IMLI’s Swift-water Rescue Course

The final component of the International Mountain Leadership Institute’s training was a swift-water rescue training led by Spencer Davis and Josh Martin, both expert certified paddlers and instructors hailing from North Carolina. Both of them donated their time to make the training happen. The training was attended by some of Ladakh’s finest established rafting companies such as Splash and Luna Ladakh, as well as those interested in joining the field. Nima and Gyaltso from Splash and Skarma and Dorjey from Luna Ladakh were in their second year and led some of the sessions. It was great watching Spencer mentor them. Next year they’ll lead even more of the training.

Spencer Davis gives instructions before hitting the water to practice.

Students practice safely crossing the river with the aid of a line

A student practices a river crossing as Josh Martin observes

Spencer teaches during a classroom session

Josh Martin overseas students as they practice another technique for moving people across the river

Mentok takes a quick call on her cell phone during a break in the action

A magpie pauses in a tree as the snow covered Himalayan mountains rest in the background

Gyaltso taking his turn teaching others

With Shey Monastery in the background, Nima teaches the group.

Skarma teaching about safety equipment

Spencer and Gyaltso prepare to submerge a dummy in order to practice rescuing people from foot entrapments.

Students practicing skills on dry land before training in the water


The group practicing rescue techniques

As the week drew to a close, the All Ladakh Tour Operators Association held a ceremony to honor the instructors and to allow government officials to watch rescue demonstrations. There were a few speeches, and then all of the instructors were honored with gifts. By all accounts, the week of first aid, rock climbing and swift-water rescue training was a huge success.


9 thoughts on “IMLI’s Swift-water Rescue Course

    • It’s a bit surreal standing along the Indus; the Stok Range of Himalaya on one side of you, the Ladakh Range on the other side. Along with all creation, it makes me sing praises to the Maker of it all!

  1. Wonderful photos…as usual! What I really want to know is how do they get the line all the way across the river to the other side when doing the rescue?

  2. Beautiful pictures! It looks like the institute is making some great progress, and I’m sure you loved every minute of this training!

    Where’s the next story going to take you?

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