The Usumacinta has a reputation as one of the best river trips in the world, and also one of the most dangerous. It forms the border between Mexico and Guatemala through the heart of the Mayan region, a vast, densely jungled wilderness where traditional authorities hold little sway…because of these amazing features, the Usu became one of the world’s preeminent raft trips in the 1970s, and a prime winter playground for off-season Grand Canyon guides.
It took me two days to hitchhike from Haines, Alaska, to the Yukon highway bridge where Walt Blackadar started his fabled 1971 first descent of Turnback Canyon. I launched in a drizzle feeling quite puny, just as Walt probably did, which I guess was the point. I was alone, as he had been, with 10 days and 230 miles of the Alsek River ahead of me. Running Turnback was never part of my plan, though.
This summer, Zinser, Adam Wicks-Arshack and Dan Cassell, all outdoor educators who live in the Pacific Northwest, are organizing a birch-bark canoe-building project for native youth back east on Lake Temagami’s Bear Island reserve. Take a look inside the building process here.
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to support an omnibus bill that would waive environmental legislation like the Endangered Species Act, the Wilderness Act and the Clean Water Act and transfer full control of a 100-mile-wide strip of land along the United States’ northern and southern boundaries to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
See a photo gallery from the famed Memphis Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race, where, this Saturday, the popular, three-decade-old race and demo event known for its spectacular mass-start and inclusive nature (racers participated in 64 different boat classes and age divisions) was back on.
Interview with the international six-man team attempting an ambitious canoe route this summer across the Canadian north from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The 1,000-mile expedition will trace the length of the historic Coppermine River, from sprawling Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean.
Canoe & Kayak has teamed up with open-boat badass Jim Coffey—founder of Quebec-based outfitter Esprit Whitewater Worldwide as well as R3: Rescue for River Runners—and Mike McKay from Five2Nine Productions for a series of whitewater rescue lesson videos debuting exclusively on CanoeKayak.com. Here in Episode Two, Coffey covers group dynamics.