Thursday, November 27, 2008

Box canyon of the Nevados

The Rio Nevados has been one of the most classic runs in the Pucon area. A classic ever since the day all the boys first ran it some years ago. You put in at a bridge, run two different canyons with great rapids, and then takeout above a gnarly unknown section of river. I heard a few things about the lower Nevados... but rumors that it was an unrunnable gorge with a 60 footer in there. This year interested in how the Nevados could all the sudden turn from classic to class VI... we journeyed down and scouted her a few times. What we saw was runnable shit???? After maybe 4 runs of the Upper we were fired up and ready to go get in there.

We got there and went straight to the normal takeout. The basic rundown for the canyon is:

- three stage entry into a 45ish footer.
- 15 footer into a really tight slot
- sick looking 20ish footer
- boof to slide
- boogie rapids out

...but once your in there your not getting out. So we all had to go in there knowing we would run all the drops. After some scouting of the big one, we were all super nervous and Jared decided it was his time to shine. We all set up for his run and he greased it! Killed the entry boof, which looked hard as hell, then stuck the drop. Rodrigo went next and had a very similar line... they sold it to me. I fired it up next... man the best rapid I have run in Chile for sure. So many stages to the drops and then you get to fly off a big drop.... Money. GrahamNation came last with a dope line as well, we all sat in the pool at the bottom screaming and hugging high on life.

The lip of the big boy so sick.

Dropping in to the "Hourglass" EG.

The money photo of the day thanks to Fred, Rodrigo hitting a sick line on the big boy.

We weren't done though... The next drop looked nasty. Jared fired in there first, and broke his paddle in the slot.

Jared first D'in El Diablito.... sacrificing another paddle, that slot was chunk. He named it "The little devil"

Graham didn't like the looks of the drop so he hopped out on a slippery ledge and had Kurt Casey help him up the bank to bail on the rest of the gorge. Rodrigo and I dropped in there with Jared. The Diablito went well for us.

Me on the cherry bombish move.

coming out of the slot in El Diablito.

Rodrigo getting it done.

Once we got through that it was all good. We portaged a little siphon of doom and then ran two incredible drops. I guess back in the day Danial Dela Somehow got his boat down there and ran from there down... so from here it was a second D. The next drop he named "Nutrients" because there's a huge tree hanging down in the hyerp.

Jared flying off Nutrients.

Loading up on the curler ready to fire off a huge boof.

EG enjoying the beautiful gorge feeling oh so committed.

From there we ran one more epic drop and a small boof to exit the canyon.

Boofin' a nice drop to free ourselves from the depths of the canyon.

The same boof from Fred's point of view high above us.

Rodrigo on the slide that follows the nice boof, last move to freedom.

We were on top of the world and happy as can be after such a perfect first descent. The whole gorge was so deep and beautiful, I couldn't believe that all the rapids were so quality and good to go. Another big drop opened up in the Pucon area... now the Nevados is my favorite river here... it's a whole new ball game in there. Hope you enjoy the photos and the stories... until the next mission

Later E.G.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keen on Florine

From the Llancahue we drove to Lago Ranco and up a dirt road for a while until we arrived at the small farm/hot springs which is home of the Rio Florine. This is another one of those rivers that Ben Stooksberry opened up years ago, now it is a simi-known big waterfall heaven. So we cooked a little pasta dish and spent the night drinking wine and enjoying the hot water.

The boys enjoying some fine boxed wine and Las Termas de Florine.

They are ghetto but still get the job done and ready you for a stout day out there.

So we awoke to a bright sunny day and a small breakfast of bread and cheese... kinda grim on the food. We took off for the put in and gathered our kajones to go and stout. The river is low volume at the start but drops quickly in to some steeps drops leading right into the hardest/coolest drop of the river.

The first rapid, getting warmed up for the goods below.

So the drop... I want to call it "Tirrimoto" like an earthquake! This thing is big a rowdy. You drop maybe 10-15 through a boat wide crack... sub out... resurface and fly off a 20-25 footer. It's fast and hard to hit the correct line. So with out time to spare Ian was in his kayak ready to drop on in there.

Ian firing the double crack first, kind of the style of the day. Ian went we followed.

