Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, the tottal Pelguin

So what does 12 fired up kayakers do for Christmas in Chile? they run the shit!

Truck loaded down and boys picking up some epanadas for breakfast.

When we got to the put in you could feel the anticipation, energy, nervousness, and pure glee circling the group. We where at the Pelguin to run it all and a couple people took this really seriously.

Jared Seiler sending the Salto Pelguin.

Up to this point the Salto Pelguin had only been ran once, and LJ Groth and Jared Seiler where about to double that number. The lead in puts you in a nasty folding pinch as it launches off the 80 some odd feet.

Every one else was setting safety, taking pictures, video, and crossing there figures. Both of the guys had good lines unfortunately Jared got ejected at the bottom. After the salto entertainment it was off to the normal upper run, there was no stopping this possy everyone knew the lines and everyone was just charging off of drops.

We quickly ran one normal portage and arrived at "The Portage"

LJ getting toyed at the portage

AJ seal launching into the middle of the portage

Every one was on fire, we had just been bombing off of vertical and it was soon going to come to it's culmination, The 70 Foot stout.

Contemplating 70 feet for Christmas

Ian Garcia having a Merry Christmas








We finished up the run bombing off of every thing in our path and had a hand full of power full numbers to deal with.
6 swims
+5 broken paddles
+12 people off a 70 footer
+2 people off a 80 footer
= best Christmas ever.

Lower Nevado

Lower Nevado

So we wanted something new, and we got it. The lower Nevado starts at the demshitz drop, this thing is sketchy to say the least a burly technical lead in into a 50foot unclean drop. My decision came quick, NO. So we (Bryan Kirk, AJ, and myself Chris Baer) put in right below the drop and right above another great rapid.

AJ in the put in rapid, known as the little devil, This thing has an amazing boof just up stream of it. photo by Bryan Kirk

As soon as you come out of the little devil slot you find yourself in a sieve pile. Rocks everywhere that where slick as snot, a 20 foot portage took 15 minutes of slip sliding around. Once back on the water it was right back into blind big drops.

Bryan paddling away from the sieve pile

Bryan charging off the second drop, Nutrience

After Nutrience there is another stout rapid, it had a great 5 foot boof to start it off and then all the water pushed left, and off a bouncing 10 footer.

AJ with a big boof on the set up drop

Chris Baer boofing off the bounce ledge, photo by Bryan Kirk

After this drop it mellowed out for a bit, we rounded the corner and confluence with the Liucura. Once on the Liucura it took only minutes to arrive us at the "magic canyon" this thing starts out with a heinous sieve, (portage left). Then it is really one rapid boof hard right over a nasty walled in hole, and then boof over a few more small ledges. The gorge eases up and the next thing you know your at the Tres Saltos bridge.
This is one of those small gems that not enough people know about or enjoy.

a little closing shot

Chris Baer signing out from Chili

Wednesday, December 23, 2009



So I have been in Pucon, Chille, for about 20 days and we have been running everything. From the big water of the Fuy, to the water falls of the Palgine, and Navatos. Pucon has offered up the best well rounded class 5 runs I have ever seen.

The Volcano here in Pucon,

Now for the Photo dump, First off the Rio Nevado. This run is amazing, I would consider this to be the Green Narrows of Chile.

Rodrigo on the first slide of the Rio Nevado

All the boys scouting the crack drop on the Rio Nevado

Andy McMurray, Rio Navado

Next up the Palguin, this run has three different sections. The upper is a water fall run the middle has a burly seldom run portage and a 70 footer. The lower is more low angle and offers some quality rapids.

John McConville on the first rapid of the upper Palguin, this is a tricky double drop where the first hole backs all the way up to the lip of the next 10fter.

Adam Bixby, going right on the 20fter

AJ about to send the right side

Andy McMurray, sending the left side

Bryan Kirk resurfacing on the "tricky drop" of the lower Palguin

Bryan Kirk launching one of those drops your sure was made for kayakers

Next up is the Desague, this has some of the meaner rock in the area, real sharp and oddly placed.

