D.C.-based Wick Walker had already made a name for himself from the international whitewater canoe World Championships of 1965, 1967 and 1971 when he made the 1972 roster as a member of the inaugural U.S. Olympic team of whitewater paddlers. However, he didn’t limit his exploits to just competitions. In 1975, he and friend Tom McEwan made the first descent of Great Falls on the Potomac River. Somber headlines came in 1998 following the National Geographic-sponsored Tibetan expedition of an un-navigated stretch of the Tsangpo River, in which Walker provided land-based support and fellow paddler Doug Gordon lost his life. Walker recounts this expedition in “Courting the Diamond Sow: A Whitewater Expedition on Tibet’s Forbidden River.” He has also published “Paddling the Frontier: Guide to Pakistan’s Whitewater” and “Goat Game: Thirteen Tales from the Afghan Frontier.”

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