Friday, March 28, 2008

The Middle Fuy!!!

My last mission in Chile was to the infamous Middle Fuy. This run has been run minimal times. 6-9 times maybe????? The last time it was run I believe was bye Ian, John Meyers, and Rodrigo 3 years ago. Needing next to dry flow to enter the gorge we waited until mid March to try this one. We found a great level at the Puma falls. Not 100 yards down stream a hug trib trippled the flow???? We went anyway! It was great full of cool rapids much like a steeper L.W. with a great 50 footer. Check the vid, I didn't shoot much but it's a funny one.

The Middle Fuy Video!

Today is my last day here. I leave tonight at 9:10pm. It's been so good. I can't wait to get back here. I have some great ideas for next time. Santiago is big!!!! Montana here I come!

Later E.G.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rio Baker Trip

The Rio Baker is in southern Patagonia on the Chilean side of the border. From the Futaleufu we drove 2 days south on dirt roads crossing huge passes over looking massive galciers and many unrun rivers en valleys below.

Sev skating on a break from the two day drive south.

One of the numerous glaciers you can see on the drive down to the river.

Severin skating in front of a Patagonia Sin Represas sign on the drive down to the river.

After passing through the main city in the south Coyihaque, we drove another 300km on mostly dirts roads until reaching the birth place of the Rio Baker.

This is the lake that feeds the Baker, it is beond massive.

The van on the lake that gives the Baker its color and water.

The Baker comes out of this lake with 50,000 cfs give or take 15,000? It travles only a short 200km to the ocean but gains more and more water from tributaries adding to its overall mass. About 15km from the lake the river pours over a massive series of ledges creating the first major drop of the river and marking the put in for the first canyon.

Over all we ran the top canyon, which contains five massive rapids, three different times. Every time the whitewater seemed to be different. This is because the entire river is choaked down to 50 feet in places and reactionary holes and waves come and go with the changing curents. To break it down a little more here it goes:

The first drop is the sneak of the Salto de Baker. It is a little sluce box drop on the far left away from the pourover from hell. Even though it is a sneak it is still a fun double boof.

the Salto de Baker.

Severin from Switzerland on the sneak.

The second rapid is a massive hole with a window on the right into a boily wave train. It can be nice or naughty depending on the surge you catch.

Scouting the second rapid.

Rodrigo and Severin running the second rapid.

Me exiting the second big drop of the canyon, with someone in the background in the mix.

The thrid drop is the biggest and longest rapid of this run. It has two enterance moves around big holes and then hits an unreal set of breaking waves with two bad eddy lines on the sides.

The group entering the biggest rapid.

This is the biggest wave on the river, from this angle it looks not so bad! But it feels like you paddle towards a house.

A seem taking me under on the other side of the wave.

Then the next drop is a long boily enterance into a set of 4 waves. You have to miss the house sized hole on the left and avoid the eddy on the right.

Scouting the 4th drop.

Me and Sev in the forth drop.

You can see Severin in the horrible eddy, me surfing the hug pillow, and Rodrigo running the middle all in this one picture. 1000 words.

This is the huge ramp of the 4th rapid that tries to put you in a nasty eddy. Fighting the boils above it was the hardest part.

About to hit the second wave in the same rapid with tons of speed. Good size in there!

A long section of cool whirlpools and eddy lines takes you to the last actual drop of the canyon. A beautiful curler move past a hole and through a big breaking wave. Money in dat there$

The sick curler move on the last rapid.

Lj and Severin running the curl drop.

Juanito surfing a little wave in the flat section.

Enjoying the eddy lines nearthe takeout bridge.

The crew coming out of the gorge, with galciers in the background.

After pasing through a short gorge you reach the takeout bridge and you are greated with one of the best surf waves I have personaly seen. It´s a huge wide, fluffy pile, smooth glass, great hight, and a short hike to get back to the top. Heaven!


Sev surfing his Habitat on the wave. Pretty big wave!!

Clean blunt!

Me, Juanito, and Rodrigo at the take out bridge.

A nice pan am!

Mid helix on the big wave.

A pistol flip, I love this trick.

