Another day in paradise… the Rio Nevado just out side the town of Pucon, Chile is an absolute gem.
The doomsicle getting chopped up, to help weld Casey’s boat.
Before we could paddle the Nevado, it was time to fix Casey’s boat. The twelve inch crack was getting bigger by the day. We found a donor boat at Dave Hughes’s Pucon Kayak Hostel. Oddly enough the donor boat was previously owned by two of my friends. Casey fired up the chain saw and we went into repair mode. An hour later Casey’s boat was looking good and it was time to go kayaking.
This year Pucon is dealing with rather low water. I feel lucky that Casey Tango, Gordon Klco and I were able to catch a good water level on our run of this amazing creek.
The Nevado might be one of the best, and most well rounded creeks I have ever gotten the chance to paddle. The rock is extremely polished granite covered in slick green moss, the water is crystal clear, there is a fun slide with a rowdy step-up jump in the middle of it, and three different twenty foot drops!
Casey Tango looking for the auto boof.
The day was going super smooth. Casey’s boat floated. All of us had fun lines on the big drops until… The second to the last drop. I gave Gordon some horrible Chilean-style beta, and he tried his best to follow my verbal directions over a dry, two foot tall rock. Gordon fell off of the back of the rock and into the hole. He did an amazing stern pirouette and then landed on his head. The right wall denied his first roll attempt and he started washing down stream. Next, a well placed branch slipped between Gordon and his paddle. The fight was on. A couple more unsuccessful roll attempts and an undercut rock sealed the deal. Gordon jumped out of his boat and was quickly swept into the next sieve pile of a rapid. Which happens to be the only ugly rapid on the entire section. To my amazement, only seconds later, Gordon was able to scramble on top of a rock in the middle of the junky rapid. The clean up went well, except for Gordon’s missing paddle, and we were all excited to see the first booty beer of the trip get consumed. Two days later on our next trip down the Rio Nevado, his paddle reemerged just feet away from the swim location.
Photo and write up by Chris Baer