Talk report – Lowri Davies

Big thanks to Lowri Davies for coming over to Liverpool and telling us about Mongolia and Russia. And big thanks to everyone who came along to this or previous talks and for making the speakers welcome.


Lowri has rather impressive photos of the sweeping landscapes of Mongolia, and the scary sharp gorgey geology of Russia.  

Unfortunately the projector I found turned out not to have a “green” on it. (Sorry). Luckily, Russian geology is mainly red, and water is obviously blue, and Lowri managed to make us quickly forget that the pictures were tinted – if you’d like to see the pictures in their proper colours, go to photobucket

baskaus gorge

The four borders expedition is the second of the “British Universities” expeditions to happen – the first was to Kyrgystan in 2005, and the next expedition will be in 2009 – selection this autumn. The project was born out of the realisation that, although lots of Universities have very active canoe clubs with stuff aimed at most beginner and mid levels, there is often little opportunity for the best whitewater paddlers in a university to get out there and do stuff challenging enough to push them at their own level, and push at the edges of the known paddling world.

For the selected team, really everything was up to them, right from choosing and researching destinations,  raising cash to do it, arranging all the logistics, and carrying out their plans. A team of 8 representing every area of the country.

The two main areas they visited were Mongolia and Russia – the Russian part represents really hard multi day gorges. The Mongolian bit is very much unexplored from a paddling perspective – all new.

The visa problems, alcoholic drivers, the families who befriended them, and the officials who confiscated their stuff formed quite a thread through the trip.  Then there was the  water. Lowri’s pics and talk give us a sense of the scale of the place and of the undertaking that venturing out on continuous IV/V through rather sharp rocks presents. Great to hear someone so good at getting across the challenging/uplifting/truly frightening personal experiences involved.

Thanks Lowri for a super talk!

We’ve really enjoyed organising these talks evenings. This was the third in the series, all of them have been about whitewater, from slightly different perspectives – the seasoned paddler whose name has to, by law, be preceded by the words “living legend”, the whimsical-yet-extreme Arctic Greenland paddler, and the  enthusiasm, team spirit and discoveries of the British Unis expedition to Russia. Good chances to meet exciting paddlers and learn about what’s at the forefront of kayaking right now.

More talks next year? Would be nice, any ideas welcome. Volunteers to run it, even more welcome 🙂 . Rachel is off to her new job down S**th soon, and Laura G is disappearing to the Lakes, boo, so its really an opportunity for other folk to get involved and take this on. If you are interested, have a chat to Rachel about whats involved. Also any thoughts about the idea of having doing a more “home grown” evening sometime next term – a medley some of your videos and pictures of Wales, Norway and your other adventures would be great.

Photos: Lowri Davies


One Response

  1. […] I got off the water and into my van, heading straight for Liverpool to give the next in my series of lectures around the country about the Four Borders Expedition. After dinner on Penny Lane, I was shown to a very grand reading room featuring two pianos – the venue of my talk. After a bit of stress with the projector, everything ran smoothly and I was flattered at how interested in my stories everybody seemed. I’d like to thank the guys in Liverpool who organised and hosted this lecture – their write up of the night can be found here. […]

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