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Hi everyone,
Next summer I might be off in search of some new white water on a big expedition. The only problem is that we have not decided yet where we are going. Does anyone here have any ideas where there are still a lot of first descents to do. Somewhere that is largely untouched by kayak. I was thinking maybe north russia. Any input from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
James

 

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Hi everyone,
Next summer I might be off in search of some new white water on a big expedition. The only problem is that we have not decided yet where we are going. Does anyone here have any ideas where there are still a lot of first descents to do. Somewhere that is largely untouched by kayak. I was thinking maybe north russia. Any input from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
James

Afghanistan or Kurdistan.
 

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God Amongst Men
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unfortunately most untapped whitewater zones lie within either hostile territory (africa) or just plain in the middle of bum fuck nowhere (a lot of south america)

but there is a lot out there.......you just gotta look
 

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Hi everyone,
Next summer I might be off in search of some new white water on a big expedition. The only problem is that we have not decided yet where we are going. Does anyone here have any ideas where there are still a lot of first descents to do. Somewhere that is largely untouched by kayak. I was thinking maybe north russia. Any input from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
James

Isn't that the point of exploratory boating? To explore?
 

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Check out the Balkans. I just got back from a 2-week trip to Montenegro (and Croatia) and there is a lot of water over there in their mountains. From what I could tell, much of it was seldom or never run. In addition to the above mentioned, check out Bosnia, Serbia and Albania. Good luck.
 

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Some friends bagged 4 firsts and a second descent just a few years ago in Panama. They said there was still stuff to do there. It was pretty stout as I recall. They even had an entrapment doing a class V scout - they were on scree checking out a drop and stuff started moving. On of them got stuck under a sizeable rock, and the other three guys estimated that they had to lift about 175# each to get it off of him. Could have been much worse.

My personal vote if you really want to get out there would be eastern Turkey, but maybe the Russians and Czechs have already been there.
 

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The following is just my opinion, and after a few glasses of wine! I feel there is too much emphasis on first descents today. After believing we boated a few Colorado firsts, I still hear of boaters claiming firsts of these runs ten to fifteen years later. If a run is not in your backyard and you do not have consistent data about it, then please do not claim a first descent. Just because some locals do not recall anyone boating a river, it does not mean no one has. It could have been a rainy day and they were inside and did not see the flotilla drift past! I would look for remote wilderness runs and enjoy the solitude of the journey. To claim a first descent today, it has to be cutting edge creeking or as Yeti noted, super remote. You will never truly know if you were the first to boat a river, and to claim so seems petty and vain. Leave the first descent ego trip behind and enjoy your trip. I envy you as I am out of action with shoulder probs. Please remember to post info/picts of your adventure. John
 

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TJ, forgive me since i have not boated Panama, but how can you tell something is unrun by looking at it? How do you know someone didn't run it two days before you were there? And another thing, just because it has been boated doesn't mean it is unworthy of being boated again (in response to your intro sentence).Broadleyjn, if you are looking for a big adventure, search for remoteness and not the most difficult one or two day creek run. PS if you are looking for another first, just bring along an American woman. The subcategories for first ascent/descent are much greater if you can fit into that category, and it might get you sponsorship! Please respond to this trolling.
 

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I was with john miller who has done basically all the boating panama (most was done like 7 or 8 years ago with a pretty good crew including andrew Holcomb), he was the guy in the above post that had the rock land on him on a scouting mission. We were driving around to different runs and would pass over a run and look up it and he would tell us the info on the run and if anyone had done it and access, gradient ect. I've never done a first descent but I do enjoy going out and doing runs that I have no beta on besides put-in and take out and maybe overall difficulty of the run and of course if it is multi day that just makes it that much better. And just because something hasn't been done doesn't mean that it is worth doing. If I didn't have a long time in a area I would try to hit up the classics. O yeah and there are plenty of first D's left in the country to our north you just have to be burly to get them.
 

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The following is just my opinion, and after a few glasses of wine! I feel there is too much emphasis on first descents today. After believing we boated a few Colorado firsts, I still hear of boaters claiming firsts of these runs ten to fifteen years later. If a run is not in your backyard and you do not have consistent data about it, then please do not claim a first descent. Just because some locals do not recall anyone boating a river, it does not mean no one has. It could have been a rainy day and they were inside and did not see the flotilla drift past! I would look for remote wilderness runs and enjoy the solitude of the journey. To claim a first descent today, it has to be cutting edge creeking or as Yeti noted, super remote. You will never truly know if you were the first to boat a river, and to claim so seems petty and vain. Leave the first descent ego trip behind and enjoy your trip. I envy you as I am out of action with shoulder probs. Please remember to post info/picts of your adventure. John
I have a small problem with that......

I do agree people need to garner much more beta before deciding to lay claim to a "first descent". A lot of times runs that you would think are possible first d's have been claimed sometime down the line, probably by a local boater with some time to kill and no blog or video means to get it out there. thus, you have to ask around and find out for sure.

