Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Lower Llancahue

The Llancahue has always been a fairly unknown run in the Pucon area. People are distracted and drawn in by the closer classics like the Nevado and Desaghue...Until now that is! In late December 2011 Jared Seiler railed the motivation to just walk down past the Dirty Gerd and take a peek. What he found sounded amazing. Steep, continuous, and Toxaway-style...what else needs to be said. The very next day we got a tight crew formed (Ian, Jared, Jonny, Anton, and Myself) and headed around the volcano to the Llancahue valley.

Having just have run The Dirty we walked straight to the bottom and put in above the "Purtty 30". No need to risk lives today we thought ;) After a quick warm up and free fall we found ourselves immediately faced with class V+ must make moves. A seeming slide ran directly into a blind horizon line to_____? Who knew? We ran the slide, for easier scouting, and caught a last chance eddy on the left! On later runs of the canyon people missed this eddy ad were forced to drop into the biggest rapid of the run blind! "No Bueno" as the say in Mexican.

Jared feeling weightless on the Purtty 30...or Suavemente the warm up drop!

Myself in the middle of the second drop and point of no return for the canyon! You had to style this one and catch a small eddy above the stoutness!

From here we took a long scout of what seemed to be the never ending slide! It looked great...Until I saw the crux move half way down the rapid. It looked like a deformed, manky, volcanic, tighter, Gorilla Falls! :( I was not about to go first! This is where having Jared Seiler "El Diablito" comes in handy. This dude is sick in the brain! Super short and compact Jared is one solid muscle working together. With "Beast Mode" turned on Jared dropped in. The entry looked funky and when he came through the crux onto the big slide he made it look good! Elbow pad worthy, but good! I ran up to my boat not wasting anytime and put on!

Jared totally cleaning the first descent and Crux of the Loganieza slide on the Lower Llancahue!

The entry went well and upon arrival at the crux I was ready for anything. The tight crack went smooth, but had me off balance exiting onto the slide. A quick backdeck roll had me upright and styling the rest of the big slide which we later dubbed, "La Longanieza". Anton was next up and had a similar results, but did not roll up quick enough taking shots to the shoulders and head...not a big deal to The Swede though! Ian and Jonny saw how rowdy the crux was and opted for a sealaunch to just get the quality fast part of the drop! It was a win win!

Through the entrance exam and looking down the Crux crack coming into the slide. This rapid was huge. Like 10 moves over 300 meters or so!

Dealing with what the manky tight slot was dealing me.

Upright and feeling better than ever on my favorite slide in the country of Chile! No Joke!

Graham Seiler on the second run of the Lower Llancahue. Great Picture of the last part of Longanieza!

From here the run did not slow down at all. The river split into two channels and drops through a series of steep unforgiving slides and falls ending with a perfect 10 foot boof that looked like this:

A very pretty and fun end to a rally section of drops!

With one more major drop to the canyon, that we didn't run, we reached the first real pool of the section. One of the the next runs young ripper Galen Volckhausen ran this drop. It's a nice slide into a very big hole! Props for that DUDE! From this point the river calms down, but doesn't stop for what seems to be miles of whitewater. Bedrock slides and ledges continue to surprise you around every corner and all the drops are somewhat connected. Mostly class IV you can read and run the majority.

From there the river slows up and seems to come to an end. Not so much! The lower Llancahue wants to kick your ass till the brutal end. With a few more 10-15 foot falls (clean & dirty), 2 seriously nasty looking siphons, a forest adventure, and some bouldery goodness the runs ends once you SEE fences and the road! For us the day was long and tiring, not knowing what to expect all day, and thinking we were done more than once!

Jonny Meyers on a great 10 foot boof late in the day.

Myself running a sketchy line through, "Aids Falls"...Jared later re-ran this drop off the near flake for a much better result!

Fearless leader Jared probing the right line at the Splitster drop late in the. The left line is a bit cleaner, but both go!

Anton happy to be at the take out and crushing a much earned "Greenie".

The Lower Llancahue has truly shown itself to be a classic and if ever combined with the upper or middle could be considered to be one of the best runs in the country! The amount if gradient and number of rapids this river holds is unbelievable! So much class V and so many kilometers of it create the idea that a Todo Llacahue could be the next great achievement in the Pucon area! Maybe next year?

Watch Bomb Flow TV Episode 7 "Minor Fails and Epic Wins" to see the video of the Lower Llancahue.

Later E.G.

1 comment:

Daniel Menten said...

Way to go Smurf! You guys are charging. Those are some Milky Stouts especially the Volcano Stuff.
The floating rocks are called Pumice and are formed when lava comes into contact with water, cooling so quickly that it traps the steam as air bubbles thus causing a density less than water. You are lucky to have witnessed a geologic phenomenon and also to have met a local with good beta that it's not good to go. Also, the Claro footage is incredible. I have to get on that one before I leave this planet. Thanks, Dan