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.
I always thought I needed to do something ‘legitimate’ for a living. Then when I graduated I got job offers in geology, and thought, ‘What do I need money for so badly that I’m ready to sacrifice my life for it?’
Rivers carve deep canyons and divide hostile neighbors. They cut pathways through lawless country, and beckon us to follow. It’s no wonder that river-runners have their own canon of unspoken boundaries that, from time to time, they feel compelled to cross.
Canoeing and kayaking over 1,800 miles from Jasper, Alberta, to Hudson Bay on the thrift.
Jeffrey Andreoni and Giulio D’Eramo are escaping London’s Olympic crowds by fleeing the country (for a month) to paddle Ukraine’s Dnieper River.
The (paddling) Games of the XXX Olympiad.
Dispatch No. 5 from C&K Online Editor Dave Costello’s week at First Descents.
Dispatch No. 4 from C&K Online Editor Dave Costello’s week at First Descents.
Dispatch No. 3 from C&K Online Editor Dave Costello’s week at First Descents.
P.G. Downes newly published journal ‘Distant Summers’ reveal the ways of the Old North.
Dispatch No. 2 from C&K Online Editor Dave Costello’s week at First Descents.
Dispatch No. 1 from C&K Online Editor Dave Costello’s week at First Descents.
A look inside the 2012 AWP Point Series Little White Salmon Creeking Race.
Stories and photos from the 2012 Black River Race
Dan Blessing and Marc VanGrinsven’s 4,000 mile journey from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean in a homemade birch-bark canoe.
C&K staffer Michael Gordon recently ran into Bam Margera of MTV’s popular television series “Jackass,” in Iceland of all places, and couldn’t help but ask him about his most recent stunt with pro kayaker Steve Fisher: Hucking himself off Oregon’s 88-foot Metlako Falls in the front seat of a Jackson Dynamic Duo.