Menasha Ridge Releases First Descents (2nd Edition): In Search of Wild Rivers


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Want to get primed for paddling season? Check out this baby, First Descents: In Search Of Wild Rivers, fresh out from Menasha Ridge Press) in an expanded and revised edition. Classic tales of whitewater legend, such as those by the venerable Yvon Chouinard and Royal Robbins, fill dozens of pages, with updates and new biographies offering even more inspiration about our rivers. Complementing these old schoolers’ adventures are epic stories from a new breed of boater as well.

Included in the hair-raising line-up:

Kyle Dickman’s story of he and Trip Jennings’ trip during their river-conservation project in Papua, New Guinea.

Christian Knight’s account of Tao Berman’s record-setting descent in Canada. “[Tao] began kayaking rapids that for obvious reasons no one had ever attempted—rapids where a single mistake would surely lead to death,” writes Knight. “And that single mistake had seemed almost unavoidable.”

The twist of fate in Madagascar when Brad Ludden challenges the infamous Ikopa River—nothing like the whitewater outings he leads for young cancer patients in his First Descents organization.

Confessions by world explorer Richard Bangs, who as a crafty teenager conned his way into running Arizona’s Colorado River.

Accounts by prize-winning adventure author David Roberts, international expedition leader John Yost, and other foremost river runners of our time.

Altogether, 20 essays launch a whirl-wind of a ride over four decades, across five continents. And beneath each lies a message: in 20 different ways, each author proclaims reverence for whitewater and the fragile environments through which it flows. Says Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard in his essay about the Yellowstone River in Montana: “My parting thought: Do it before they dam it.”

The updated and expanded version also includes a color photo section with in-the-moment, original photography from the expeditions, with dozens of black and white photos appearing with every essay.

Info:, 888-60-HIKES.

By Menasha Ridge Press – January 2010 – $19.95
154 pages w/ color and black/white pictures throughout, map, index, appendices
Paperback- ISBN 978-0-89732-705-3

Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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