Adam Bixby boffing the shit out of the bottom drop.

Andy McMurray sailing away

When we got to the Rio Fuy it was silly high and we where unwilling to run the waterfalls but where willing to giggle our way down some amazing big water

Adam Bixby deep in the Rio Fuy

Another park and huck is the Ciolaco, this is a really simple fun 30fter

Andy Mcmurray styling the 30fter

There is also some ridiculous scenery down here

Chris Baer signing off from Pucon

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rio Claro

Rio Claro

The beta your about to read will be ok, the beta we had going into this run was dead wrong and allmost unexistant.
So there is three boatable sections to the river, staring from the top is the 22 waterfalls section. Park at the bridge and stealthily walk up the river right shore 3k or so, we were denied this section by the ranger.

The next section has a lot of nicknames my personal favorite is "the devils throat". This section is a true gem, it may be the hardest, most contained, worst evac, most fun, scary, silly, unscoutable, unportageable section I have ever ran. This is where you bring your A game, your best team (boof or die), all your safety equipment, and a big roll of fun tickets. You start out at the bridge walk a couple dumb rapids, and then start boofing.

John McConville looking into the abyss

John McConville boofing one of the upper drops.

Yet another great boof

When you get to a 15 footer that you will want to scout on the right you will notice the next drop. The next drop looks great it has a huge tongue into a 15 footer.

If you run this one you are committed to the next section. The next section is burly, it starts with the twirly bird, a 20ft twisting slide that dumps into 30-40 feet of vert.

Chris Baer, probing twirly bird, photo by John McConville

Amazingly this drop goes really well. Once you're in the eddy of twirly bird, hoot holler and get ready it's going to be game on for a while, one burly blind rapid after the next. Keep on spending fun tickets scout when you can, and survive till you get to a wooden walk way on the left, and get out! The following rapids get harder and harder until the hole river falls off a couple drops into a crack thinner then your boat. This is where we hiked out, or rather John climbed out. The climb boat extraction process took 6 hours, don't mess up your take out.

Andy McMurray visible haggard after the hike out.

The bottom section and easiest is the 7 teacups. Logistics are easy here park at the sign for the 7 tea cups. Walk up stream river right for 10 minutes till you get to a rock cairn. Lower your boats into the canyon and start giggling. This section starts off with a 10ft slide into a 15ft vert and ends with two 20 footers stacked relatively close to each other. Get out at the overlook and be carefully getting your boats back up to the trail.
Chris Baer signing out from Pucon Chile

Monday, November 23, 2009


Team Boof or Die tackles the Cotahuasi!

Machu Picchu

The Cotahuasi... is a mixture of your favorite continuous class 4 run, put it in the bottom of a much tighter Grand Canyon, and then place all of that on Mars, and you get an idea of what the Cotahuasi is all about. We had a great crew, "Team Boof or Die," Andy McMurray, John McConville and myself, Chris "Mc" Baer.

Let's start with how you might get to this river:

1 Fly to Peru.
2 Take a long loud bumpy over night bus ride that you're not going to sleep a wink on to Arequipa.
3 Take another bus that is even bumpier and the window leaks on you to the town of Cotahuasi.

John and Andy in the town of Cotahuasi

4 Find a hostel in Cotahuasi at 4 am, SLEEP, you're going to need it.
5 Wake up, eat as much as you can, find a driver and ask him to do a two part shuttle.
6 Get in the little 4 wheel drive mini van, with a tuff as nails driver, and 4 wheel your way to Puente bridge.
7 Get on water with empty boats, this section has a ton of great white water. Most of the rapids are class 4, 4+ with a couple of class 5's tossed in to keep you on your toes.

the team just about to put in

Andy getting warmed up

John boofing in "5 lefts"

