Meet Whitewater Kayaker Chris Korbulic, King of First Descents

Robert S. Hays

Chris Korbulic is a world-renowned expedition whitewater kayaker

When the pandemic gutted last year’s international expedition strategies, I appeared to my Pacific Northwest yard for inspiration. In Washington’s wild North Cascade Array I preferred to come across a part of river that had in no way been paddled. Examining maps and satellite imagery I seen myriad trails crisscrossing the vary, opening entry to a great number of seldom accessed stretches of river.



Twice I hiked with my kayak to scout a sequence of promising falls at a spot known as Agnes Creek just off the Pacific Crest Path. But drinking water ranges were never proper. On the 3rd check out almost everything at last came jointly. From the banking institutions of an unnamed 45-foot waterfall, I invested a few hours learning the fall, examining all the things I’d uncovered from much more than 100 initially descents of falls around the globe. By the time I commit to a tumble like this I want to really feel as nevertheless I’ve already done it, mainly because I have visualized each depth. My girlfriend, who was there observing that day, says I obsess above preparing. She’s right.

Portrait of Chris Korbulic, one of the world’s most renowned expedition whitewater kayakers.
Korbulic is 1 of the world’s most renowned expedition whitewater kayakers and normally takes an obsessive approach to scheduling. Chris Korbulic


Earning my method I became enveloped in sunlit mist soaring just before a moss-included headwall. At the lip I felt the acceleration of gravity pulling me into a brief arc, then beautiful absolutely free drop. Due to the fact the drinking water underneath was so aerated, the landing was in fact rather delicate. My kayak submerged perhaps 10 ft. In seconds I was upright at the base of the falls. My views in the course of were just about adhering to the steps of my visualization system.

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