In 2010, a tip from some top Norwegian kayakers led Fisher to an unlikely corner of the world in search of primo whitewater: north of the Arctic Circle in the upper regions of Norway. Because the river, the Glomága, had never been navigated and didn’t have very good Google Earth images, Fisher flew a powered paraglider and took geotagged photographs to gather information before diving in. In the end, he realized that the unknown waterway was destined to become a classic.
“Despite being north of the Arctic Circle, it’s the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen with perfect camping, a road to the put-in and take-out; very runnable, clean Class V whitewater; and easy portaging,” he says. The river cuts a gorge through two chunks of the country’s second largest ice covered area, the Svartisen, traveling through rock gardens, narrow drops, and gigantic knee-trembling waterfalls. Though it’s still not commonly kayaked, Fisher says the scenery makes the adventurous logistics worth it: Think huge verdant mountains dotted with snow, remote grassy campsites, and peaceful glowing-blue lagoons.
Since the 1990s, kayaker Steve Fisher has pushed the outer edges of his sport with over a hundred first descents in some 50 countries. But he is best known for leading a team of four, including kayakers Tyler Bradt, Ben Marr, and Rush Sturges, down the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 50-mile-long Inga Rapids, braving its waterfalls, whirlpools, and giant waves for the first time in history.
Steve Fisher's Gear Pick: Nemo Equipment Gogo Le Lightweight Inflatable One Person Blvy
“Every time I'm on a multiday trip, I admire how small my bivy packs down and how spacious it is once it's set up,” says Fisher. The tent uses air-filled tubes, inflated with a mouth pump, instead of poles. “I've been using the same one for four years without a hitch.”