In the 80s and 90s, there was a rush of international teams searching the world for the last great rivers to explore. Many of these explorers came to Western China to run the headwaters of some of largest rivers in Asia. After most of the major rivers had been run, Peter Winn stayed conducting geologic research and further exploring the rivers of China. His son Travis Winn fell in love with the area and began exploring and boating more and more of western China. Travis formed Last Descents to bring urban Chinese to see the rivers of western China he had fallen in love with.
We believe that the wild rivers of western China have an important role in the future of the rapidly developing nation. By bringing urban Chinese to these areas we hope to facilitate a positive exchange between the rivers and our guests. The river is a place to slow down, to be with family, it is a place for children and adults to grow, learn, and reconnect with themselves. We engage our guests in discussing how these rivers can be protected for generations to come. Last Descents is a growing project always trying new methods to expose urban Chinese to wild rivers and expand our sphere of influence. Through public lectures, films, river trips, a youth kayaking program, and working to develop river tourism with local governments, we hope to promote natural rivers as a source of growth and learning for China’s middle class.
Fundamentally everything we do is aimed to strengthen the bond between our guests and the river. We hope to nurture a symbiotic relationship, where the river can bring new depth to our guest's lives and they can be inspired to protect the rivers of western China. By exposing our guests to different styles of land management in the U.S., providing logistical support, and facilitating communication with local governments we aim to protect the rivers of western china so that many more generations can experience their benefits.