Here lies the problem. In 2009 there are 5 different dam sites that are going to be built on this beautiful river flooding every piece of this land and all of these canyons. There is a group project known as Patagonia sin Represas that is fighting the Endesa company from Spain, but it has already been approved for '09. They are also trying to keep other rivers in the area safe from future dams. It's a sad thing to see such a beautiful and untouched place and know that in less than a year everthing will be gone.

Lj talking with a local who owns land at the takeout. He is going to be greatly affected by the damming of the river. The government is paying him for his land, but only a 1000 dollers per 2.5 acres.

Me interviewing a local at the bridge for the movie.

The Rio Baker is one of the best rivers and most wild places I have ever seen. I have been all over the world so this means it's pretty special. While I was kayaking and enjoying my time there I shot a film for The Last Descent brought to you by Scott Ligare and Kaite Scott. ( They are making a movie about endangered rivers and I agreed to help film a section on this river. So look for that film in 2009 and you will see a full version of this trip.

No Flooding in Patagonia!!!

There is also a second gorge, but we didn't have the time to run it because we were so stoked on the top section. We only spent a short but sick three days running the river and had to return back north to The Futa then to Pucon. Now we are trying to find the right level for a rarely run section of the Fuy. The trip down south was very interesting for all of us. We saw so much new earth and so many unrun rivers. It was a great way to almost wrap up my 3 and a half months here in South America. Thanks to Rodrigo Tushner, Ema Passi, Lj Groth, Severin, and Juanito for making this trip so good and unforgetable.

Rodrigo fishing on the banks of the wave.

Later that night Rodrigo whipped up his favorite food for us with the fish he caught....

Fish head soup brought to you by Rodrigo Tushner. Comela huevon!

Windy point on the lake on the drive back north.

The Rio Baker crew March 2008! Good times!!!!

Later E.G.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2 Weeks on the Futa

A nice shot of the group floating out of the canyon into a scenic valley.

After the double header on the Nilahue/Rininahue we drove to the Rio Gol Gol to check the level for a possible 3rd run of the year. It was low, really low! So we slept on it and drove over the Argentine border and spent the day in Bariloche before trying our luck on the Cascada Alerces. We knew it was a much lower flow than a month before when we ran it, but the drop has been run at every level so we went for it anyway.

The waterfall is in a Nation Park so when we entered the park rangers told us we were unable to put on any section of the river so we thought about our options after fighting with him for an hour or so. We walked down to the falls at mid-night and contiplated a moon light huck of this monster 45 footer, but in the end decided against that idea. After that failure we were south bound to the world renound big water play ground of the Rio Futaleufu.

Thanks to Nate Mack for putting us up in his beautiful hostel in the nice town of Futa, if your ever kayaking down here you must look him up and stay in his backpackers lodge, truley amazing. While we were in town we did frequent runs down the Inferno canyon featuring many sections with water flowing over rocks, making waves!!! Yea!!! Many good amigos were in Futa so the party scene was pumping for this little village.

Jared Seiler on one of many runs down the Entrada rapid of the Inferno Canyon.

Me running Zeta. This is the most notorious rapid on the Futa. Jared is behind me in the eddy, ready to clean up his mess!

Me out in the middle of the Terminator. I ran the middle line 3 times, it has to be the best/hardest rapid on the entire river.

This is the newest drop of the Futa named Dynamite, due to the blasting of a new road that made this monster hole.

Once we were through with the little town and wanted to move lower down on the river we packed up and headed to the Cara del Indio camping. I spent like a week and a half down there doing many run on the bridge to bridge section with great play, including the wave Pistola. It was a bit low for it, but it still gave up some nice tricks. One day after a rain storm it did come up to its normal amazing level, but fropped after the sky ran dry.

The infamous Josh Bechtel joined us on a big day out. Leading the way on Zeta!

I stayed with WCKA and had a nice time learning new ways of cooking from my good friends Isreal. Overall it was a great chill time down on this river and as soon as Rodrigo, Ema, Severin, and Lj showed up we rigged the Kayakpucon van picked up a man from Peru named Juanito and took off for the far south on the hunt for the Epicocity.

Later E.G.