IN THE WINTER OF 1983, the largest El Niño event on record sent a chain of superstorms in from the Pacific Ocean to batter the entire West. That spring, a massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward the Glen Canyon Dam, a 710-foot-high wall of concrete that sat at the head of the most iconic landscape feature in America, the Grand Canyon. As the water clawed toward the parapet of the dam, worried federal officials desperately scrambled to avoid a worst-case scenario: one of the most dramatic dam failures in history.
Kenton Grua, a fearless boatman and the captain of the Emerald Mile, embarked on an unusual and defiant mission: to use the flooding dam's torrents of water as a hydraulic slingshot that would hurl him and two companions through 277 miles of some of the most ferocious white water in North America and, if everything went as planned, catapult the Emerald Mile into legend as the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God—through the heart of the Grand Canyon.
B U Y T H E B O O K
"An instant classic of adventure literature." — HAMPTON SIDES, editor at large of Outside Magazine
Video directed and edited by Pete McBride Productions. Writing: Kevin Fedarko. Cinematography: Skip Hamilton, Jeffe Aronson (river-god.com), John Blaustein (johnblaustein.com), Pete McBride (www.petemcbride.com), Richard Kocim, Rudi Petschek, John Wise (johnwise.com). Special Thanks to: Duke Beardsley for Voice Over (dukebeardsleystudio.com); Scott McElroy for sound editing (thoughtprocessfilms.com); Steven Pinker (stevepinker.com);US Bureau of Reclamation and US Geological Survey.