This is a belated update from the biggest drop of 2010 in my mind. All the boys found themselves in the deepest darkest jungles of Veracruz Mexico firing up drops from another dimension. Lead by the animalistic leader of the revolution, Rafa Ortiz, we found ourselves scouting the 128 foot Big Banana falls. No one would step up, until after 5 years of dreaming and waiting Rafa was ready to drop this stout.
Getting the whole thing to line up was a mission. We spent a whole day just waking in to scout and find the right shots to take the following day. Once the day was upon us an early start was needed to catch the light, but a tropical storm from the Yucatan had just reached the region. The light was shot and rain was falling hard. With only three days left on the trip, Rush, Rafa, and Aniol already at the top and all of us at the bottom...this thing was gonna go down.
By some act of god the rain stopped as soon as Rafa was rappelled into the canyon and was ready to go. A few very tense moments passed before Rush radioed to us that he was going. Todd and I were in our boats ready to get our boys and everyone else had cameras in their hands ready to capture history. For that split second that Rafa came over the lip time froze and Todd and I mad eye contact and said something along the lines of...."SICK!!!" Boom! He hit the pool and came out against the river left wall. No paddle to be seen I gave him the "Hand of God" and he was stoked! All good, in one piece, and had just stomped the drop of his dreams.
Rafa at that crucial, oh so epic, moment in time.
After Rafa had come down we all celebrated and got on the radio to tell Rush that he was all good and the drop was clean. Before I knew it, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Aniol 'La Cobra' on rope dropping himself into the box canyon above the lip. Crazy bastard!!!! Another few very tense moments passed, but we all know that once 'La Cobra' is ready to go, he wastes no time. Radio...Good to go...10-4! Off La Cobra went with absolute steeze! Two strokes and a paddle toss lead to almost 3 seconds of free fall! Aniol went deep and came up with a boil hand roll. You know the type of resurface where you don't even know if he flipped over or not? Crushed!
Aniol keeping it together and stylie off the biggest drop of his life.
Aniol and Rafa stoked to be together at the bottom of the 2nd tallest waterfall ever run in a kayak.
It was a totally incredible day to be a part of. Even without running the drop it was one of the most exciting days of my season for sure. The boys were all so fired up and everyone couldn't believe that this waterfall went down so smoothly. Todd, Rafa, Aniol, and I continued downstream to complete the Big Banana Canyon for a celebration run. Rafa took out above the Silence canyon and had to go to town to get 3 stitches on his eyebrow from the impact. The three of us continued all the way to Puente Tomata to get more stout. Now that is no easy task after said huckfest. Without question Aniol got to the stout 40 footer and laid treats all over it. Like it was a basic 20 footer from his home run.
Aniol running the Silence and making it look oh so good.
Once we were into the goods we got caught up in the middle of one of the most intense rain storms of all time. When we got to the Meatlocker it was no scout, no safety for this bombing trio. Maybe Aniol got out to make sure he knew what drop we were talking about ;) In the rain we bombed off the Meatlocker and all boofed the shit out of the boxed in death hole below it as well. Finishing the pezma run the river was on the rise very quickly.
Aniol and I at the end of the Big Banana in the flat water above Tomata Falls.
The stills I have of Big Banana falls were taken off my Sony HD camera. The real video and still shots that came from day are so sick and will be seen in ESPN magazine and on RiverRoots new film 'Frontier'. Hope you enjoyed the Mexico updates. There was a lot more but I just don't have the photos to put up yet. I leave for Chile here in a few weeks so there will be more goods coming soon.