2010. There are still no flying cars, but there is some pretty insane kayaking happening down here in Chile.
The New Year has brought us a lot of rain and that means levels jumped up again and I was able to get on a couple runs that just don’t run this late in the year.
The Desahue came back up, and we were able to get some laps on it.
The Turbio needs a lot of moisture to run and with all of the rain it snapped up into a runnable level for two days. Bryan Kirk, AJ, and I (Chris Baer) managed to catch this little gem at a great level. The Turbio has an interesting river characteristic, the rock is really sharp and manky but the ledges are really clean. This in turn means every good drop is backed up by a lot of junk rock; no rolling and you have to really boof everything.
The Rio Nevado also came back in with the rain. The Nevado is hands down my favorite run in the Pucon area. You start out with a fun slide, a blind 15 footer, a crack drop into a hall way, a hard ferry over a couple sticky holes, a quick portage, and it all ends with a great wall boof and two tricky junk rapids. That is just too much good stuff for a mile and a half run
I have been in Pucon for about a month and I was wanting to catch a new run, so we ( Bryan Kirk, AJ, Isaac Levinson, Jared Seiler, and I ) all hoped in the little rental truck and took off for a road trip. We arrived at the Florian relatively late in the day, got suited up and hiked to the put in. Jared was our “guide” and when he saw the water level his first remarks were “well that will make the big one softer”. It was high the gauge under the put in bridge was reading 55 cm. This did not stop us, we put on and cranked out a couple upper rapids.
Next up was a nasty looking rapid, this rapid had a 10 foot spout that looked like it was guaranteed to back ender you. The landing zone of the spout is a crack with more water from the right wall falling on you, and all of this is supper boily. To top off the drop there is a 15 footer that mainly lands on rock. We all walked river left up into the jungle got lost, tangled in veins, and eventually made it back to the water level.
Back on the water we were greeted with a fun slide and then the 50 footer.
The 50 footer is not clean. You ferry all the way across the lip, break a lateral and try to keep just a tiny amount of momentum towards the right. If you don’t carry the momentum or the lateral turns you, you go half way down, reconnect in the drop and end up boofing a 50 footer. If you drive too far right you hit the wall get flipped and, well, lets not talk about flipping. The whole team had good lines, a couple of us caught some of the reconnect but everyone dealt with it well.
The river continues after this into a couple ugly rapids that are usually portaged, so we decided to get out of the river at this time as the light was quickly fading. We got out on river right, and scrambled up an almost vertical, slick-as-shit trail. Once at the top we meandered through a couple beautiful fields and eventually returned to the river way down stream.
Once at the river we ferried across and then hiked through another field, jumped some more barbed wire fences and found the road. Jared hiked back up, grabbed the truck and we all sat down and had a beer right there on the road. Everyone was exhausted from our adventure. Moral of the story: the Florian is a great run if you are looking for a park and hike, and portage, and huck, and hike, and hike, and ferry, and hike. All joking aside, I would definitely run the Florian again…maybe next year.
Chris Baer signing off, back in Pucon