Willie Kern

Willie Kern (aka sweet D) was raised in northern New England and beyond as a skier, a boater, a biker, and ultimately a lover of all things wild. He is a self-proclaimed river runner respected by generations of paddlers who is also recognized internationally as a voice of conservation, communication and safety on the river. Over the last two and a half decades, Willie has assembled a portfolio of kayak descents covering nearly every corner of the northern hemisphere, from the Americasto Asia and often on first descents of the world’s most technically and logistically challenging runs. For some, most notably he was a member of the expedition that became the first to run the legendary “Upper Gorges” of the Great Bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo. In addition to becoming one of the foremost expedition paddlers, Willie has also worked developing eco-tourism and guide training programs in Asia for over a decade. Consequent to that experience he is a founding member of the Oregon based charity, FLOW (forloveofwater).He has served as a co-cameraman for the adventure documentaries, “The Yunnan Great Rivers Expedition”, and a discovery channel series on the “Lost Worlds” of Bhutan. As well, Willie has co-facilitated logistics and safety for the SLP documentaries “Into The Tsangpo Gorge”, “Liquid off the Throne of Shiva” and the “Liquid Lifestyles” series, and he has done voice over work for “Unparalleled” telemark ski films. Throughout, Willie has taught and coached with a host of incarnations of accredited experiential and outdoor education programs. He speaks publicly in favor of  the protection of cultural and natural heritage and he has guided on and around rivers for his entire adult life, most enduringly with Tarkio Kayak Adventures.