Southeast, Colombia, March 28th, 2017 – The expedition down the mystical Apaporis River will take an international team of kayakers through one of the least explored territories in the Amazon basin, cutting through the heart of the Chiribiquete Mountains deep in the southern Colombian Amazon. The waterway snakes 700 miles through virgin rainforest, dropping over seven distinct waterfalls on its journey southeast towards the border with Brazil.
This roadless land is the definition of isolation and insecurity. Vast wilderness and more recently, the guerrilla group The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), have kept the area secluded from the outside world. On the heels of the recent peace accord ending fifty-two years of civil war, it is only now possible to attempt this epic mission.
In navigating the challenges of this environment, the team will interact extensively with the indigenous communities who maintain ancestral knowledge of the river. Their wisdom and guidance will be essential to understanding the wonders and the region’s endemic hazards: ten feet of annual flash flood-inducing rain, disease-carrying mosquitoes and flies, venomous snakes, spiders, electric eels, caiman, and jaguars.
Amazon Unexplored, the name for the expedition, is comprised of the world’s most experienced expedition kayakers. Ben Stookesberry, Chris Korbulic, Aniol Serrasolses, and Jessie Rice will be led by Frenchman Jules Domine, the leading force behind Colombian river exploration and conservation who founded Fundación Yumaná to promote and protect communities and their free flowing rivers. Talented filmmaker and visual storyteller Ben Stookesberry from the United States is a two-time National Geographic Adventurer of the Year who recieved a Best Film Award from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Fellow American and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Chris Korbulic was also named one of the world’s 50 Most Adventurous Men by Men’s Journal and has completed more than 60 first descents in 20 countries. Spaniard, Red Bull Athlete, and reigning Extreme Kayak World Champion Aniol Serrasolses is known for running the biggest whitewater on earth, including a seemingly impossible descent 130-foot tall Keyhole Falls in British Columbia. Jessie Rice, from the United States has been a top expedition kayaker, extreme-race competitor, international kayak instructor and guide for more than 20 years and brings a uniquely female perspective to the team.
The team’s collective mission, in its simplest form, is to paddle the 1,000-kilometer Apaporis River. Ben Stookesberry is very honest about his goal of wanting to see his team reach the Brazilian border safely after what he anticipates will be a very long month with a largely unknown level of risk. For Jules Domine, the trip presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to document a river corridor where flora and fauna unknown to the outside world still exist. Chris Korbulic sees the expedition as a combination of pushing mental, physical, and creative limits in experiencing one of the planet’s greatest natural amphitheaters. Aniol Serrasolses has been pushing the limits of extreme kayaking more than anyone, and recently paid the price with a significant shoulder injury and subsequent surgery. In this 1000 km paddle he sees not only the chance for rehabilitation, but also the opportunity to descend massive rapids and falls situated in the most far flung place he can imagine. Jessie Rice is the group outlier, not only as a female but as mother of 8 year old son, Fletcher. She certainly takes with her a maternal responsibility of returning home safely; but like the rest of the group, she signed up for this mission as an opportunity for a profound spiritual journey on a sacred river. Ultimately the team hopes to promote a new peaceful chapter for Colombia and celebrate its native cultures and still undisturbed ecosystems. But as to what story will ultimately unfold, only the Rio Apaporis knows.
You can follow the Amazon Unexplored expedition in realtime at http://zppr.io/apaporis
Nice acknowledgement of Paul in Adventure Kayak Magazine http://www.mazdigital.com/webreader/48122?page=54
As well as other great paddlers https://www.rapidmedia.com/adventurekayak/magazines/current-issue
The tallest mountains in the world surround us. Their brilliant, snow-encrusted peaks seem almost dull in comparison to the vibrant prayer flags and audaciously painted structures here in the quintessential Himalayan mountain town of Jagat. From this microscopic Nepali village, Garen Stephens and myself would start yet another trip of a lifetime. The plan was simple; kayak from just north of Jagat nineteen miles down to the slack water of the Mid-Marsyangdi hydro-dam, located just to the south of the town of Besisahar.
