Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FutaFest 2011

Futa Fest is a competition, gathering, and party all to celebrate the pure epicness of the Rio Futaleufu in Patagoina, Chile. Futafest started in March of 2009 and has been a huge event ever since. The first year I attended the comp and had one of the best experiences at any festival ever. Taking top honors in all events I was stoked and wanted to come back asap...Last season (2010) I went to Peru on a tourist vacation and didn't make the event...this year it was a no brainer! I along with Anton and Dave Meyers made the drive from Pucon to Futa to enjoy the beautiful river and amazing event. This year like the last was a complete success! It really went off and everyone who attended totally made the party and competitions what they was all about the community and river! A celebration of what makes the place so special. Make sure to check out Patagonia Sin Represas to show support in the effort to stop the damming of the Futa.

There were three events;

Boater cross- Three checkpoints and cross the line at the end of Mundaca first.
Downriver- Mass start bridge to bridge race...simple!
Rodeo- Who can get the most beat down in a massive hole.

There was no training on my part, but I was stoked to try and do well, so I raced hard! There was a lot of good paddlers and a lot of competitions, but in the end it was all good times and fun! The results are as follow;


1st- Santiago
2nd- Evan
3rd- Mo Mo


1st- Ron
2nd- Evan
3rd- Julio


?????????-never found out?

Now enjoy the Photos from all the albums on facebook...most of the shots are from Fico and Pura Vida expeditions.

The Trophies for the winners of the competitions...Raft and Kayak.

A big crowd watching the carnage at Mundaca during the raft race.

Party and Bullshit at Cara Del Indio...a bunch of dirty river rats.

Tres Monas!!!! Futa is a beautiful place.

Raft race starting line...mass start bridge to bridge.

Ron Fisher beat the hell out of me in Down River race...he was talking to me as he passed.

Getting the D.L. before we started the big race.

Pure Patagonia style...lamb on the fire for 4+ hours makes one of the best party platers ever.

Team Very Good from Pucon!!! These boys were the heart of the party and race.

A small cluster of boaters at the first bridge in the Down river race.

The girls rafting teams who took top honors...the venue they put on for the closing ceremony was really outstanding! Big stage, music, prizes, and a huge discotec party!

A raft about to get punished in the big hole at Mundaca.

All of us really happy to be done with the 27+ minuet race ready to start this carrete.

Anton, Myself, and Dave in the famous dingy...same one that ran the Florin and Middle Palguin.

Myself getting bucked off a bull before the Friday night party after the took me a while to buck up...but I'm from Montana so I had to give it a try.

Getting free shuttle back to the put-in...the community really comes together for this event.

A bull rider much more experienced than myself.

Mo Mo, Myself, and the winner Santiago getting our awards for the boater cross.

This was one of the best weekends of the entire season, couldn't have been more happy to have made the drive from Pucon. Now we had a week to go around Argentina and Chile to go run stouts and find some rivers to run before returning to Pucon and then leaving back to the old USA...what was next for team siphon...who knows?

Later E.G.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buen Suerte y El Rio Florin

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 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 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 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 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!!!

Later E.G.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Middle Fuy; Huilo Huilo...

I am missing some very needed updates and they will be up the meantime go ahead and enjoy this video I put together from our last day of class V paddling from this Chile season...yes a sad day indeed. Now, I have to leave this paradise behind and join the rest of the world on the quest to make money, sense of life, and find out the higher meaning for being put on this earth. Not really I am just gonna get enough to sufficiently scrape by and be able to go to the rivers I dream of.

Here is what I had to say about this video:

Watch Team Siphon accompanied by Papa Garcia roll down to the Huilo Huilo Canyon of the Rio Fuy. This late summer classic is about 2 hours south of Pucon and only runs at extreme low flows. The highlight is an un-portagable 20+ foot seal launch into a 50 foot falls. Along with that comes an abundance of class IV-V making it one of our favorite in the country. Enjoy the video from the last good day of boating from our 10-11 season in Chile. Sorry for Ian's profanity, he needs to curse a lot when he gets out, he can't around his 1 month old baby boy...Future Demshitz in the making.

Hope you enjoyed the edit here and a few stills we snapped off on the run as well...

Ian bombing off the big drop, it took me a long time and good swimming session to get this front on angle. photo EG

Myself rolling down the big old blue ramp. Photo IG

Amazing place indeed this was the first run in over two years...due to high water the last season and most of this year, The Middle Fuy was at unrunnable flows for almost two years. Lucky for us it came in Late February this season and we got to reap the benefits of having this late summer classic only a short drive away. Next up comes our Adventure to Futafest this season...not a bland moment with this crew! Good times indeed.

Later E.G.