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Kokatat paddlers journey through Canada for Nachvak River first descent

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) TeamKokatat paddlers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic have assembled a party to embark on a 3,300-mile expedition through Canada’s Torngat wilderness to some of the most remote whitewater ever attempted.

Team members will set out by train from Eastern Canada’s Labrador Plateau and paddle to the Torngat wilderness area, which begins 700 miles away from the nearest road.

Stookesberry, Korbulic and Pedro Olivia – known for major first descents in Greenland and landmark icecap explorations in the Svalbard Archipeligo – will be joined by Erik Boomer, who is the most experienced Arctic paddler on the team having completed the first successful circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island among other Arctic expeditions. Local guide Noah Kujjuac rounds out the team, providing native insight in a region infamous for polar bear activity.

Beginning the journey in mid-July, Stookesberry, Olivia and Boomer will ride the Tshiuetin Railroad 300 miles to the George River where they will then kayak the 400-mile route. Noted for its abundance of landlocked char and Atlantic salmon, as well as eastern North America’s largest Caribou heard, the George river valley also holds untapped whitewater opportunities. The team will explore and attempt first descents of the George’s many tributaries before riding a fifty-foot tide at the river’s terminus to the small Inuit village of Kangiqsualujjuac.

In Kangiqsualujjuac, Korbulic and Kujjuac will join the expedition for the push into the Torngat Mountains National Park. From Kangiqsualujjuac they will fly by float plane to the Nachvak river, paddling through Nachvak Fjord to make the first descent in this essentially unexplored polar bear region.

Upon reaching Natchvak Lake, the team will hike 12 miles out through a pass to the Karoq river rather than waiting a potentially extended period in this Polar Bear rich environment for a float plane retrieval.

Upon returning to Kangiqsualujjuac, the expedition, expected to take about seven weeks, will have covered over 3,300 miles. Follow the team’s progress, listen to live updates, and view images at

For more information on this and other Kokatat sponsored expeditions visit

About Kokatat Inc.

Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit nd follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

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