Some of you may have seen this before but here is a link to the first descent of the Susitna River.
Great big brass cajones!
Those guys are crazy, nuts, amazing. I found myself holding my breath on the still photos. Some of those holes were beyond huge!!
I'd have peed my pants to come to the edge and peek over to see that waiting for me.
I looked at some of the other footage on You tube and they were pretty cool too.
What year did the "first descent" movie take place? Did they portage any of it? Did anybody die during that effort?
Nobody died. I don't remember the date, but there is a fairly thorough account of it written in Fast & Cold. I believe Walt Blackadar (famous dead kayaker) was the team leader, and somehow Andy Embick (Valdez) conned his way onto the team as well. Since then it's been done by a few other crazy kayakers. No rafters as far as I know, although there has been at least one raft group that portaged the entire Devil's Canyon section on the way down the Susitna.
Also Steve MaHay drove a large jet boat up it once. Water was lower than what that video shows. He decided against driving back down. There is a decent video of that trip as well.
Just looking at the video scares me.