The entry slot of the first big falls. It was tight and scary.

Coming through the curtain ready to drop again.

Jared just givin' her some hell. What a dope rapid!

The three of us fired that thing up with some good lines and were ready for more with the adrenaline pumping. The next drop is a perfect 20 foot slide... Cali style drop in a jungle gorge.

Fred and me running through the slide drop.

Literally right after that there is a huge horizon line waiting for you. It is a mandatory run or jump 50-55 footer. So clean, big, and beautiful. These are the drops I come to Chile for. We all ran this big guy with good lines. Jared broke his paddle in half and Fred boofed it big... but with a solid tuck and a young back he was fine and fired up on his biggest drop ever.

Fred tucking it up on the biggest drop of his life. Sicktor bro!

Jared lining up the big mandatory drop of the run. You can run it or jump it.

Paddle way up there... Holding on "LJ Groth" style. Soft hits when you don't have a six foot long pole in your hands.

From there we ran a bit of some cool class III down to the mouth of an intense box canyon. The rivers got so high this past winter that things changed big time so the portage we even more difficult to get around. We were using some very good team work and going slow, but one thing happen and kind of sparked a bad situation. Ian's boat ended up running the drop solo and Fred almost flushed down into a very bad place... So we had a scary moment there. Ian was then without a boat, but we could see it just below a 30 footer and a slide. It was stuck in a pool. So with the option of leaving it there, or going to get himself. Ian jumped about 40 feet into a small pool then did a first descent on his ass. It was a smallish slide but still very crazy... he wins the "Bad ass move of the year" award from Egcreekin!

With that behind us we got back in the river and continued downward. The gorge was super committing and kind of mank for sure. We were faced with two last drops to exit the gorge... they kinda sucked but we had to run them.

Ian deep in the box canyon on a shitty little drop that got Fred good.

Fred ended up swimming in a bad place in that rapid... it was super full of rocks and really not a place where you wanted to be. With some quick feet Ian had him on a rope and safely out of that spot. With that done and gone as well we reached the takeout and were so stoked on the day of hucking. The two errors in there were talked over and lessons were learned... that's what running the shit is all about.

The lake district delivers the goods.. This river moved to my top 5 favorite rivers of Chile! Can't wait to go back in there and get some de nuevo!

Later E.G.

Rio LLancahue

Our first stop on the way south was the Llancahue. We went there to look at one of the craziest drops n the world Gerd's Drop. This rapid has been like my dream drop for the past year or so. We go there and ran down the trail to see it... to our dismay the water was super high and the drop looked so nasty. We scouted it and almost said screw it, and went, but it was too burl. Once again I left that beast alone waiting for another day.

The lip of Gerd's drop. The entry is behind me, it was a mass of white froth. Gerd's update on his drop

So instead of huckin' our meat we went and did the normal run with some dam good flows. The run was perfect and fluffy... lots of good boofs and sweet rapids to rally down... enjoy the photos by Jared and Fred!

Blue Angles on the bridge rapid.

A beautiful picture by

Ian on a sick boof, the last drop of the run.

Old E.G. on a boogie boof somewhere in there.

We hopped back in the Luv-stain and continued south to Lago Ranco home of some of the biggest huck in the country.

Later E.G.

A Rad Week in Pucon

So after the long extended driving vacation around the Neuquen province... we returned to Pucon hungry to just get out there and go kayaking. We started out on some good laps of the super classic Puesco where I shot some helmet camera footy, thanks to Shon Bullock for giving those to us. The same day we got another lap in on the Upper Palguin, no portage takers this time.

The last bit of the Upper Puesco... my favorite 2 miles of whitewater here.

After that we got a nice sunny media day on the Rio Nevados. We had a sick time... All though Ian was M.I.A. we still got out there and had a epic day.

The boys all ready for another sick lap on the Nevados...

Jared hitting a sick air line off the kicker on the big Cali slide...

Fred poppin' out some steeze of his own, dope shot.

Layin' treats on the best boof in Pucon... Dulce Amor we call it "Sweet love".

Cleanin' it like drinking a cup of tea in Britain with all the lovely ladies.

