Noccalula Falls First Descent

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Isaac Levinson takes the plunge.

My blog post last week was written in a state of excitement and anxiety over what the next day was to hold. As it turned out, Pat Keller, Isaac Levinson, and I achieved our goal of running 90 foot Noccalula Falls in Alabama for the first time ever!  It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

A full account of these descents and my Desoto Falls first descent will be published in the January issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors.  John Grace of AmongstIt will also be producing a full-length documentary about these drops and a number of other ones in that area.  It is an exciting time for paddling in the Southeast, as the world realizes that we have just as many big, clean waterfalls as anywhere.

Until these come out, check out this edit by Isaac Levinson of the day’s action, including a number of POV shots.

Since Monday, it’s been absolutely insane the publicity that our runs have received!  We have all been flooded with Facebook requests from hundreds of friendly people in that area, and the footage has been aired on the weather.com homepage and AOL.

A description of the descent was also printed in Fox News, and the ensuing comments are a great read if you get a chance!  Legislature involving waterways is an interesting thing, and hopefully in the future a number of these waterfalls will be legal to paddle by teams of experts.

We’re all still buzzing from the day, and it’s been fun to watch the collective public’s perceptions of kayaking being shifted.  I don’t think that we will ever avoid the daredevil stereotype, but hopefully three successful, injury-free descents of a large waterfall like that can demonstrate that we are not adrenaline-crazed lunatics, but rather calculating athletes who occasionally take things to a level that is not understood by a non-paddler.  It’s all a matter of perspective and experience.

Good lines!

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