Monday, December 15, 2008

Rio Cochamo Mission

After a failed attempt on a new river south of Pucon we were on our main mission to go and run the famous Rio Cochamo. Assisting us on this mission was Kurt Casey, Cool Dave, and Swiss Toro. We had the Brown Ranger which maxed out at about 80 km/hr so we made slow but good time down to the where the river meets the Pacific ocean. From there we rounded up 9 horses and two elder guides to help us take all of our kayaks and gear about 10 miles up the river.

Our first sign of the Cochamo and after a nice beautiful drive south along the pacific ocean.

With a good night of sleep under our belts we slowly loaded our kayaks on with 8 horse's and all of our gear to make the hike go smoothly.

Fusilli-Gramos-EG-Miguel ready to go hiking.

In the beginning it was all good we made good time and had no boats on our shoulders so we were happy. Then the trail got worse and the boats fell off, the horses were tired and angry, and the horse flies were coming in like the plague. After we made it up the shady trail I would say that even with heavy kayak it would have been faster and easyer to just carry them your self.

Our guide Rojas from Cochamo... a true patagonian horse man.

The horse's struggling to squeeze through a canyon in the trail about 6 miles into the hike.

Once we did get to what they cal La Junta, all was well. The views were like Yosemite and with no other way the reach this valley other than a sketchy trail we were in a bad ass piece of wilderness. When everyone had arrived and gear was unloaded we all ran up the tributary coming in at our camp and swam a clean 80 foot long slide for an hour+. Possibly one of the funnest shitz of the trip up there.

Big wall climbing at it's best... this is the place to be if you love steeps in or out of the water.

Our nice green and beautiful campground at La Junta. Our Chilean friend owns this camp and allowed us to camp there for free.

The cleanest slide in the world... even good to go on your ass.

Jared about to break his Anhoos on the Brown Falls slide.

The best carnage of the trip. Nation and Stout Master.

After some nice swimming and enjoyment of the place we were now stuck in we started a big fire and cooked a delicious pasta dish over an open fire and ate till we had our fill and were ready for sleep.

Chilling around the fire in the most beautiful Yosemite of Chile.

In the morning we awoke early to a some what cloudy day outside covered in due from a chilly night of sleeping under the stars. Small amounts of oatmeal and bread got us ready for what was going to be a long day of running the shit for real. We didn't really have a good idea of what was in there all we knew is that it got easyer the further downstream you got??? So that's what we knew.

This was the end of the first steep section of drop Jared and I ran down this stout while the boys watched on.

Droppin' in to the sketchy log siphon slot... but it went just fine.

Throwing up a sick "BROWN" on a nasty auto boofer.

The basic idea of the day was to get in there and run everything that was even close to runnable. Jared and I followed suit by only making 3 portages thorough out the entire river.

In the mucky muck Jared and myself looking on as Fusilli slays onward.

This is the drop Fusilli was slayin' onward.

The Rio Cochamo was an amazing piece of whitewater, possibly the most challenging run I have done down in South America. The thing ws just so steep and stacked up. More so than Bottom 9 of the Kings, Golden Gate, or anything I can think of at this time. But for the most part if you can stout, climbing boulders, and running some hard class V, you will truly love this river.

Jared on a clean'er after the only really runnable drop we left untouched.

Jared about to lay some treats in dat'.

Graham boofing a nice falls in a great section of the steepz.

The Nation Shrimpin' Brine!

Heard of caveman on Raven's. This is a 20 foot version of datshitz. hahahaha!

So that what you just looked at was all in about 1.5 kms. Steep as hell it took a good portion of the day to get through that section without any issues. From then on out we thought it ws going to chill out but we were very wrong.

Eating a beautifully prepared lunch after the steepest section.

After our lunch we kept finding more and more steep ass drops and committing pieces of whitewater that blew my mind.

Graham just in another rapid on another canyon... it just didn't went and went.

Me in the middle of what we called "The Middle Kings rapid".

Launching another classic boofer.

Jared firing up a super unique drop near the end of the goods.

So all in all this river way over exceeded my expectations I had previously had in my mind. With a few fired up partners I was able to really make the best of this run. Very consequence moves to make don't take this run lightly, it had lots of similarities to runs like Devil's Postpile and the Kind in California. But it is possible to get in there and enjoy the place and walk most of the hardest sections.

Overall Cochamo is one of the best missions you can get yourself in to down here, or anywhere in the world.

After all was done and good we had a celebration. It was late after a long day of boating and we camped at the takeout more or less with some big old Greenies waiting for us.

Photos by Mike Shields & and Fred Norquist.

Later E.G.


Unknown said...

Sick one ev-gar. Terrorize your brother for me and bring back my lens and battery in one piece! Keep on killn it killa!

Tyler Curtis said...

Bad Ass.. I have talked about this one since Mariann and I ran it 2 years ago! Finally the 'crew' made the mission and looks like the perfect flow.
right on right on Team!

Cooper Lambla said...

Now that thar looks like one Sik-BIRD run! Nice work bro, and good on ya for keepin' a ship shape site. Keep the missions rollin!

Peace and Merry Christmas to anotha brotha celebrating in the heat!


Col said...

Horses! You guys are soft! I did that river back in 98 (think it may have been the second descent). We carried our boats up for 7 or 8 hours, then paddled.

There was some German guy selling expensive horseback trips up the valley so all the locals expected us to pay the same sort of money to them to take kayaks up.

Beautiful river I remember.

-Colly W