search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
S L IDE


FORBIDDEN FRUIT WORDS AND PHOTO BY SCOTT MARTIN


After decades of work,American Whitewater succeeded in opening access for paddlers in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite hosts a number of rivers, ranging from class I floats to multi-day class V+ epics, including the Merced River. Despite millions of visitors a year, paddling the Merced had been off- limits—until now. On June 1st, I set out on an expedition with South African professional paddler Steve Fisher to document the first descent of this long-forbidden


route. Fisher hopes that this legal first descent will encourage authorities to open up other rivers in the national parks where paddling is not permitted. His kayaking partner was Pat Keller, a southeastern expedition paddler and waterfall guru. My role was to photograph the expedition. We approached the Merced from Tuolomne Pass, hiking our gear 17 miles through alpine meadows, past icy cold lakes, and into the headwaters of the


river. At the end of the first day, after hiking with a 90-pound loaded boat over a 10,000-foot pass, Keller was still keen to explore. We scrambled up to a rocky point overlooking the Merced Valley, staring in awe at the massive snow-covered peaks surrounding us. In the distance, I could just make out the trail the crew would be hiking the following day to access the river. I knew I needed a shot of that from this vantage point. The next day I was up early and waiting in the same spot to snap this photo of Fisher and Keller with my Nikon D610 and 70-200mm F2.8 lens. The following morning, Fisher and Keller began their descent, beginning 15 miles of whitewater from the Lyell Fork to just above Nevada Falls. The


Merced River would reveal itself to be a gem, with crystal clear water, massive slides, a handful of stout boulder gardens and astonishing scenery. “It’s one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever had the pleasure to go on,” Keller later said. Fisher and Keller completed the epic first descent over five days. Because of the efforts of American Whitewater, kayaking on the Merced is now legal in Yosemite National Park.


Digital Extra: Watch a six-part video series documenting the descent at Rapidmedia.com/0480 or get the digital edition of the Paddling Buyer’s Guide. This article first appeared in the 2016 Paddling Buyer’s Guide. 22 PADDLING MAGAZINE


22 PADDLING MAGAZINE


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86