The Tour de Stout has been a annual kayaking vacation to the south for the past 3 years for me. The first year without much beta or guidance 6 of us Demshitz set out to find glory...what we found was a rather green, lush, and stout version to a California road trip. Going through the Lake District of Chile, down to the desolate deep canyons of Argentina, and back to Pucon has got to be one of the greatest trips I have ever done...3 times! Here is our 2010 story;
Before even being able to leave the Siphon of Pucon, we had to get many different papers and permissions to pass into Argentina with my older brother truck. This took about 4 days to get all the details in line and the group ready to go.
The stage was set and the crew couldn't have been better...
left to right; Aniol Serrasolses, Isaac McLevinjoo, Evan Garcia, Pinxo, and BattlePro...don't forget our group photographer/shuttle bunny/group mascot Candace!
All of these ravishing young men played their own special parts on this saga;
Pinxo the mechanic. If our trusty means of transportation was on the DL, he was the one to fix her up good as new, that and Mr. Safety if we were gonna run something stupid.
Isaac the Joo. If something was overpriced he was the first on the scene to bargain a deal, making our trip that much cheeper, that and he is a nasty kayaker who will go first if needed.
Battlepro the Gypsy. Jordi could always spot a good campsite or cheep stop, and of course his unbelievable ability to do two things; Not pay for anything :) and put to use the most worthless of items to help the group...he makes some good ass pasta as well.
Aniol the Cobra. This one is simple, Aniol always pays his way, fluent in both english and spanish, and without fear, he will undoubtedly portage the least.
Candace the shortcut. Candace was the sole successful catalyze/element to our tour. She ran shuttles, took pictures, and made sure the boys didn't get out of line. Trust me that was very necessary.
...Last but not least, Myself, Evan the Killah. I knew the roads, towns, rivers, rapids, directions, and people along the way to make this Tour de Stout an unforgettable journey.
So out of Pucon we were...full of fire, and ready to go hucking. First stop The Rio llancahue to scout the 'Dirty Gerd' and enjoy some class IV-V mini gorges.
Isaac on a good classic boof in the Llancahue.
What we found was a scary looking stout, which non of us ran, (Props to whomever has run that beast) and a very enjoyable 3km long roadside run. With our first river out of the way we continued south on the look out for more goods...
Onwards we pushed to El Rio Gol Gol, home to one of Chile's best summer waterfall runs. We arrived to find a high side of good flow and sunny hot weather for an appropriate huckfest.
Isaac boofing the putin falls...Salto de los Novios.
Battle running the second to the last one...Salto Princesa with a brine line.
La Cobra styling the stout Salto del Indio at a high flow.
The Gol Gol was a huge Success and left our group with high hopes and in good spirits for what came next. Unfortunately it wasn't a sick river, it was a broken tube coming out of our radiator. This put us back 12 hours or so in the small town of Entre Lagos. With luck we found some very funny and helpful Chilean weones to fix our problem that same night. With the first Camion epic behind us we pushed across the Argentine boarder. No boarder patrol likes Demshitz, face it, we look sketchy. We figured this out on the first Tour de Stout, which I will call (TdS) from this point on. 80km of extra driving later we had our kayak declared in Chile and headed south once again to the Metropolis of Bariloche.
Gas, food, beer, and a fair share of yelling at Argentinean senoritas from the Spaniards in the back seat we got out of the city in one piece and finally arrived at the my favorite run in South America... El Ojo de Culo.
Chilling at the best campsite I have ever stumbled upon. This was a find from the original TdS, we stumbled across this nice valley and family looking for a alternate putin for this river.
The Ojo de Culo is a magical place...to arrived at the river you must hike about 4 miles that gains over 1000 vertical feet, you earn this river. The run consists of some of the prettiest, cleanest drops I have seen. Truly a California like run in the middle of the Andes Mountains. Look at the picture and enjoy, we did...
A very committing gorge half way down the run...
Pinxo running the drop that was dubbed 'Cali Drop'.
Aniol on a tight wall slide.
Enjoying some camp life at the Ojo... good time and good friends.
Myself running the biggest, not the most difficult drop in the canyon.
This is a river that I want to run every year for the rest of my life...I know that won't happen, but I can always dream. Along with the incredible camping, river, and hospitality of the Valle de Humo (Valley of Smoke) This river is close to the culturally rich town of El Bolson. This is a hippy capital of western Argentina, where gypsy people meet up to sell artisanal goods and party. We spent a fun night there and moved on the to the next portion, here are some shot of that cool city.
The view from our free campground we found at Lago Puelo.
Some rasta amigos playing it up in the park on Tuesday afternoon.
The moon was full, not a better place to enjoy such a sight. After enjoying such a classic portage-less river we knew it was time to get dirty, what better place to mobb to than the Rio Manso in Bariloche.
Finding amazing friends and parties in the big city we enjoyed a true Patagonian asado (BBQ) and went to go stouting.
