Learn about whitewater kayaker Chris Corbolek, King of the First Dynasties

Chris Corbolek is a world-famous whitewater kayaker expedition

When the pandemic devoured the global expedition plans last year, I looked at my country Pacific Northwest Backyard for inspiration. In the wild Washington North Cascade Mountain Range I wanted to find a part of the river that hadn’t existed before Rowing. Upon examining maps and satellite imagery, I noticed countless paths crisscrossing the range, giving access to countless stretches of the river that are rarely reached.

I walked twice with my kayak to explore a series of promising falls off a place called Agnes Creek Pacific Path Crest. But the water levels were never correct. On the third attempt, everything finally met. From the banks of an unnamed 45-foot waterfall, I spent three hours studying the drop, reviewing everything I learned from over 100 descents from the first waterfalls around the world. By the time I commit to a fall like this, I want to feel as though I’ve already done it, because I fantasize about all the details. My girlfriend, who was there watching that day, says I’m obsessed with getting ready. She is right.

Photo by Chris Corbulick, one of the world's most famous kayak makers.
Korbulic is one of the world’s most famous white water rowing boat makers and takes an obsessive approach to planning. Chris Corbulick

As I followed my path, I became surrounded by a sunlit fog that rises before a wall covered in moss. On my lips I felt the acceleration of gravity pulling me into a short arc, then a beautiful free fall. Because the water below was so airy, the landing was actually very soft. My kayak soaked maybe 10 feet. In seconds I was erect at the base of the falls. My thoughts the whole time have been about following the steps of my visualization process.

What do you think?

Written by Joseph

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