First Descents are a remarkable rite of passage. They represent an experience that many can repeat but no one can take away. Claudia Van Wijk and her father Hermann had the honour to be the first kayakers to paddle the Ottawa River. They had heard about the rapids from local farmers. The series of dams that were installed in the Ottawa River through the mid 1900’s served to change the path of the water and reveal the gem of a whitewater playground that we enjoy today. Read more in the Rapid Magazine Archive Article by Neil Etienne and Kyle Dickman.