Adventurer: Keith Lynch
What: A 4,000-mile solo canoe trip from Montana to Dallas.
How:Leaving behind his 20-year, Dallas-based career in finance, Lynch, 43, launched his canoe on the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, Montana, and began a 4,000-mile journey home to Dallas. His route was in part inspired by Lewis and Clark, linking smaller waterways with the Missouri, Mississippi, Red and Trinity rivers. With his previous canoeing experience limited to a three-hour outing and a single three-day trip, Lynch, learned on the fly.
Adventurers: Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell
What: Paddling the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, blind.
How: For 21 days, Weihenmayer and Bedwell paddled 277 miles through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, facing some of the world’s most iconic rapids, all while being unable to see. The two men worked with sighted team members to navigate the Colorado’s River’s surging, unpredictable whitewater. Weihenmayer used a waterproof bluetooth system to communicate with his spotter, while Bedwell employed a more low-tech solution-his spotters shouted directions, and hoped that Bedwell could hear them over the roar of the rapids.
Adventurer: Gary Fiedler
What: 220 days and over 800 miles of solo travel in Quetico Provincial Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
How: Starting in March, and carrying 350-400 pounds of gear, Fiedler hauled his canoe atop a homemade toboggan onto the ice of Fall Lake near Ely, Minnesota. He wound up burning the toboggan for warmth. Seven months later, after 220 days, 811 miles of paddling, and 178 miles of portages (and five resupplies), he emerged from the wilderness with over 40,000 photos.
Adventurers:West Hansen and Jeff Wueste
What:First complete descent of Europe’s longest river
How: Hansen and Wueste funded an expedition to become the first to paddle from the source of the Volga River, the longest in Europe, in the Valdai Hills of Russia to the Caspian Sea: a distance of 2,300 self-supported miles.
Adventurer: Paul Gamache
What: 3,900 miles down the largest watershed in North America in 78 days.
How: Starting in Brower’s Spring, Mont., the route to Louisiana that Gamache took was very much multi-discipline, including intense whitewater (what was likely the first descent of Hell Roaring Creek) and long, monotonous days battling eddy currents on the Mississippi. Gamache’s descent marks the fourth full descent of the river system in the last two years, beating the last fastest descent by more than 40 days.
Adventurer: Mark Kalch
What: Paddling solo 2,300 miles from the source of Europe’s longest river to the sea
How: Kalch, who is attempting to paddle the longest river on each continent, paddled 2,300 miles solo from the headwaters of the Volga River through Russia to the Caspian Sea.
Adventurer: Russell Henry
What: A 750-mile circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 12 days, 23 hours, and 45 minutes.
How: Paddling 12 to 14 hours a day, over 40 to 50 miles every day, 22-year-old Henry shattered the old circumnavigation record of 16 days, 12 hours by more than three days
Adventurers: Ben Orkin and Harrison Rea
What: 277 miles through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in 37 hours, 48 minutes
How: Using 18-foot fiberglass sea kayaks, Orkin and Rea paddled nonstop for 37 hours, 48 minutes through the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, setting a new kayak speed record, and narrowly missing the overall speed record by just 10 minutes.
Adventurers: Peter Marshall and Andrew Morris
What: A 372-mile canoe trip through Canada’s remote Labrador province using only traditional equipment.
How: Retracing Mina Hubbard’s historic 1905 canoe journey through Labrador, Peter and Andrew only used non-synthetic equipment, including a waxed canvas tent, tin-cloth rain gear, and a cedar canvas canoe.
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