The Chattanooga Hiking Club will be hosting a free event in the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater on Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m.
Ben Friberg, founder of Chattajack, will deliver a presentation about his adventures in Papua New Guinea while exploring the Sepik River.
Friberg and his wife Kim headed to New Guinea with intentions of exploring the Sepik River as far upstream as circumstances would allow. The Sepik River is the longest river on the island of New Guinea at just under 700 miles. (Compared to the 652-mile length of the Tennessee River.) Papua New Guinea is one of the most remote and culturally diverse destinations in the world. More than 800 languages are spoken there, 200 along the Sepik River alone. Hunter gatherer societies still exist, and many aspects of life still connect to the Stone Age. Friberg will discuss how he and Kim explored the lesser known Upper Sepik region via dugout canoe.
No pre-registration is required for this free event.
Mr. Friberg grew up in Chattanooga and started exploring all of the area’s rivers and creeks by kayak beginning in the ninth grade. About eight years ago, he began standup paddle boarding on the Ocoee River, and later he began to explore endurance paddling events.
In 2012, he set the world record for farthest distance paddled in a 24-hour period. He accomplished this on the Yukon River, paddling 238 miles in 24 hours. One year later, he became the first (and still only) person to standup paddle from Cuba to the United States in slightly more than 27 hours. And in 2014, he and his wife were the first paddle boarders to participate in the world’s longest paddle race, the Yukon 1000, a 1,000-mile race on the Yukon River.