But I disagree totally with the mentality of just "giving up" on first descents. There are still TONS of them out there that the 1st D info just needs to be established a little more on, and I don't think anyone should stop the excitement of looking for them- you're essentially coming from the position of "Well, the 1st d's are all done, so dont bother", or similar to the "last one here syndrome" that people get when they move to CB. "Well, the first d's have all been claimed, so now theres no need for anyone else too". You said yourself you guys laid claim to several 1st d's in CO. And how awesome did it feel to get to the bottom of those? Pretty damn, I bet. So why would you deny other people the chance to feel that same feeling? What, you get to feel it, and now no one else does? Pretty fucked up, dude. If there is enough info to believe it's even remotely a first d, then I think you have every right to get fired up and go after it. And it's not like there isn't streams left in CO that haven't had a descent.....I could give you six or seven right now that are awaiting a first grease. Theyre out there!

The biggest problem is the lack of available beta. Old time boaters are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO stingy with their beta that its damn near impossible to find out if something has been run or not. Well, if you don't want someone claiming a 1st D, then you best speak up and let us know that you've run it already!!!! This is the problem with a LOT of you old time boaters......I wont name names, but you all know who you are! Don't be so damn modest or non chalant, fuckin CLAIM that shit. I dont know, maybe they think if they dont talk about it no one else will get interested. Well, you forget about people like me who pour over maps every day for a living. Because ultimately who will later generations believe? Some guy who claimed he did it in '95 but offers no proof other than a quick, two line post, "oh yeah, we did it in '95", or someone who goes in there with a video and still camera and records the mission? Yeah, you might have done it first, but without telling anyone, it's hard for history to believe you.......Speak up with that shit!

If you have the drive to make some 1st d's, then you need to not listen to folks like Jethro; don't let them get you down. There are plenty of possibilities left and it's just a matter of getting on them. And just because a bunch of folks claimed to have done it all back in the day, doesn't mean they did. Get out there and claim some shit.

I've got several first D's on my radar for next spring, right here in CO. It's going to be a tough call with timing the flows, but when it happens they will be worth it. I've done a lot of research and as far as I can tell, these are all virgin streams.. So they're out there! And I wont let my excitement be dampened by and ol school boater who thinks it's "all been done".
 

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I've got several first D's on my radar for next spring, right here in CO. It's going to be a tough call with timing the flows, but when it happens they will be worth it. I've done a lot of research and as far as I can tell, these are all virgin streams.. So they're out there! And I wont let my excitement be dampened by and ol school boater who thinks it's "all been done".
I find it very hard to believe there are any first D's in CO that you could ducky, unless it's irrigation canals.
 

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......easy tiger.....

....take it easy yetigonenuts.....who fukin cares.....it's just a game son............old timer420cb
 

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Sorry to get a little off-topic, but ZGjethro has me in the mood to rant.

If you want credit for a first d, you better have some sort of record and claim it. If you don't bother to claim it and some young radsters film it claiming they're first you're outta luck (but apparently the fact you were first wasn't a big deal since you didn't record it right?)

The whole allure of a first descent is that a team is dropping into a run unsure of what they'll find. If someone had previously done the run, but failed to provide any record of it being done, the run is still basically a first descent.

The climbing world gets a little obsessive about claiming firsts, but you can be damn sure that when some old dude on the internet claims to have been the first person to climb the infinite spur the community will ignore him unless he has some proof. The boating community should treat first ds the same.

I don't think first descents are about ego, it is about establishing a historical record and resource for future boaters. Provide some record that you did a run so future parties can get the beta.
 

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I went to Indonesia with my wife a couple of years ago (honeymoon, no boat with me) and was amazed by the sheer volume of terrain to support steep creeking exploration; especially on Java. Two dominant features- lots of gradient, and lots of rain. Plus you can hire a driver + a van for the entire day for about $30; including the gas. If you have no wife / kid / job, you could live down there for a few months for a few grand; and hit a few first descents every week, just in Java alone. I know there's also been some exploratory creeking in Sumatra as well.

The whole archipelago is a goldmine for creeking, that's for sure. And it's so cheap; relatively safe, and fairly easy to get around (inter-Indo flights are like $50 for 2 hour distances; albeit scary as hell from an air safety perspective).

I imagine Malaysia & Vietnam are also wide-open as well.
 

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I have a buddy in the Peace Corps stationed in the Philippines and he has sent me some photos of waterfalls and rivers he has stumbled across. I am pretty sure no one has boated them. Freaking awesome! I plan on making it down there someday soon.

WC...dude, the ephemeral stream behind your house does not count!
Your roll still needs some work; you need to spend less time talking shit and more time learning to move your hips!
 

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I find it very hard to believe there are any first D's in CO that you could ducky, unless it's irrigation canals.
ohhhhhhh burn! making fun of my ducky, theres a first in itself right there.........................

rip on me all you'd like, it just gives me more motivation to get out there and do it :D
 
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