Mountain Mind Collective: ‘Battle of the Susitna’

A C&K film debut exclusive

Battle of the Susitna, the latest feature episode from Todd and Brendan Wells’ production company Mountain Mind Collective explores one of Alaska’s premiere whitewater runs, Devil’s Canyon of the Susitna. As over 20,000 cfs rushes through the canyon, huge waves, holes, and massive whirlpools form some of the best late-summer kayaking in the far north. Follow the Wells brothers, along with Santiago Ibañez and local Matt Peters, journey into the Susitna via seaplane, and into the massive rapids of Devil’s Canyon, only to find the greatest battle off the river: a proposed dam on the Susitna that would constitute the second tallest hydro-project constructed in North America. Rick Leo, the former president of the Susitna River Coalition, explains how the dam would not only devastate the incredible whitewater and other recreational activities, but have irreversible impacts on local communities and disrupt one of the greatest salmon-bearing rivers in Alaska.

“For a few years now Todd and I have found ourselves back up north in Alaska and Northern B.C. during the late summer and fall and plan on spending lots more time exploring new, un-run rivers in this vast area,” says Brendan Wells. “Look forward to more episodes from the north soon, as well as some great rivers and stories from back home in the Pacific Northwest!”

Battle of the Susitna is the third in a series of Mountain Mind Collective feature episodes debuting exclusively on CanoeKayak.com. Stay tuned for more of the team’s visual journeys to some of the planet’s most stunning and wild rivers this paddling season. Click to follow Mountain Mind Collective on VIMEO and FACEBOOK.

— Click HERE to see ‘Exploring Antioquia’ which highlights first descents on a big-water canyon section of Colombia’s Rio Cauca, and then 55 miles down the politically unstable Rio Nechi, traveling from FARC guerilla-controlled lands to a takeout under paramilitary command.

— And click HERE to the see the first half of the team’s exploration of Colombia’s whitewater wonders in 'Cuando en Colombia' including runs through the dense jungles and turbulent whitewater of the Suarez, Samana and Caldera rivers.