Over the last two years, the West-Coast-based Torryd quartet has made a name for themselves running some of the world’s tallest waterfall descents. Trent McCrerey, Knox Hammack, Edward Muggridge and Liam Fournier are a tight group who met at World Class Kayak Academy, a traveling high school for students who earn credits while paddling around the world.
I’ve been lucky to paddle with the lads, and they’ve lived on my couch more often than not. It’s a pleasure to join the team on a mission—I have spent hundreds of hours on the road with the gang, rap blasting and truck loaded with boats in search of perfect water levels on the world’s largest runnable stouts.
Alberta’s Ram Falls, pictured here, was first run in 2012. Last July, we loaded up the truck and made the 20-hour drive from our place in Squamish, British Columbia, deep into the Rocky Mountains. There Edward styled 98-foot-tall Ram Falls alongside Aniol Serrasolses.
Muggridge is not the only one of the Torryd boys to step up to drop 100-plus feet. During the last 12 months, Knox Hammack laced up and styled 128-foot-tall Big Banana Falls in Mexico, and then 189-foot Palouse Falls in Washington state. It was the first successful Palouse descent since Tyler Bradt descended the drop a decade ago setting a new world record.
Of course, it’s not always smooth sailing for the crew. Trent, Edward and I drove 30 hours last August to paddle Alexandra Falls in the Northwest Territories. Edward was one of the first to attempt the 105-foot falls. He broke his tibia and fibula on impact, taking him off the water and his feet for the next six months.
This July, almost a year to the day after Torryd’s first Ram decent, and following the hype of Knox’s new Palouse descent, the Torryd boys loaded up again and returned to Ram Falls. Hopes were high for near-perfect flows.
Trent and Knox geared up first and though nerves were raw, both lads had stunning lines. Knox even ran the Ram twice. The trip had no media plan until I jumped on last minute—they were just going to use GoPros. No photographers were present when Knox ran Big Banana either. These boys are doing it for love, not the attention.
Not only are the Torryd boys cutting their own path and bringing fresh style to the scene, but despite having run some of the world’s tallest waterfalls, they’ve kept a low-key vibe in a scene where paddlers are increasingly saying “look at me” on social media.
A former Australian Geographic Young Adventurer of the Year, Lachie Carracher has devoted his life to following rivers around the world.
Knox Hammack on Alberta’s 98-foot-tall Ram Falls. | Photo: Lachie Carracher