Our Latest Subject, David Grove

What does it take for a kayaker to plunge 101 feet off a waterfall? Serious cajones. And you know it’s bad when even your peers don’t want any part of it.


So it was for extreme creeker David Grove last July, when he made plans to run the 101-foot Metlako Falls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. Clay Wright, a world-champion squirt boater with at least a dozen first descents on his resume, told Grove he didn’t want anything to do with this Metlako mayhem, fearing that it was going too far. Wright’s wasn’t the only warning.


“A lot of people didn’t think I could do it,” said Grove. “They didn’t think it was possible.”


Possible? They didn’t even think he was going to survive. But not only did Grove live to tell about it, he stuck the landing in tact, becoming the first person ever to run a 100-foot-plus falls without having to swim.


“I’d just like to thank all the people who believed in me, and tell all the people who didn’t, believe it now,” said Grove.


Now before you decide that Grove needs to have his head checked, remember that he will from time to time ignore the devil on his shoulder and walk a falls that’s well within his ability if he just doesn’t feel right about it. In fact, he’d already walked away from Metlako on two earlier attempts. But on this day, Grove was well-researched (he spent two years scouting the descent) and dialed in as he nailed the greatest accomplishment of his career–so far.


So, readers. What do you think? Was it worth it? If yes, vote Balls! If not, vote Brains!


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