"The Last Descent of the Blue Nile"
Curtis Berklund & Scott Lacy
On November 4th, 2017, Aspen locals Scott Lacy and Curtis Berklund, alongside 18 other expeditioners, set off for a last descent of the Ethiopian Blue Nile. The nearly 1000 kilometers of the Blue Nile, known as the Black Nile in Ethiopia, flows through five major canyons including the Grand Canyon of Africa and is currently being dammed and flooded by the largest dam ever built in Africa. With the dam gates scheduled to shut December 2017, the group pushed off the shores of Lake Tana following only 6 previous river running attempts in recorded history, straight into the Northern Gorge, the most notorious whitewater of the trip. Curtis and Scott, being safety kayakers, rescued swimmers, righted a flipped raft, performed live-bait rescue for pinned raft in a class VI rapid and paddled the first descent of that rapid, among much more.