This winter a crew of paddlers from around the globe descended into the spectacular and little-known canyons of Colombia, tackling difficult Class V whitewater and battling ferocious flash floods. Todd and Brendan Wells’ production company Mountain Mind Collective was on hand to document the international team of paddlers — including Todd Wells, Ben Marr, Eric Parker, Jules Domine, Fabian Bonanno, Andrej Bijuklič, Mikaël Hyla and Jean Rigole — as they notched first descents on a big-water canyon section of Rio Cauca, and then 55 miles down the politically unstable Rio Nechi, traveling from FARC guerilla-controlled lands to a takeout under paramilitary command. Watch as the crew goes big on the river trying to navigate “sieve gardens” of house-sized boulders—and then goes stealth on their scouts and in their camps to avoid detection from the surrounding narco-plantations.

(Make sure to watch through 7 minutes to see why Marr and Domine earned Male Paddler of the Year nominations for the 2014 Canoe & Kayak Awards)

Is Ben Marr or Jules Domine the Male Paddler of the Year?

Click HERE to the see the first half of the team’s exploration of Colombia’s whitewater wonders, including runs through the dense jungles and turbulent whitewater of the Suarez, Samana and Caldera rivers.

Exploring Antioquia is the second in a series of Mountain Mind Collective feature episodes debuting exclusively on 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.

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Machetes rigged in pillars, ready to paddle …