Check out the whole story of Chris Baer’s trip to Nepal
Peru – Machu Picchu Kayak Fest In just its first year, Machu Picchu Kayak Fest was one for the books. After two days of flights and a long shuttle from Cusco I made it to Cocalmayo Lodge, outside Santa Teresa, Peru, just in time to unload my gear and hop in the back of a truck to head into to town for… I wasn’t quite sure. We drove a few minutes arriving at the main square and were ushered into town hall where several of the town leaders welcomed all of the kayakers and the event into Santa Teresa. We were greeted with kind smiles full of love and camaraderie. After a full rundown of events for the weekend we were all fed amazing food, prepared in the traditional ways of the Inca. Beef, pork, lamb and chicken, along with potatoes, rice and drink were given to everyone. I immediately realized this was to be a weekend like I had never seen!
For full recap visit http://creeksides.blogspot.co.id/2016/12/peru-machu-picchu-kayak-fest.html
Oct 21 | The Stikine: A Season Finale by Kyle Smith IMG_2592Smitty is one trip away from eddying out and heading east, swapping whitewater hydraulics for pharmacology exams. After spending the spring charging peak run offs and the summer guiding in pristine wilderness, only one place could wrap up his season with such amplitude: the Stikine. I sat on the banks of the river as the spring flows lapped against the shore, waves whopping my boat because I was too lazy to drag it any farther onto the beach. A four-day descent of nearly 250 miles of Idaho whitewater was a pretty good way to kick off my final boating season before heading to nursing school on the East Coast. This was it. The last spring spent kayaking and reveling in mostly unhindered river logistic scheming. stikine_2_web Whenever the phone rang after a rainstorm, or a text pinged while I swam in anatomy and physiology flash cards, I begged for it to reveal a distraction from school life. Please be describing some hair-brained mission to escape onto a river. I suppose that’s why I had a kayak sitting in the garage, a mesh bag full of my paddling gear propped against it. I could be gone at a moment’s notice. The East Coast was calling, but I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to use my waning time out west to soak up as much paddling time as I could. Weekend trips to the Little White, followed by a four-day rally to California (me studying in the passenger seat until we arrived) to paddle the Yuba and Feather rivers. A handful of Idaho desert river self-supports. A few high-water South Fork Salmon laps. Catching the Middle Fork and Main Salmon at peak runoff for the year. Coming off a 200-mile, three-day paddle to catch the South Fork Salmon for its peak runoff, too. Flying into the backcountry to paddle three tributaries. stikine_4_web Yeah, the season was sizing up pretty well. A full summer of guiding on the Middle Fork was the only thing between now and filling my truck to the brim with the flotsam of school life and urban-apartment living. 16 months of pure mind-crushing academia and pharmacology. (My recreating buddies better be thankful when I know how to put them back together after a big crash.) With all of that coming down the pipe, there was just one last thing I yearned to be icing on the cake. (Drum roll.) The Stikine. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if, by some grace of the paddling gods, I could wrap up an entire spring and summer of kayaking and guiding in pristine wilderness with amazing friends by pilgrimaging to the ‘Great White North’ of British Columbia? To paddle one of the most intimidating rivers on the planet, terrify myself, fry my nerves and adrenal glands, then mosey my ass to the East? “Yeah Kyle, it would be amazing,” I said to myself. But I never thought it would happen. Too many things would have to line up. “There’s work scheduling between myself and the crew. I’m nowhere ready for school. My girlfriend is waiting for me in Boston. I haven’t paid my tuition (hell, I don’t even know how I’m going to pay my tuition). The flows of the Stikine are fickle at best. And (for God’s sake!) I haven’t been paddling anything harder than class III for over two months.” I rattled off excuse after excuse. It was impossible—I wrote it off. Then, as I returned to service following a two-week trip in the Frank Church Wilderness, my phone pinged. A message from Big-Water-Bond: “Stikine is in!” I sighed. Son of a bitch. stikine_1_web I made phone calls to my university advisor(s), financial institutions, girlfriend (tears to be included) and family members. Straight off the grid, I had 48 hours to be packed, mentally prepped, and in the car heading north for one of the most committing river expeditions I know of. Luckily, I managed to squeeze in a run on the North Fork of the Payette to brush the rust off before leaving Boise in the Ford Taurus. Bond came straight off a 12-hour ER shift and we made way for the banks of the Stikine early in the morning. