On our way home from Futafest we had the luck of getting stuck in every town we stopped in...lack of gas, time, party, for whatever reason it took us a while to get back to boating in Chile. We decided to stay aside the Rio Rininahue and run it the next morning...Jared Seiler and I got the first D in Feb. of 2008 and no one has done it since. We found a very, very bad camp site and the boys pitched a gypsy tarp set up while myself and Juanito stay in the Chevy LUV. Good choice on our part as one of the most fierce rain storms of the season hit right around 2:00 am...check out the damage below.
Dave and Anton's camp site with about 10 gallons of water leaking through all night.
In the morning we were greeted by some really high flows and left both the Rininahue and Nilahue with our tails between our legs. Upon seeing the sheer amount of water going off Nilahue I was ready to head back to Pucon and chill out...but right before we left the viewing platform Anton said, "What about the Florin?" I turned with a huge smile and said, "F*** Yeah". So off we went to the other side of the lake and the Rio Florin!
Nilahue looking like the kiss your ass good bye flow...we had no problems walking away from this stout.
The florin is not an ugly place to spend a day.
El Florin is a true stoutmasters paradise! The runs starts off pretty and class IV, but then takes a turn and drops off the face of the earth through one of the most beautiful box canyons in Chile.
Starting up top there are some open boulder drops and a few bedrock slides like this one tossed in.
The first drop you get to is called El Terremoto (The Earthquake) I call it this because it is complete craziness once you commit to running it. No safety for the first guy and you never really know what is going on in there, just have to drop in a feel it out on your way down making corrections as you go. I like drops like that no really plan just going in fighting...
Dropping in on one of the most rowdy drops in Chile...
Coming out of the mayhem and about to launch the second stage.
Juanito dropping into the crack of doom at the top of the Terremoto.
We all got through the big double earthquaker just fine and were right above a great 20 foot slide to keep ya happy and not too freaked out.
Davey getting down a super clean slide.
This drop puts you in a pool right at the lip of a truly stout waterfall. I have always called this drop "The 50 Footer" I finally came to realize that it is bigger than 50 feet...no questions asked. 60 total with a big roll in ramp! Any who, you have to run or jump this drop so you decide. We had a nice rosham-bo at the lip and Juanito won so he was up first...most people play loser goes, but in our crew winner chooses and normally goes first on principle :)
Juanito going first on the stout...he finally won the rosh, so he went.
Dave Meyers coming back strong from his broken foot only a two months before.
We all had a good time off the stout and moved on downstream...and by good time I mean, I went over the bars and had to kick my boat back in the form and Dave swam...good times! The canyon slightly opens up and there is a possible take out option that we have been using the past few years in fear of what lay downstream a few hundred meters. 3 years back we had some issues portaging a stout dangerous 30 footer in a box canyon and Ian had to jump it and swim a gnar slide to retrieve his kayak...no one has ever run the drop and ever since then I have been hesitant to go back in the gorge...but this day we had tons of time and motivation so we went down to see what was up.
Upon arrival we scouted and right away I knew I was going to give it. We talked about safety options and decided with some serious rope work we could get some one out of the cave, but we weren't going to need it...just in case! So I ran first and stomped a massive boof showing the rest of the crew that, "yes" it was good to go. Everyone liked the looks of the drop and gave her...all good lines, some big hits, but overall one badass first descent in our pocket.
I can't say I wasn't scared...it reminded me out a drop a botched in Mexico, but it looked so good I had to give her.
G-in' out the boof getting ready to land flat.
Dave leaning it over on the Fire Berry Falls...so stoked we all got to run this guy!
Juanito following suit with some peruvian style mixing in!
Once at the bottom the river is in a deep wider canyon and turns class IV for about a KM before hitting the last crux before it flattens out for good. The last two drops are manky and scary probably would be portages if you could, but it is just too boxed in to get around either of the rapids.
Anton putting in on some logs above an interesting must run drop.
Anton at the end of the canyon with only two drops till freedom. If you look close there is an underwater rock in the backwash making for a nasty spot...but you can't portage, so just don't ever think about it!
Once though it's all smiles and joy...a short walk through a beautiful field full of blackberries puts you back at the road and a short 20 minuet walk back up to the truck. The day couldn't have been better...we had good lines and no portages...on a river like the Florin that is a statement for sure...the nice people who live at the put in also own a small hot spring, which we decided that after a day of hucking, we would enjoy for a few hours. Some blackberry/pisco mix drink later we were all fired up and ready to get back to town and eat some food...when we sat down to eat the news was on and we just saw what had happened in Japan...its funny how such a good day can end with bad news like that, but thats the way the world turns I guess???
Picking blackberries at the take out so we could make our natural beverage for the hit springs session.
Kicking it in Las Termas del Florin!!!