Air Brown on the slot falls... we fired up so many paddle tricks and browns that we laughed the entire time.. Demshitz do it like that.

The last little adventure of the week was with a good friend in the area Kurt Casey. He has been a good local friend to have in these parts. He has been exploring South America for the past 20 years racking up uncountable first descents all over the world. He now has two kids living here in Pucon, his son Pablo, now a kayaker has been scouting a waterfall on the Rio Desahue and was ready to drop it. This kid is only 7 years old but has the heart of a lion and mad skillz. He followed his dad off a 10 footer and styled it... I sat there impressed, thinking of what I would have done when I was 7... Cried!!! Watch out Dane!

Kurt Casey legend boater leading his son off a clean drop in the Desahue. Check out his site Rivers of Chile He has done about every river I can think of in this area.

Pablo Casey 7 years old.. this kid is the next Dane Jackson, already running **it and he lives in paradise.

That was about it we revived our spirits in the crystal clean waters of Pucon, no better way to clear your mind. With some more fire building in our hearts we once again planned for a small outing to the South in search of the Epicocity!

Later E.G.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rio Agrio

After the Palguin we packed up the big Kayak Pucon van and started to drive to the Rio Agrio. After having some problems at the border crossing we were there in a beautiful place and ready to do some more kayaking. The river didn't have very much water but the drops were big and good to go.

Overall the water was low but it was still very fun, and we fired it up. Emjoy the photos from Jared and Fred of this beautiful place.

On a good one old EG bck in the Tina!!!

Rodrigo on the last waterfall of the river. What nice style!

Josh Bechtel's stout he ran for Twich V!!!

Jared on the biggest drop we ran...

Me on a small drop which had a bad little pocket hole on it.

Demshitz Graham is here looking at the river...

Brothers Seiler driving to Argentina.

The most beautiful trees in the world.

Fred stomping a low volume drop, but the most quality of the run for sure.

Some good time with the boys unforgetable shit..

Later E.G.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Middle Palguin 10/11/08

So I have been asking and talking about going to run this drop since the day we arrived in Chile. This is my favorite big drop in the world, no questions. Big big drop! The water was super high and the drop looked very intense and scary. You have to do a 15 footer seal launch into the boily cauldron... fight, and then suave a stroke off a seeming lip with around 70 feet to fall.

Ian, Me, and Graham geared up while Freddy and Jared went to go collect some media from below. Once we got there after portaging the first two rapid of the middle (Turbina y boof to swim) we arrived at the biggen. Ian looked at the sea launch and the pool and choose to walk around to shoot some video on this day. It was just the two of us above this monster. I had run it two times the year before, but at much much lower flows... we talked it out a bit then I set up to run it.

My seal launch was perfect, I landed flat and paddled left to the lip. Took a right stroke but then something caught my blade pushing it under my boat. From there I looked a long way down and tucked. What ended up happening was super crazy... let the pics explain...

photos by jared seiler

It felt as crazy as it looked... I'm sure of that. But the landing was soft and I went deep as heck. I was really fired up and ready for more when I came up...

Graham was next... He did the dry launch, which we couldn't see from the bottom and got swallowed in some boils. Coming in hot a bit on the right side of the curler he stroked and had a really sick line...

Demshitz at the top taking the curl with with blade.

Graham deep in the hyrup...

buried in the falls his skirt kinda imploded and his front blade broke. With out any problems... we gave each other high fives at the base safe and sound... But it just wasn't enough for me...

I really wanted to stick this drop at the high level so, alone I ran back to the top which is no easy feat, and stoked myself for the double dip! When I got up there I could not stop thinking of why I should do this.. other than I just wanted to. So with no time to waste I got back in my boat and gave a huge warrior cry and dropped in.

Money shot of the day by Fred Norquist.

This time the pool did not treat me as well... I fought hard and got left... With a left stroke I flew off the beast. Falling far I could feel myself go a bit flat, so I did a little stomp action, and landed perfect. I came out fired up and didn't even flip over... What a day of hucking!

A long hike out we got back to the truck with all the boys and drove back to town ready to start a trip to Argentina. Chile baby can it get any better? We drove late that night and checked out another 70ish footer that was so crazy... no takers no that. More to come

Later E.G.