Team Of Kayakers Drop In... And Make History!

Photos from Rafa Ortiz, Evan Garcia and Rush Sturges' steepest descent record attempt in Mexico.
By Rush Sturges & RedBull.com Team
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Long way down!
Evan Garcia performs during during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo river in Chiapas, Mexico on March 20th, 2013
Long way down! The Rio Santo Domingo carves a path between the mountains of Southern Mexico and Guatamala, creating a series of intricate cascades - one of which was the site of a world-record attempt for the steepest descent in a kayak... © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Gearing up
The group of kayakers scouting a rapid at the Santo Domingo river during the steepest kayakeable river descent in Chiapas, Mexico on March, 12th, 2013
Gearing up The group, including Ortiz, Evan Garcia and Rush Sturges, scout a section of the river which was first put on the map for kayakers in 1993. Over the years, advanced lines have been pioneered and collectively the Santo Domingo has now been paddled from top to bottom. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Paddling pool
Rush Sturges performs at the Santo Domingo River during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in Chiapas, Mexico on March 12th, 2013
Paddling pool At an average gradient of 1,900fpm, with the steepest section dropping close to 500 feet in 0.25 miles, it is currently the steepest navigable section of whitewater found anywhere on earth. However, up until this paddling season no one had completed every waterfall in one single descent. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
How are your nerves?!
Rush Sturges at the Santo Domingo river during the steepest kayakeable river descent in Chiapas, Mexico on March 14th, 2013
How are your nerves?! With names like Dome Drop, Tobaggon, Raw Dawg, Big Dawg, the Santo has a series of staircase that descend in a seemingly endless spread of cascades. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Rocky road
Rafael Ortiz performs at the Santo Domingo river during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, in Chiapas, Mexico on March 12th, 2013
Rocky road “If you break your paddle or blow your deck, you have about five seconds to get your act together before you’re swept over the next 70 feet!” says Evan Garcia. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Rafael Ortiz
Rafael Ortiz performs at the Santo Domingo river during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, in Chiapas, Mexico on March 12th, 2013
Rafael Ortiz Doug Ammons, Cully Erdman, Peter Knowles, Sandra Schmidt, Jim and Jeff Snyder blazed a trail in 1993 and since then new teams have continued to visit and re-visit the river. For Rafa Ortiz, the challenge of paddling the entire section was one he could not wait to take on. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Plotting a course
Rafael Ortiz in preparation during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo river in Chiapas, Mexico on March 14th, 2013
Plotting a course Rafael Ortiz photographed in preparation for the proposed descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo river in Chiapas, Mexico, on March 14. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Safe passage
Rafael Ortiz in preparation during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo river in Chiapas, Mexico on March 14th, 2013
Safe passage The contingent of course had a large safety team at the bottom and spent months organizing a state-of-the-art CINEFLEX gyro system to document the descent from a helicopter. The logistics were complicated both on and off the water... © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
View from the air
Evan Garcia performs during during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo river in Chiapas, Mexico on March 20th, 2013
View from the air The full descent has been documented for an upcoming Red Bull Media House/River Roots production which will be available in February 2014... © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
Making history
Rafael Ortiz performs at the Santo Domingo river during the descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, in Chiapas, Mexico on March 20th, 2013
Making history Angel Wings Waterfall is the crux drop in the series of massive cascades that comprise the steepest navigable stretch of white water anywhere in the world. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
We did it!
The group of kayakers poses for a portrait after the succesful descent of the steepest kayakeable river in the world, at the Santo Domingo River in Chiapas
We did it! “Since the first time I stood in front of the Santo, I’ve dreamt of paddling each one of its drops in a single run... We couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces when we arrived at the bottom and looked back!" said Ortiz, afterwards. © Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
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