transfer to the Dibrugarh airport board your onward flight. (Breakfast at our hotel is provided.)

A tiger print found alongside the river


Jock Montgomery

Jock Montgomery

In 1983, Jock moved to Nepal to train raft guides and lead river expeditions and treks across much of the Himalayas. He was based in Kathmandu for twelve years and now makes his home in Bangkok, Thailand.

He has been leading trips in the United States since he was a teenager. Jock is the owner of Compass Rose Expeditions  and he leads river running, sea kayaking, trekking and mountain biking trips; as well as expeditions across the Himalayas, throughout Southeast Asia, North America, Greenland, Patagonia, and Ecuador.

He is in demand as a commercial and editorial assignment photographer. He teaches and leads private photography workshops throughout Asia.

More about Jock Montgomery …

Druv Rana

Druv Rana

A pioneering river runner in India, Druv Rana has been working as a guide since 1995. Across the Indian Himalaya, he helped open up the Siang, Subansari, Lohit, and Tons Rivers for commercial river running. He has led river trips and treks throughout the greater Himalaya and well as international river trips in Europe and on the Zambezi River in Africa.

Rana was on the first commercial descent of the Subansiri and countless times sine then, and yet he never tires of introducing paddlers to the river’s spectacular scenery and exciting whitewater. He is a natural born leader, with a great sense of humor, and when things get a “little tricky,” you can be sure he will jump in and take charge with a calming and confident demeanor.


December 1–11, 2018 (an 11-day tour)

Prices (in US $)

  • $3150 with 8-11 participants
  • $2990 with 12+ participants
  • Single Supplement, contact Jock

Payment Schedule

  • Deposit: $500 (non-refundable)
  • Balance Due: 90 days prior to departure

Cancellation Fees

  • 61-90 days prior to departure 50% of trip cost
  • 60 days or less prior to departure 100% of trip cost


What is Included

  • All ground transportation and entrance fees
  • All meals, except on the first day (only dinner is included), and on the last day (only breakfast in included)
  • Accommodations as specified

What is not included

  • Airfares and visas
  • Customary and optional tips for local guides
  • Personal expenses including immunizations, laundry, snacks, drinks, alcohol, etc.
  • any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, flight cancellations, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.


1) Send Deposit

An invoice will be sent by email with instructions for payment. A non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place on a trip. If paying the full amount, an itemized invoice will be sent. (Same price for cash or credit.)

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 3) Purchase Travel Health Insurance

Traveler’s health insurance is required for all Compass Rose Expedition trips.

We strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance.

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