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The 2021 Arctic Cowboys Northwest Passage Expedition

The Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition

Due to the ongoing pandemic our plans to kayak the entire 1900 miles of the infamous Northwest Passage has been postponed until 2022.

Expedition Synopsis:

The frequent opening of the Passage due to melting sea ice will continue to alter trade routes, speed of ocean transit, industry and population growth above the Arctic Circle.

The team will follow the route of the first successful crossing of the Passage by Roald Amundsen, which he accomplished 1903-06.

Northwest Passage Expedition

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Front Cover - review version


This was the first expedition to paddle the entire 4200 mile length of the Amazon River from its newly discovered most distant source in the Peruvian Andes to the Atlantic Ocean in northern Brazil. The Mantaro is about 90 miles longer than the previously discovered source at the Apurimac River. We missed the most distant source by about 4 miles, but logged the first expedition from the Mantaro River source, the second expedition to complete the Mantaro River and the fastest expedition to paddle the complete Amazon in 111 days.


If the link doesn't work, please go to:

The Source of the Amazon River

It's far simpler than you'd expect and far more controversial than it should be. Follow the link below for more details.



The 2020 3rd Coast Cowboys Epic Kayak Journey

The Arctic Cowboys postponed our Northwest Passage kayak expedition because of concern about spreading COVID-19 to Inuit communities in the Arctic. So, for a  safer, alternative journey, we are joining with ultra-marathon canoe racer, Tim "Wildman" Curry and Highpointer mountain climber, Branndon Bargo, to kayak the entire Texas coast (aka: the third coast) from Boca Chica at the Mexican border to Sabine Pass at the Louisiana border. Officially, Texas has about 367 miles of coastline, so we're just going to take our time paddling our Epic 18x sea kayaks and camping out. We got tested for COVID-19 ahead of time in order to assure a bit of safety from transferring the virus amongst ourselves and we'll be keeping a safe distance from others along the route. Please check here and on our FB and Instagram accounts to follow our trek and daily blogs. We are launching on Wednesday, May 20th.


Jeff Wueste and West Hansen were the first people to kayak the entire 2100 miles of Europe's longest river, the Volga River in Russia from its source in the Valdai Hills, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, to the Caspian Sea, south of Astrakhan.

Click Here:

Volga River Expedition

If the link doesn't work please go to



Since 1993

In 2012, at age 50, West Hansen began leading expeditions in the legendary faraway places of our ever-shrinking world. Fueled by the lure of a daily existence devoid of constant electronic input while traveling at a natural pace, the expeditions also seek out routes that have yet to be attained by others, though often attempted. While his primary mode is through canoe and kayak paddling, given his extensive history of ultra-marathon canoe racing, expeditions based on terra firma are on the horizon.

In spite of his hesitations with immediate electronic input, West has this website to provide information, education, entertainment and perhaps a bit of a spark for anyone interested in getting out there and experiencing the world at its own pace.

Amazon Express (12)


No expedition succeeds on the efforts of one person. I have been aided by some of the most experienced and able explorers and supporters on the planet and want to pass on what I was given. Please contact me if I can be of any help on your expedition, speak at your event, host a viewing of our Amazon documentary, book signing or simply talk about exploration.