8 Get out at Sepia bridge, or if you are feeling really aware, keep going till you see the road on the left start to head up the hill. Then GET OUT! Sepia falls is just around the bend. Sepia falls is a multi tiered 300 footer.
9 Jump back in your awesome drivers mini van and head up over the pass to the far side of Sepia. Ask the driver to stop so you can get a peak at Sepia a monstrous rapid that hides in a crack in the earth.

the view from the side of the road looking back up at Sepia

10 As you come down the back side of the pass you will enter into the tiny village of Chaupo. Chaupo is the real beginning to the multi day trip. Grab your multi day gear out of the van smash it into the boats and get ready for an amazing adventure through one of the deepest canyons in the world.
11 Hike to the water, this hike is sketchy, take your time, hand the boats down to each other, don't slip and fall 1000+ feet into the river.

Don't slip

Now that you are at the river it is time to enjoy your over loaded creek boat in some amazing white water. We went a very short distance that first day and pulled over to camp. Camp was beautiful and right above a great section of class 5. We had a big camp fire, stuffed our faces with some calories and slept well with the anticipation of a big day to come. The next morning with no warm up we bombed into a great first section boofing over rocks and sliding through slots down to a particularly mean looking rapid.

This rapid looked gnarly. There was some large slab rocks on the right hand side of the river and the water was sliding down one of the slabs into a mean looking hole. The hole was backed up by three huge rocks that where definitely sieved out. If this wasn't fun enough, all the water then shot hard right into a very undercut slab. After some deliberation I walked back up grabbed my boat and put it on my shoulder. It is always a hard decision to walk, but when you are in a super remote canyon with huge walls it becomes a little easier.

We got back on the water and started cruising down stream. Mile after mile of constant class 3 with great class 4 rapids tucked in everywhere. We bombed into some and scouted other rapids but one thing was for sure we where making a lot of miles quick.

John boofing the edge of another nasty hole

Andy deep in the canyon

Night two camp had it's issues with sand flies, they were every where. We got our fire started early and kept it smokey trying to detour the sand flies.

Camp 2 the boys purifying water

Day 3 was amazing, tons and tons of class 4 with three great class 5 rapids mixed in. I almost got worked in a nasty rapid, All the water came in on a funny curler into a big rooster tail. The water on the left side of the rooster tail smashed into a undercut wall and the water on the right led you into a sticky hole. The hole on the left side was backed up by a wall, and looked very undercut. That is where I ended up, pulling hard on my right paddle blade trying to pull out of the back wash. I felt myself loosing the battle and sliding backwards into the hole, I swapped my edges quickly and slid right across the hole and out the exit tongue. It was a close call in the deepest canyon I have ever been in.

Andy in another great rapid

Andy dropping into another dark canyon

John just above meter gorge

John coming into centimeter gorge

John coming threw the centimeter

John dealing in big hump

We also blasted through meter and centimeter gorge, both holding some very cool rapids. We headed down stream to find the confluence with the Rio Maran. We stopped at the confluence for some photos and a small celebration. At this point the river changes names entirely and turns into the Rio Ocona, we paddled this down to a tree protected camp three. The winds at camp three were still harsh to say the least, this was great! it keep the sand flies at bay.

the confluence

the view from camp 3

Day 4
Back on water and we paddled 5 hours through class 2-3 rapids with fish traps everywhere to the little town of Iquipi. Iquipi was our take out and we hiked up to town and ate some food, drank a delicious beer, listened to some disco, and passed out at the local hostel until 7 p.m.. That evening we got on the bumpiest loudest bus yet, which delivered us to Arequipa at 4 a.m. Hoped in a cab and cruised to our home here in Arequipa, Yunta Wasi B&B this place is rad the owner Pichin is super rad, he is your dad that feeds you Pisco sours.

leaving Iquipi

It is going to take a few days to decompress, catch back up on sleep and calories, and to start our next adventure to Chile.

Chris Baer Signing off in Peru.