Chris Baer: Rio Gol Gol

Chris Baer
This was actually our second try at the Gol Gol. A couple weeks back, we showed up and decided there was way too much water. This time there was just a little less.
The team, Kyle, Steven, Jake and I got suited up in our wet gear and hiked in to the first drop. Everyone was tired from the lack of good sleep the night before, (half the group slept in a truck and the other half in a bus stop). After a quick inspection of the first drop no one was interested in a big jungle hike to run a 15 foot boof.
We put on below the first drop and cruised through some fun class 4 towards the next horizon line. The whole run is made up of gigantic pour overs, that lead into class 4, and then back into other giant pour overs. With all of the big drops on this run pouring over it is really important to delay your boof stroke, waiting till the drop truly goes vertical to take that last powerful stroke.

Kyle getting his late boof

Steven dropping into an interesting flume, this thing was cool, both sides of the slide where just exploding, have to find the sliver of water that makes it through.

Jake with a big boof.

We bombed off a couple drops, and quickly arrived at an especially gnarly looking 30 ft drop. After scouting my line I gave myself a 50/50 chance of being where I wanted to be through the entrance rapid. If I was spot on from there I gave my self a 60% chance of sticking the boof over a nasty hole. To make it worse, the hole was recirculating under the right wall. All of this equaled a no go in my head. Everyone in the group quickly came to the same decision and we raised the boats out of the canyon, through the jungle, and put them back in at the base of that very respectable rapid. A quick paddle brought us to the top of the 50 footer. This thing is immense, easily a 1,000 cfs bouncing through a narrow slot. The perfect line is through a nasty lead in, over a roller, and down 20 feet where the right side of the current engulfs you. Then you fall another 30 feet into the most aerated landing zone ever. Kyle looked at this drop for just a few minutes, walked up, got in his boat, and paddled into the monster. Kyle had an amazing line, and made this huge drop look really good to the rest of us.

Kyle styling the monster.

Steven getting swallowed.

One after the next, everyone donated themselves to the massive volume of water, letting themselves get engulfed and flying into the landing zone. In the pool of the landing zone everyone rolled up laughing, “IT FELT LIKE I JUST LANDED IN A CLOUD”. As quick as it started, it ended. We exited the canyon, jumped in the truck, and rallied back to town for some much needed food.

Kyle reflecting on another stout drop.

Chris Baer
Back to blog