Peeling out is a river skill that all whitewater boaters practice every day they spend on moving water. From leaving the put-in eddy to navigating down the river, being able to enter and exit eddies gracefully is essential. Even advanced paddlers take pleasure in a smooth peel out into fast-moving current and feeling the rush of acceleration to the river’s speed.
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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.
The North Fork Championship went off in a big way earlier this month. In the last 12 days, the media has been spewing into the web-o-sphere, with stylized video from Skip Armstrong and fantastic images from A-list photographers like Mike Leeds. And so it should. A gigantic rapid (Jacob’s Ladder) and easy spectator viewing made […]
A book review of ‘Fearless,’ C&K contributing editor Joe Glickman’s new adventure travel tale on Freya Hoffmeister, which dissects the life and times of the German expedition sea kayaker who circumnavigated Australia in late 2009 and is in the midst of an attempt to paddle around South America.
It’s not too often that kayaker Keith Wikle is disappointed when gale force winds blow through the Great Lakes. Last weekend, when 40-knot northerlies lashed the southern shores of the Third Coast with two-story breakers, Wikle rejoiced in surfing 14-footers on Lake Michigan outside his home in Kalamazoo, Mich.