The beginning of the expedition will see the team in Peru, trekking and climbing to the summit of 5650m Mt. Mismi and the ultimate source of the Amazon River. Following this arduous journey, the team will follow the water course, trekking until it is possible to put in with their 14 foot ARK inflatable raft. This is the beginning of the expedition proper; Class V whitewater for weeks on end, followed by thousands of kilometers of the Amazon River as most know it - flat, wide, green and impenetrable jungle.
Throughout the river descent the Expedition Amazonas team will meet with local representatives of expedition partner, Amazon Watch. Amazon Watch works with indigenous and environmental organizations in the Amazon Basin to defend the environment, and advance indigenous peoples' rights in the face of large-scale industrial development. Through this expedition, the team hopes to help highlight their tireless work in the Amazon and bring attention to the on-going destruction in the region.
Expedition Amazonas team leader Mark Kalch says "For this amazing journey, we will rely once more on Kokatat paddling gear to keep us dry, warm, and comfortable. First we will battle whitewater formed by ice melt that originates high in the Andes. Then, as we follow the descent of the Amazon River, the team will raft a river that can reach several kilometers in width. When inclement weather hits, Kokatat paddling gear will again prove its worth. We know the gear works, that's why we use it."
Mark Kalch is an experienced guide who has paddled and led trips throughout the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and on rivers in Australia and Africa, including the Mitta Mitta, Tully, Orange, and most recently, the isolated Omo River in Ethiopia. Mark is based in Cape Town, South Africa where he guides and surfs the cold, shark infested, waters.
Nathan Welch is an accomplished whitewater kayaker and guide currently based on the Tully River in North Queensland, Australia. Nathan has paddled extensively throughout Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Uganda and has managed several river operations.
Phil Swart is a South African paddler who has worked and paddled throughout South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Uganda. Phil is based in Cape Town, South Africa, working as a qualified paramedic and surfing big waves in his kayak.
Holly Tett has worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth office since 2002 as an expert in security, defense, and political policy. Currently based in Ethiopia, Holly has been an integral member of expeditions on the Blue Nile and Omo Rivers. She is also a keen mountaineer and has summited mountains in the Alps and in East Africa, including Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Learn more about Expedition Amazonas and follow the team's progress via the expedition website at www.expeditionamazonas.com.
Kokatat Press releases can also be found at http://www.kokatat.com/press_releases.asp
Kokatat Sponsors Expedition Amazonas - A Source to Sea Journey on the Amazon RiverMonday, 10 September 2007
Arcata, CA - In September of 2007 the Expedition Amazonas team will trek and paddle, totally unsupported, for over 7 months and 7000km, the entire length of the mighty Amazon River. This is a complete traverse of the South American continent from the Pacific Coast in Peru to the mouth of the Amazon River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil. The experienced expedition team includes members from Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Expedition Amazonas has partnered with environmental and indigenous rights action group Amazon Watch, and high-profile equipment sponsors including Kokatat, Teva and First Ascent.
David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.