Video: Black Canyon, Next Generation

In 2011, a group of kayakers entered the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to paddle first descents

Paddling the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Montrose, CO, is a grueling experience even for seasoned Class V whitewater paddlers. With dangerous Class V boulder gardens, sheer 2000-ft canyon walls, and poison-ivy infested portages, ‘the Black’ will certainly test any paddler’s limits. In 2011, a team of kayakers entered the canyon with a goal to run rapids that were previously considered to be too challenging and dangerous to attempt. After successfully navigating the first day of the canyon and feasting on fresh-caught trout under the stars, the team accomplished their goal.

From the video:

“Day two: the portage continues. Safe passage requires creative route finding and teamwork. The portage ends with a seal launch into a pool above the biggest rapids in [Colorado]: Next Generation and Great Falls. Old timers believed it would take a next generation of kayakers to successfully descend them. We are that next generation. We were the first descent.”

More from C&K:

—Video: Russian team’s crazy first descent in Xinjiang, China

—Video: Pacific Northwest First Descents