Rio Claro, Chile

Chris Baer
The beta you’re about to read will be ok, the beta we had going into this run was dead wrong and almost nonexistent.
There are three boatable sections to the river, staring from the top is the 22 waterfalls section. Park at the bridge and stealthily walk up the river right shore 3k or so, we were denied this section by the ranger.

The next section has a lot of nicknames; my personal favorite is the “Devils Throat”. This section is a true gem. It may be the hardest, most contained, worst evac, most fun, scary, silly, unscoutable, unportageable section I have ever run.
This is where you bring your A game, your best team (boof or die), all your safety equipment, and a big roll of fun tickets. You start out at the bridge walk a couple dumb rapids, and then start boofing.

John McConville looking into the abyss.

John McConville boofing one of the upper drops.

Yet another great boof.

When you get to a 15 footer that you will want to scout on the right you will notice the next drop: a huge tongue into a 15 footer.

If you run this one you are committed to the next section. The next section is burly, it starts with the Twirly Bird, a 20ft twisting slide that dumps into 30-40 feet of vert.

Chris Baer, probing twirly bird, photo by John McConville

Amazingly this drop goes really well. Once you’re in the eddy of twirly bird, hoot, holler and get ready; it’s going to be game on for a while, one burly blind rapid after the next. Keep on spending fun tickets, scout when you can, survive till you get to a wooden walk way on the left, and then get out! The following rapids get harder and harder until the entire river falls off a couple drops into a crack thinner than your boat. This is where we hiked out, or rather John climbed out. The climb boat extraction process took 6 hours so don’t mess up your take out.

Andy McMurray visible haggard after the hike out.

The bottom section and easiest is the 7 Teacups. Logistics are easy here: park at the sign for the 7 Teacups. Walk up stream river right for 10 minutes till you get to a rock cairn. Lower your boats into the canyon and start giggling. This section starts off with a 10ft slide into a 15ft vert and ends with two 20 footers stacked relatively close to each other. Get out at the overlook and be carefully getting your boats back up to the trail.

Chris Baer signing out from Pucon Chile
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