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was shitting myself—part giddy excitement, but mostly nerves. We had a 36-hour drive. Just enough time to read horrifying accounts from legends like Doug Ammons, peppered with plenty of disturbing stories of people hiking-out through wilderness, thick with grizzly and moose. Mental notes taken: Don’t swim and don’t put on when it’s raining. stikine_6_web As predicted, we arrived in British Columbia 36 hours after peeling out of the Boise hospital’s parking lot. We spent the next day packing, unpacking, and repacking before heading to the put-in. The following three days were filled with deep canyon walls the color of black onyx and speckled with white dots, which turned out to be mountain goats. We paddled extremely difficult and committing whitewater, often without an opportunity to scout any more than the first 50 yards of a quarter-mile long rapid. Roshambo and go! stikine_3_web The sand flies tore at our flesh insidiously. Slow and constant. We wrapped ourselves in every light piece of clothing we could, covering every possible inch of skin. They still got at our eye lids. Had I not learned my lesson in Peru? Man, the things we would have bartered for a little mosquito netting. Luckily, the weather was pleasant and sunny, uncharacteristic to the typical rainy and cold. We reveled in the warmth of the sun and the ability to dry our gear after long days locked in the canyon. stikine_7_web We had the pleasure of paddling alongside a few whitewater legends: Gerry Moffat, Willy Kern, Ryan Casey and Scott Lindgren. They’re veterans of the canyon, as well as of some of the greatest river explorers of all time. Psang Pso ring a bell? It was humbling, a little unsettling, but oddly reassuring, to see them as nervous as we were for what the following days would bring. They always set off a couple of hours before us, as we—four paddlers that had never experienced the Stikine—lingered in camp. They left us to explore the canyon for the first time on our own, with fresh eyes and little expectation. Navigating alone is an amazing way to see such a spectacular place, as well as to test one’s whitewater reading skills and team dynamics. We reached the take out roughly 72 hours after getting to the river. As Willy Kern has said before: “Nothing was different, but everything had changed.” As is with every river, we would take something special away from that place, a memory cemented in time. Full of laughter, fear, joy, awe, anxiety, and respect for places like these and the moments that we have with our friends in them. stikine-from-fb_web After a hardy intake of greasy food and poutine (a Canadian special of French fries topped with fried cheese curds and gravy) the crew dropped me off at the airport, where I left the country early in the morning and arrived back in Boise late that night. The next day, with adrenal glands exhausted, I loaded my truck. That just happened, I thought as I pulled onto the interstate heading east. I eased into the driver’s seat with a smile on my face. On to the next journey.
Howdy Folks, Hope this finds everyone well! After a successful premiere at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, NC last week, and a film tour around the state (completed by bike!), I am very excited to announce that our latest short film, EXPLORE. Chapter Three, is now live online! The film, produced by the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC), shows a few of the highlights from a three week bike trip we took across Cuba earlier in the year. Check out the film, at… https://vimeo.com/169695186 And for still photos and a few stories from the adventure… http://explore.usnwc.org/ BIG Thanks to the USNWC, Tyler Allyn, Jeff Wise, Adam Bratton, Kira Tenney, Will White and everyone else who helped pull this project off, made this trip happen, or came out to support us at the Premiere and Film Tour! None of this would be possible without your ongoing enthusiasm, patience and support. Enjoy, and hope to see each of you soon! Chur to the CHUR, Coop
This past weekend I got the chance to run the Green River Narrows! It was most of the most technical runs I have every done and the funniest of them all! My favorite rapids were Zwicks, Scream Machine and Rapid Transit. I would like to give a huge thank you to Eric Bartl and Michael Ferraro IV for taking my down and putting up with my nonsense. It will go down as one of my favorite runs and I can’t wait until I can do the Big Three and and someday soon race in the famous Green Race
I made a quick video of the run. Check it out!
This is a short video of our time in Mexico. We at SUP Kentucky believe that its necessary to paddle all year long. We strive to stay on top of the SUP world by competing and running hard rapids. All of this experience transfers to our student through Knowledge and FUN!
Lets get out and paddle!
The state of Kentucky has more navigable waterways than you can imagine. What better way to explore this wonderful state than through its watery roads? SUP Kentucky has been established to do just that. We will get you out on the water. With the help of NRS and the local paddling clubs!
Lately I have found that SUP or Stand Up Paddling allows me to explore and enjoy these waters with minimal eqipment. Your point of view is unique because you are literally walking on water.
|First time SUP Kentucky|
Paddle Boarding is a new sport that offers exercise, fun and outdoor activity. Anyone can learn within just a few minutes. Adults and children alike love the SUP boards!
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What better way to get the whole family out of the house this summer! Come join us at WWW.SUPKENTUCKY.COM or find us on facebook.