Set in a granite gorge in the pristine wilderness of the Sacred Headwaters watershed in northern British Columbia, the Nass River serves up a hundred miles of continuous Class III and IV rapids. Erik Boomer calls the six-day expedition a truly classic wilderness experience. “The Nass didn’t have the gnarly, hair-raising gorges that we were expecting,” he says, “which means anyone could come do it.”
The river is considerably less risky than its big brother, the Stikine, a Class V-plus river that also flows from the Sacred Headwaters. “You get the same scenery and wilderness quality as the Stikine, with even more animals but way less commitment to danger,” Boomer says.
The Sacred Headwaters, besides being the home of salmon (which swim more than 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean to get there), grizzlies, eagles, caribou, and wolves, is also rich in mineral and energy resources. “There are some initiatives going on to protect this amazing area from drilling,” says Boomer. Find out more at: www.sacredheadwaters.com.
Erik Boomer kayaks the world’s wildest white water and was nominated for Paddler of the Year in 2012. He’s best known for completing the first circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island, Canada, with explorer Jon Turk in 2011, a 1,485-mile journey that took them 104 days on foot, skis, and in kayaks. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Erik Boomer's Gear Pick: Rain Tarp
“I always take a good rain tarp. NRS makes one with sleeves that you can slide your paddles into to create poles—you don’t even need to bring poles.”