The AT50: Kayaker Christie Eastman (#45)
Sport: Whitewater Kayaking
Highlights: 1st place, Oregon Cup (2006); 1st place, Teva Extreme Games, Italy (2007); 1st place, Himalayan Challenge, Nepal (2008); 1st place, Western Whitewater Championship Racing Series (2008 and 2009); women’s world record waterfall run, 82-foot Metlako Falls on Eagle Creek, Oregon
Quote: "I don't need to run Class V every day to get my paddling fix, but it sure is fun to put on some big runs every so often to keep the skills sharp and keep things spicy."
Fact: Eastman and her husband, Drew, kayaked Mexico's Urique River on their August, 2012 honeymoon.
AT50 Point Total: 33.5
There are a lot of incredible whitewater kayakers out there, exploring the limits of the sport on first descents of wild rivers and running monster waterfalls across the globe. But, unless a kayaker makes a big, attention-grabbing statement, she won't register on the public radar. For Christie Eastman (formerly Glissmeyer), that moment came on Mother's Day 2009, when she plunged her kayak over the lip of Oregon's 82-foot-tall Metlako Falls and straight into the record books. The daredevil stunt wasn't an average run for Eastman, but it also wasn't a stretch for the paddling veteran.
Eastman grew up rafting in southern Utah and became a raft guide in Idaho, where she started kayaking at the age of 19. She progressed from sea kayaking to playboating to creeking and the high-stakes, almost-exclusively-male discipline of running waterfalls. She's also enjoyed a successful racing career, having twice won the Western Whitewater Championship Racing Series, among other races. Today, she spends much of her time on the water on multi-day, self-supported wilderness trips across the Pacific Northwest with Femme 45, a group of daredevil female paddler that includes friends Kate Wagner and Melissa DeCarlo.