Video: North Cascades Whitewater Staycation

International expedition kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic take a weekend to paddle in the North Cascades

You’ll usually find this infamous duo of international hucksters chasing down waterfalls in Brazil or descending unknown canyons in Papua New Guinea but this time, they decided to stay closer to home. Watch them “relax” on roadside whitewater on the Wenatchee, Tye, and Snoqualmie rivers. Of course, “relaxed” still means Class V+ for these guys.

After paddling several runs with local paddlers who could show them the lines, Stookesberry and Korbulic struck out on their own to paddle the upper North Fork of the Snoqualmie River. According to Stookesberry, it’s important to use these opportunities to build skills and stay sharp for upcoming expeditions: "We have to treat it more like a first descent than a run that's gets done every weekend because we've never done it before. There are real hazards in all these rivers—wood, holes—we've gotta pretty much scout everything, play it safe… It keeps you sharp for rivers that are truly unknown where no one really knows what's downstream.”

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