ASAHAN’s source is the biggest center lake in the world, Lake Toba. 160 creeks and smaller rivers flow into the lake and only one drains it : The mighty Asahan river, undoubted one of the most exiting big water rivers in South East Asia. It is the site of the infamous yearly ASAHAN WHITEWATER FESTIVAL, – the river the best indonesian paddlers use for training before they attend international competitions and the place that no kayaker should miss if he’s in the region.
Location: Northsumatra – the ‘ Wild West’ of Southeast Asia / Indonesia.
Because of the tropical climate the water is WARM ( about 25 degrees Celsius ) and BIG all year round. Usual flow is 100 cbm/sec. The river is dam – regulated and therefore has an unusual constant waterflow. Seasons: the rainy season is September – January , the drier part of the year February – August.
Asahan River first pioneered by Mr. kurt from Austria with papa simatupan and papa hutabarat in 1997 and in 1999 joined a German guy, Mr. George jackstad (Halim) As a form of recognition of the sacrifice of papa simatupang one of asahan River rapids in the given name simatupang Rapid I and II.
Environment:The river is located in one of the wildest valleys of Indonesia with waterfalls gushing hundreds of meters down from steep vertical canyon walls; picturebook Sumatra with monkeys, leopards, snakes… even some tigers are still living in the remote rainforest up on the plateau.
Asahan is outstanding FAST and CONTINUOUS river because it is still young ( lake Toba eruption dates back only 100.000 – 75.000 years, – geological speaking the worst volcanic disaster the world ever experienced happened just yesterday. above: ‘ NEVER-EVER-ENDS’ – two km uninterrupted fast class 4 water without too much eddies to catch !
The sections of the river which are usually paddled are grade 3 – 4 but there are also extreme sections with several grade 5 – 6 rapids which were only paddled once 1998 after El Nino brought Asahan the lowest ever recorded waterlevel, – just about 40 % of it’s normal 100 cbm/sec. The Asahan Whitewater Festival
The year 2000 has seen Indonesia’s first International Whitewater event. 42 international paddlers came, along with big stars such as Mike Abott, Tao Berman, Brad Ludden, Alex Nicks.. Everybody was enthusiastic about Asahan river and we were sure it must become one of the big whitewater destinations in Asia. – Unfortunately things did not go so well in the years that followed – organizers changed once money became a focus – and Indonesia went through hard times… 2001 there only 12 international athletes came – even though more than 20.000 US $ pricemoney was in the pot. 2002 there was no event staged and the Bali bombing used as a welcome excuse. 2003 saw the last International kayak event and a National raft race, 2004 was the year the tsunami hit Sumatra…