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kayak Legend Josh Lowry Dead At 61 After Fall Scouting Deschutes River

You can survive all the hard whitewater in the world, but sometimes fate deals out different cards. Such is the case with the Aug. 2 death of longtime kayaker and South American river exploring legend Josh Lowry, who died at age 61 after falling from a cliff on Oregon's Rogue River..

Lowry planning out another first descent in Chile. Photo courtesy Tyler Williams, www.funhogpress.com

Lowry reportedly fell off a 50-foot cliff to the rocky bed of the Deschutes River on Aug. 2, possibly scouting a line through Benham Falls below.

Lowry was the first person to run Mexico's classic Agua Azul and Chile's Rio Baker, as well as other classics throughout Central and South America. A crown jewel was his 1999 exploration of the challenging Rio Pascua in Patagonia.

"His Chilean road trips of 1994 (with John Foss and Clay Wright) and 1995 (with Arnd Schaeftlein, Bernd Sommer, Manu Arnu, Olli Grau, and Dave Kashinski) included many other exploratories in lands that were unknown to the whitewater world, the stuff of dreams," writes paddling friend Tyler Williams on funhogpress.com.

Lowry also made regular pilgrimages back through the states, often spending time in Paddling Life's hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colo. He'd come back to lead trips down Grand Canyon, Middle Fork of the Salmon, and other whitewater classics, always returning to his rafting company in Futaleufu, Chile, one of his favorite paddling spots where he would effortlessly navigate its toughest rapids as if dancing with them.

"He once told me, 'I am a minimalist, both in life and paddling,'" says Williams. "This was the flow of Josh Lowry's life, in harmony with the seasons, in tune with the river."

For a profile on Lowry, CLICK HERE

For Williams' eulogy, CLICK HERE

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