Torrents as Yet Unknown: Daring Whitewater Ventures Into the World's Great River Gorges

Available

Product Details

Price
$27.00  $25.11
Publisher
Steerforth Press
Publish Date
Pages
224
Dimensions
5.6 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.85 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781586423728

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About the Author

Wickliffe W. Walker represented the United States in three whitewater canoe and kayak world championships and in the 1972 Olympics at Munich. Following his competitive career, he mounted expeditions in Bhutan, Pakistan, Mexico, and elsewhere, including to the Tsangpo River of Tibet that is the subject of his previous book Courting the Diamond Sow. He is a National Geographic Explorer and Author, and a Fellow of The Explorers Club, and he presently lives and writes in the Blue Ridge of Southwestern Virginia. He studied at Dartmouth College, the John F. Kennedy School for Special Warfare, and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. He served 21 years in the United States Army as an Engineer, Military Intelligence, and Special Forces officer, retiring in the rank of lieutenant colonel after overseas service in Vietnam, Thailand, and Germany.

Reviews

"Torrents As Yet Unknown will help fill that gap for listeners interested in human drama played out against great natural challenges." - Richard Bangs MT Sobek Co-Founder

"Page-turning adventure tales from an experienced, knowledgeable guide." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Tension and uncertainty are palpable throughout. The book covers the risks of getting to remote locations and scouting upcoming rapids; threats from bears, alligators, and unknown depths; and interference from hostile locals. Walker's descriptions are visceral, depicting the crushing power of whitewater, the heady atmosphere of adrenaline and nervous anticipation, and photogenic surroundings in turn. There are maps, illustrations, diary excerpts, and quotes to complement this work." -- Foreword Reviews

"Wick has served up a series of first-rate adventure tales covering the major whitewater explorations of the late 20th Century. Running the rapids is a concrete and straightforward task, although rarely as simple and easy. While following the paddlers downriver, we also explore their thoughts and emotions." -- Coastal CaNEWS

"Walker gives well-researched histories of the expeditions as well as stories of the people on them, from extensive interviews with those involved on some and his firsthand experience on two of them. It's an impressive cast of characters, including some of the great whitewater adventurers of the 20th century, whose names should be familiar to those who admire their accomplishments and daring." -- Canoe Cruisers Association

"Torrents As Yet Unknown will help fill that gap for listeners interested in human drama played out against great natural challenges." -- Richard Bangs MT Sobek Co-Founder

"A river is a liquid mountain, though you may have never thought of them this way, until reading Walker's dramatic, highly-researched homage to venturing into the unknown. Like Into Thin Air, this book takes you to places from which there may be no return. The shock for those who've never paddled a stream will be that rivers are so alive, voice-filled, dangerous, and welcoming. Rivers are places, Walker writes, where the current 'flows but one direction -- into the future.' Walker's experiences as an elite paddler, meditative and enormously dramatic, will have river veterans nodding in agreement and surprise. I loved the journey." -- Doug Stanton, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Horse Soldiers

"It's not often that an all-time great explorer, paddling pioneer, and expedition leader writes an all-time great book on his life's obsession. But Wick Walker has done it and it's a doozy. This compendium of whitewater first descents is a must-read for every adventure-lover -- you don't need to be a kayaker or raft guide to feel the power of these stories." -- Brian Castner, author of Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

"Superbly written and very, very gripping . . . Torrents As Yet Unknown brought back to me rich memories, especially of Mike Jones, one of the great adventurers of our time." -- Sir Chris Bonington, CVO, CBE, DL, mountaineer and author of more than a dozen books about his adventures, including Annapurna South Face

"Wickliffe Walker's Torrents As Yet Unknown is an important contribution to the literature of exploration and the history of whitewater river running. But it is also a fascinating study of character -- of the irrepressible imagination and sheer audacity of those who seek out the wildest places, who make a life of honing the skills needed to navigate the unknown at the extreme limit of human survivability. As I read, I found myself repeatedly murmuring, 'You can't make this stuff up.' From kayakers trying to maneuver on the Blue Nile while shooting attacking crocodiles with a pistol, to paddlers attempting to kayak from just below Everest's Base Camp, to Chinese scholars sealing themselves in closed capsules and asking to be shoved off into the ferocious cataclysm of the Yangtze River's Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walker knows the territory: he's a soldier and explorer who has led expeditions into Tibet's mythic Tsangpo Gorge, and singlehandedly paddled the first descents of many of Pakistan's whitewater rivers. His book had my pulse racing. And I kept thinking, 'That's why we love rivers, and that's why the greatest push the limits.'" -- Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars, The River, and The Guide.
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