Lars Holbek | USA

Lars Holbek was one of the most accomplished whitewater explorers of all time. Futaleufu, Stikine, Fantasy Falls, Golden Gate, Hospital Rock; these titles conjure some of the world’s most difficult, top-quality whitewater, and Lars was the first to paddle all of them. In total, he has logged over seventy first descents worldwide. Despite his impressive achievements, Lars was a paddler’s paddler, laid back, fun-loving and independent. Dedicated to exploration and pushing the limits of whitewater paddling, for decades Holbek exemplified the concept of a lifestyle paddler while leading the charge in one of the greatest periods of exploratory kayaking the sport has ever seen. His explorations in California gave him the knowledge, expertise, and credentials to author “The Best Whitewater in California” in 1984. Though the guide book was written 25 years ago, it is still the undisputed authority for paddling in California.

CATEGORY ACCOMPLISHMENTS / ACHIEVEMENTS / COMPETITIVE RESULTS
First Descent Highlights
• Giant Gap, North Fork American, California, 1975
• Lover’s Leap, South Fork American, California, 1979
• Bald Rock Canyon, Middle Fork Feather, California, 1980s
• Golden Gate Run, South Fork American, California, 1980s
• Hospital Rock, Kaweah River, California, 1980s
• Generation Gap, North Fork American, California, 1980s
• Fantasy Falls, Mokelumne, California, 1980s
• Stikine, British Columbia, 1980s, filmed for ABC Television in the United States
• Paucartambo, Peru, 1983
• Futaleufu, Chile, 1980s
• 7 Teacups of the Claro, Chile, 1980s
• Huilo Gorge, Chile, 1980s
• Volcan, Chile, 1980s
• Upper Maipo, Chile, 1980s
• Merced Gorge, California, 1980s
• Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, California, 1980s
• Crucible Gorge of the San Joaquin, California, 1980s
• Middle Falls, California, 1985
• Little North Fork of the Middle Fork Feather, California, 1993

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS / ACCOMPLISHMENTS / COMPETITIVE RESULTS
Working with the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust Organization, Lars helped save the Clavey River, a Tuolumne River tributary, from an unnecessary dam.

WHITEWATER ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS
Member, Tuolumne River Preservation Trust

PUBLISHED ARTICLES, MANUSCRIPTS AND MEDIA
1984: “The Best Whitewater in California: The Guide to 180 Runs,” by Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley
1984: “Wild Americans: Sierra Nevada Class V,” Film by Lars Holbek and Eric Magneson
1980s: ABC Television filmed the first the Rob Lesser, Lars Holbek First Descent of the Stikine for United States Television

HONORS AND AWARDS
1993: “Wild Americans: Sierra Nevada Class V, received the Paddler’s Choice Award at the United States National Paddling Film Festival