Kayaking the North Fork of the Payette scares the living daylights out of most boaters.
But during the pandemic, Sun Valley, Idaho, local Buey Grossman ran its Class V Juicer rapid — turning the daylights off intentionally.
Grossman, at the time a high school senior alpine ski racer who qualified for the U.S. nationals this year — only to see them cancelled because of Covid-19 — accomplished the feat as part of a senior project for school and as part of his larger No Barriers Pledge of understanding the difference between danger and fear.
Because of the pandemic, “you could either take classes like normal or do a senior project,” he said in an interview of graduating seniors in Time magazine. “I chose to try to run a Class V rapid blindfolded. First, I started paddling local runs with a visual impairment, and getting down the guiding technique. The biggest takeaway was understanding the difference between perceived danger and actual danger, and being able to cope with the fear you’re feeling, but not let that control you or take over. You have to focus on the actual dangers that are there, and be prepared.”
After a practice run down the mellower South Fork Payette, Grossman, son of renowned Idaho kayaker Jimmy Grossman, then tied his blindfold on and ran Juicer rapid on the North Fork unguided.
Unlike the Grand Canyon heroics of blind kayakers Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy, as well as Lonnie Dupre, Grossman had seen, and paddled, the run before. While whle Weihenmayer, Levy and Dupre tackled their whitewater literally sight unseen, they had guides with them shouting directions. Unable to see any of the must-miss holes, Buey did his run solo. And he used the feat to help promote Weihenmayer’s No Barrier pledge, encouraging people to pursue their dreams.
“That’s some real courage there,” posted Weihenmayer about the feat. “Way to be. Know it, own it, grow from it.”
Watch video of his run here:
Read full article in Time magazine here: https://time.com/5839010/high-school-class-of-2020-coronavirus/