4Corners paddler Chris Baer checks in with his final three trip reports from his trip to Mexico. Enjoy!
Another run with almost no beta. We were told, “there is a 50 footer, a rapid that killed someone and a 90 footer at the take out that someone ran accidentally. Have fun!”
Writing this a while later, I really wonder why we went in. Oh yeah, because it’s Mexico and it’s rad and it couldn’t be any worse then our first Big Banana epic.
We headed in and it was low flow, lots of bouncing off of rocks, but there are a hand-full of good moves here and there.
All of us had the 50 footer in the back of our heads. So we pressed on, bounced off of more rock, I got pinned and we all just got beat up. Definitely low water.
We bounced into another rapid, “Wow, that’s a horizon line.”
We took some time getting people out on the ultra sketchy scouting rock.
If you look close you can see everyone’s boats piled up on the small beach in the top right corner.
Get out of your boat and swim up to a sketchy ledge 5 feet before the 50 footer. It goes better than it sounds.
Lance looked down at me in the pool, “It looks good. Just ride off the curler.”
“What about safety?”
“I’ll jump if you get hurt”
I paddled back up the eddy and fired off the drop totally blind. What a rush.
You can only run something blind once.
After the last good drop it goes back into a few boulder gardens. Be super heads up, the 90 footer is down there and it would be very easy to run it unintentionally. It also doesn’t look that good; all the water in the landing zone is swirling clockwise and there is no aeration on the right side of the falls, which is exactly where you would land. OUCH.
The hike out is a bitch, super steep and the bar at the top is usually closed.
Well, that’s it for Mexico. Stay heads up for my next installment: The Grand Canyon.
Tomato Gorge, looking at Tomato One,
Looking at Tomato Two,
The rappel, hand-over-hand climbing adventure and lowering the boats in took about an hour. We paddled into the landing pool of Tomato Two, “Damn, I’m glad I didn’t run that. It looks horrible from here.”
Off into the canyon we went; John got out and scouted the first major drop.
“Well it goes…. it just has a lot of stuff going on on both sides, just go down the tounge.”
There was a hand full of other fun drops and then we came to this:
“Just fire off the gorilla pad!”
It was great, a slow roll in to a great launch flake. John even attempted a freeweel off of it.
Another goofy drop. You couldn’t see the landing on almost every drop. When in doubt power through.
A hand full of other little drops and the river mellows out again. This section is super fun and the quality of the drops was fantastic. Just remember one rule when coming to Mexico: you can never ave enough paddles (John broke 3), and bring a climbing rope.
p.s.- If you look at Google Earth, there is yet another gorge below this. It has been labeled as unrunnable. I will be back to spend some time looking.
After a couple days of rest, we returned for Davis’ birthday to the Big Banana section of the Alseseca. We got a five hour head start from our previous attempt and it all went reasonably well.
This time around we got to shoot some the smaller rapids. This was a great triple drop rapid with an interesting first move.
Davis Grove and Lance Reif weren’t so lucky and both blew skirts in the stompy hole at the bottom.
The next drop that we referred to as the slot drop. This looked absolutely horrible from the top.
We even had time to sit around the 40 footer for an hour discussing its runability.
A different angle of Meat Locker. “Boof into the seam and disappear.”
Here’s a couple shots from the road side section; it is good, just not epic. We got the “tour” from Adriene, so the directions we got were “interesting.”
Adriene’s directions here were, “Most people don’t run this, but just follow me.”
The always classic S-turn
Lance got to see the entire rapid up-side-down his first run, which cost him a paddle and a little pride.
Well that was a quick post, on the road heading towards the Grand Canyon.