|Yea! its walled in, look close that little spec is Jared|
|middle of no where|
We piled into a pickup truck and made our way to the river. Upon arrival the river's flow looked pretty low, but the general size of the river was huge! An estimated 4,000 cubic feet of water per second was pumping through the canyon. We put on directly below the highway and quickly arrived at a vertically walled section. It's Beautiful! There are a few small water falls plunging hundreds of feet into the canyon. These falls make the walls glisten with their spray.
|House size rocks, and hydraulics to match|
Into the big rapids!
Early on day one, receiving a single thumbs up I charged into what looked like the big side of a fun rapid. Coming into the blind bottom section it was one huge feature after the next. A couple strong forward strokes blasting through hydraulics, a quick brace, and a WTF! In front of me was a twelve foot wide six foot deep hydraulic. The bravado in me said to boof over the hole. My attempt was almost laughable. A quick window shade and I popped up just in time to throw a horrible looking loop towards the corner of the hole. One more window shade, and I resurfaced with a single thought, "That can't happen again." The group pulled over and took a time-out to reassess our hand signals.
Big and Pushy
There was immense pour overs everywhere! Our group did a fair amount of scouting, wadded through side channels, and peering over house size boulders into the turbulent river. With an empty boat and a solid warm up, I know most of the marginal lines could come together… With a heavy boat and the looming walls of the canyon, skirting and running away from big features was the game plan.
|4,000 cfs siphon|
We chose an elevated beach and unloaded our boats. The scenery was beautiful; but camping in the jungle has a few draw backs. Sand flies, and constant precipitation, made the small damp fire a little less enjoyable. We ate food and shared stories of near misses with huge hydraulics. As the evening developed the temperature dropped, and I found myself with an inadequate sleeping system. I slept in every layer I had that wasn't soaking wet.
Day Two we awoke to clear skies and gorgeous viewsOnce on water we were confronted with more scouting, and more running from huge pour overs. Arriving at yet another large rapid Giorgio charged in and disappeared over a large horizon line… It took him a few seconds to come back into view. When Giorgio looked upstream he once again gave us an awkward hand gesture. Joel was next to paddle into the melee. Upon arriving at the bottom of the rapid, Joel's hand single was distinctly different. His hand signal portrayed a very well defined get left!
Jared took off into the rapid looking for the left line, unfortunately he found himself disappearing off a large horizon line. From above I could see his boat catch major air twice before relieving itself of the hydraulic. Jared then rolled up just in time to fall into yet another, much larger hydraulic. His beating resumed immediately. Jared was dealing with a heavy decision, and oxygen depravation was working against him. Abandoning craft, sleeping arraignment, clean water, and food, Jared hit the eject button. Thankfully Giorgio and Joel were in great position, and cleaned up the situation quickly.
|Giorgio Codleuppi making friends with a local fishing family|
|Puerto Limon, looking back at the beautiful Caqueta valley|
|adventure brought to you by Chris Baer|