Marathon kayaking trips seem to be en vogue this summer. First there was Tommy Hilleke and John Grace greasing California’s Middle Kings. Then this: Colorado’s Paul Gamache completed Utah’s Cataract Canyon in 20 hours, a 95-mile callous cruncher usually done in four to six days.
Gamache’s run had a philanthropic angle too. He raised more than $1,600 for American Whitewater after collecting pledges. “Anytime you do a run for the first time there is a feeling of apprehension associated with the unknown,” he says. “Now take that feeling and exacerbate it by being solo in a 14-foot whitewater race boat”
Gamache put on the river at around 4 am in a Pyranha Speeder – a kayak designed for whitewater touring – and reached the Hite Marina takeout 20 hours later at around 10 pm. “One of these days, I’ll get around to writing the full story of traveling through Cataract Canyon,” says Gamache. “For now I’m just happy to be off the water.”
– Joe Carberry