The Last of the Great Unknown

Explorer Rich Rudow enjoys a view of the Grand Canyon few human beings have ever seen. While visitors to the national park typically see this natural wonder from the top down he and his team of canyoneers offer a rare vantage point from deep within. As they make their way through a menagerie of slots and passageways the team treats moviegoers to a rare glimpse of ancient beauty in the adventure film directed by Dan Ransom called The Last of the Great Unknown.

Both documentary and action film this project produced with the help of mountain writer John Harlin III provides a historical perspective on the earliest forays into the Grand Canyon. Dating all the way back to 1869 John Wesley Powell once described it as “the Great Unknown”. But with modern equipment and techniques Rudow with partner Todd Martin shows that there remain dozens of paths and routes carved over millennia by the Colorado River that have yet to be found and charted.

“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in a single view,” Powell once wrote. “To see it, you have to toil from month to month, through its labyrinths.”

In the film Rudow shares his personal obsession as he continues the search for the canyon’s unrevealed mysteries. With a mixture of rock climbing and spelunking skills he and his teammates demonstrate the wonders of canyon exploration to barely scratch the surface of this vast area that remains on the frontier of discovery.

Last of the Great Unknown – Trailer #1 from Dan Ransom on Vimeo.

The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support sponsors Patagonia, Rayovac and the New Belgium Brewing Company

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I'm a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

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