Demon River Apurimac: The First Navigation of the Upper Amazon Canyons

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One-fifth of the world's river water rushes down the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. A tiny thread of that monstrous surge of water makes an incredible 4000 mile journey. This thread, the Apurimac, is the source of the Amazon. It thaws reluctantly from a sweeping snow field 17,000 feet high in the cold, thin air of the Andes of southern Peru. It soon becomes a rivulet of clear water. From that point, it grows incessantly, crossing a flat pampa between bare, windswept hills. Then, at 13,000 feet, the ...
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Overview

One-fifth of the world's river water rushes down the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. A tiny thread of that monstrous surge of water makes an incredible 4000 mile journey. This thread, the Apurimac, is the source of the Amazon. It thaws reluctantly from a sweeping snow field 17,000 feet high in the cold, thin air of the Andes of southern Peru. It soon becomes a rivulet of clear water. From that point, it grows incessantly, crossing a flat pampa between bare, windswept hills. Then, at 13,000 feet, the Apurimac begins one of the most spectacular descents of any river in the world, slicing into the Vilcabamba range of the Andes, pulsing through narrow gorges and unparalleled canyons, crashing its way toward the jungle. This is the whitewater wilderness that beckoned J. Calvin Giddings, who led the first navigation of the river in 1974 and 1975. This book finally brings his unique story to light.

"Well-written, first-person account of the author's 1970s kayaking adventure through the Apurimac River gorge, from near its source above 4000 m to the jungle far below. Interspersed are descriptive accounts of the still little known canyon and its indigenous inhabitants"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874805253
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press
  • Publication date: 10/5/1996
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Rio Apurimac, Great Speaker of the Andes 2
2 High Gorges 14
3 Back to the Apurimac 36
4 Pacpero 56
5 Nayhua 78
6 The Great Granite Gorge 94
7 Preparing for Vilcabamba 108
8 The Chasm of Acobamba 118
9 To the Roots of Vilcabamba 142
10 Demon River 156
11 Choquequirao, Cradle of Gold 172
12 Capsizes! 184
13 Uncharted Waters 204
14 Quebrada de Arma 220
15 Winds from Hell 232
16 Canyon of Tragedy 246
17 Campa Land 260
18 Luisiana, End of the Road 272
App. 1 Apurimac Inca River 279
App. 2 Apurimac Explorers 283
App. 3 Elements of Kayaking and River Running 285
App. 4 1975 Expedition Document 289
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