Through the Nahuel Huapi national park we went to go run the somewhat illegal Manso Gorge. Now, this river gives me the chills to even think about. In 2009 Ian, Jared, and I did a run down this puppy that changed its name forever. Ian bagged the first descent of the epic 'Horsecock falls' formally known as the 'portage' followed by Jared and Myself. From that point on I knew I would always be scared to come back to this river. This year the only thing that changed was the high water...don't forget the absolutely breathtaking scenery on the way to the put-in...
The Joo and I kicking it shooting a time lapse for the new Demshitz movie Dashboard Empanada.
Some flat water above the gorge we came to do... calm before the storm.
This huge mass of white births the Manso out of it's innards...Cerro Tronador!
Once you finally get to the river, it's just a mellow put-in drop, with a few different descending options...
River left you have the 'Duck Slide'...
Pinxo running the Duck Slide of the Alerces on the Rio Manso!!!! Safe and Stylie!
The slide is a tight entry into a 40 foot tall sluce box falls jetting you into the pool below. It's a good stout.
Going for the good line, I hope???
River right you have the Cascada del los Alerces; This has been a famous drop after Brennan Guth first D'ed it years ago...RIP.
Local kayaker Matias Nunez dropped Alerces for his first time ever.
Isaac falling into the boily pool below with a cool line.
Myself on my sixth run over the last 3 tours. I love this waterfall because no matter how you run it, It always ends up right about the same...there's just so much water.
Xaski running his PFD (personal first descent) of the stout as well.
La Cobra style!!!!!!!!
From there Candace drove around a mountain range on a long shuttle down to Lago Steffen 20 miles down stream of the Alerces falls. For us we had one hell of a day ahead... Running classic drops and enjoying the clearest/warmest water in Argentina we finally made it back to the 'Horsecock Fall'. With the water being so much higher everything about the water just became more full on. The Lip was so messy, and the cave was so much worse. Things were looking bleak until Pinxo rappelled to the bottom of the falls with no gear to run safety. I went first...
Charging the lip to get speed and bust through the bad curlers pushing left.
Burried in the falls, about to go deep, and then watch the Joo and Aniol run this Stout from the bottom.
There is nothing better than being scared as hell above a drop, and then run it well, and watch all your friends style the same line. That's what TdS is all about.
As for the rest of the run...??? Our friend we picked up in Baricloche, Xaski, had a high brace that dislocated his shoulder. This happened in the worse place possible. No where to exit the river, and pretty much no eddies. He had to run a class V drop before we could reset his arm. A swim, and on hell of a painful half hour later we got his arm back in. To our amazement we attached him to our boats and paddled him the rest of the way to the lake. Good luck on your recovery my friend.
The take out for the Manso Gorge... you don't get bored with views like that...
Ok now with Argentina all knocked out we jumped back across the boarder to the home lands of Chile, where they eat more Mayonnaise, and it rains everyday....jk! Passing the Gol Gol we headed straight for one of the most unique and runnable drops in the world...
The Joo and myself kicking some good vibes (buena honda) at the Salto del Nilahue.
I have made many trip down to this drop and have had an assortment of different lines down the ramping stout. On this day the gnarly looking undercut entry was looking pretty runnable so the Joo and Cobra set up to give it a try.
Isaac making the first descent of this big scary fall look way to easy...good work my man.
From that picture you have about 30 feet to the lip of this guy...
Peeps the sequence.... thanks Candace!
Always good times at Lago Ranco... a quick stop for a Chilean Currasco (grilled beef sandwich) to fule the stout running engine we almost made it back to Pucon, but not quite. The Rio Fuy is never too far away.
This was our wonderful campsite on the Fuy... we enjoyed Carbonera pasta, rains, and pigs eating all of food durning the night. However, it was still a classic good time. We headed to the Upper Fuy to enjoy a day of Sun and class IV creeking, with some clss V interludes!!!
Myself running Salto de la Leona... (Lioness falls)
Now after this two week epic trip of running the brown, driving, sight seeing and shuttle running Candace, was rather ready to get the adrenaline pumping. What else to do other than...run the brown!
Candace on her biggest falls ever...about 20/25feet, she made it look better than I did...
This is a drop we have had our eyes on for quite some time now...100feet maybe??? We went and scouted it out and it looked good to go...after this much boating we were ready to give it a good. There was a problem, we didn't have a big enough rope to run good safety at the base. It was a tough choice, but we had to return back to Pucon if we wanted to go and run this real stoutie!!!!!
So with our return to Pucon to rally more paddlers to go and try fro the big guy the Tour de Stout 2010 was at an end... This was one of the best tours in history. There has only been three of it's kind, so thats easy to say. However, the times that my friends and I spent on the road, the river, in the bar, broke down on the side of the road, happy, sad, sore, and tired will make this road trip one I will never forget. I love Chile and feeling the freedom of a roaming kayaking lost boy... to all you readers out there, make plans, set goals, and stay classy...
Special thanks to Candace for all the amazing pictures documenting our trails and tribulations.