5:50 am, Thursday morning we gathered our drying gear and started our drive towards the river. All my thoughts were focused on the run and not much else at that time. We got to the river and geared up quickly, due to the level of excitement in our group. The river started off slow but turned to fun class IV(+) boulder garden drops for around 5-6 km. We kept thinking that right around the next corner we would see the box canyon with the big waterfall at the end, but the top section took us around 2 hours to complete. When we came to the entrance rapid leading into the crack gorge we scouted it and dropped in.
Dave and Karl decided they were going to jump and rappel down to the pool below, while LJ, Jorge, and I sat in the pool ready to run the big drop blind. Getting out of a boat in that eddy, is in my mind, one of the scariest things I can think of, but they pulled it off and set up a rope system to get Dave down. Karl jumped the cliff and gathered their boats and paddles as Dave hucked them off the small sloping cliff. I don't know how Dave set up a system with that little to work with but he got it done and after an hour of waiting in this dark canyon the three of us were more ready to fire off the beast.
Dave rapping down the waterfall, aahhwoo it looked scary!!!
Jorge went first, then LJ, then Me. We all decided that we were going to get rid of our paddles on the way down, and we did. The lip came up fast, I took a small stroke, threw my paddle, tucked to my deck, and took the surprisingly soft hit. I was so pumped up that I have never done such a fast hand roll. I threw my hand in the air for a little celebration then grabbed my paddle.
This is a good shot of the whole drop LJ, Jorge, and I ran and gorge that we were waiting in.
LJ had a great line as well but on Jorge's over the bars impact his skirts exploded in three different parts, I have never seen anything like it before, his skirt was literally in pieces. After we ate a little food at the base off the falls, Jorge started his jungle hike out while we continued into the most unknown part of the river.
The group at the bottom of the big Falls, look at theat place!
This section had some of the most quality rapids I have ever seen. We portaged a huge nasty ledge drop with a possible death hole. By the way with much more water getting out of your boat here would be nearly impossible. Then after that short walk we hit the goods. The three coolest/hardest rapids of this section were close together. The first had 4 good boofs and between them you dogged undercuts, logs, and ducked through a short rock tunnel of rock. The second drop, which I will call LJ's drop, was a steep twisting rapid that dumped you off a 90 degree turn in to a huge hole/pillow in a canyon with slightly scary walls. LJ fired it off first and got beat the F*** down, only to flush into the left wall and swim. After the rest of us ran it we were right above the second best drop of the day. A sweet rolling 9 footer into a maybe 25 foot tall fast slide that took you off a kicker half way down that we aired out off of and landed in a beautiful pool.
Me bombing off the kicker ready to hit the pool, this rapid was sick!!
Karl building up speed ready to launch off the drop!
This was also I think the only must run rapid of the day, but don't quote me on that! After that it was maybe 1 km of rapids similar to the upper part, then the most important part of the day. We made it to a pool and luckily LJ saw the so called stack of rocks that was marking the entrance to the big waterfall. This is where you must take the right channel, putting you in an easy eddy above the 100 footer.
This is the lip of the 100 footer. The river turns into the lip, rolls off the edge, pushes you left, the curtin covers you, and then it's white out from there just hold on!!!!
After we looked at the waterfall for awhile we sacked up and started our hike up to Porfi and the Van. The first part of the climb was through thick jungle and was steep until it reached a cliff. After that we met the main trail we took the day before, and hiked up the massive hill to the car. I think it was the most I have ever sweat in my life, and today my right shoulder and legs were aching. We got ot the car at 5:00pm and loaded slow as we talked about how sick the day was. For next time I would say film from the top of the 50-60 foot waterfall or jump with your camera. I was kind of bumbed we didn't get footy or photos of it, but it's all good. Then I would say spend the night at the bottom of the big falls, after doing the portage. Then the next day rally out the lower Texolo-Sordo-and Antigua. It would make the trip go from creeking, to river running, to play boating. This was an amazing river, I hope someday I will return to run it again. The canyon was commiting and beautiful, one of the coolest places I have set foot in. Now we are going to run the lower part of the Texolo tomarrow (class IV stuff) then we are off to the Alsaseka and Filobobos for awhile. Hope you enjoy the photos by Dave Zinn. Good times!!