Yangtze Mission Temporarily Abandoned and in Jeopardy


Briton Ash Dykes is walking the entire length of the Yangtze River, the world’s third longest river, and Asia’s longest. At 4000 miles in length and exclusively within China, the river begins at the foot of the Jianggendiru Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau at 16400ft (5000m) elevation. It then descends through deep gorges through a large part of the west and the Three Gorges region of central China. From the high mountain enclaves to the megalopolises of China’s eastern seaboard, Dykes plans to engage with the local culture, including participating in rituals and eating exotic food. He also plans to impart his knowledge about clean water and the dangers of plastic pollution to local communities.

In full fanfare, Dykes managed to reach the source of the Yangtze River and was off to a good start for the first week of his journey. However, his support team was too stricken by altitude sickness and had to turn back. The crew was needed mostly for logistics but also for the filming and documentation of the journey. Dykes carried on with just his local guide.

The local guide and support horse with support crew in the background.

However, next, his local guide who had significant experience on the Tibetan Plateau at high elevations, also began to experience symptoms of high-altitude sickness such as nose bleeds, lack of oxygen and anxiety. Were Dykes to continue on alone, there were significant dangers ahead including hostile locals who were not accustomed to seeing foreigners. Dykes made the decision to temporarily abandon the journey and escort his guide to lower elevations.

Dykes is now in contact with Chinese media and tour partners with the hopes of getting a new field support team so that he can restart an expedition that was so abruptly interrupted.

Click here for Mission Yangtze’s base page that explains the expedition, contains the latest news, the best photos, expedition links and previous updates.

The Best Quest provides visual experiences of journeys. One by one you see the latest updates from the best expeditions and journeys currently under way around the world. Click here for more details.

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