North·Video

Kayakers take on N.W.T.'s Sambaa Deh Falls

Three kayakers say they've performed a first-ever feat in the Northwest Territories by going over Sambaa Deh Falls late last month.
Kayaker Leif Anderson descends Sambaa Deh Falls east of Fort Simpson, N.W.T. (Leif and Natalie Anderson/Facebook)

Three kayakers say they've performed a first-ever feat in the Northwest Territories by going over Sambaa Deh Falls late last month.

Colorado-based couple Leif and Natalie Anderson and Ben Ghertner say it was the high point of a waterfall tour of the territory and northern British Columbia.

The Sambaa Deh Falls are rated a Class V on the International Scale of River Difficulty. The most difficult rapids are rated Class VI.

Colorado-based couple Leif and Natalie Anderson say going over N.W.T.'s Sambaa Deh Falls in a kayak was the high point of a waterfall tour of the territory and northern British Columbia. (CBC)
"It sort of drops into this mini gorge that's about 10 feet deep, 10 feet wide and you have to navigate a couple of bends there — a couple of S-turn kind of moves," said Anderson.

"Then it speeds up and opens up into this big fan and there's one particular spot that we wanted to hit on the righthand side there and you just drop into the fan and speed up." 

They say as far as they know, they are the first kayakers on record to brave the drop.

Natalie says their waterfall tour has raised some awareness about what the North has to offer for paddlers.

"It's generated a lot of interest already in the kayaking community," she said. "It's a pretty unique set of rapids."

Along with Sambaa Deh, the group also went over Louise Falls and some rapids in northern B.C.

Next year they plan to go over other waterfalls in the area including, maybe, the 32-metre Alexandra Falls near Enterprise, N.W.T.

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