Monday, February 8, 2016

Sin Represas, Rio Puelo

Mark and Aeon staring into the big one


Rumors of a better, longer Inferno Canyon (a section on the infamous Rio Futaleufu) sparked the crew's interest. The fact that there is a new road situated along the Upper Rio Puelo Canyon means the section is now lap-able!

How to get there

Lago Tauga Tauga

From the small town of Cochamo, continue south to Puelo. From Puelo, head east into the mountains to Lago Tagua Tagua. To cross the lake with your vehicle it’ll cost you 7,000 pesos, or ten U.S. dollars. After exiting the ferry stay on the main road all the way up to Primer Coral. There is now a large steel bridge crossing the river at Primer Coral. The old swinging bridge will be just downstream; this is the take out. To reach the put in, continue upstream river left for ten kilometers until the road epically downgrades. From here, hike slightly upstream and down towards the river, anywhere in this region will be an acceptable entrance point.

Blanquita on the Ferry

The water is iridescent blue, and the rapids are spectacular. The canyon is too narrow for the volume of water passing through it. This constricted water creates rowdy reactionary waves and surging boils. This means last second corrections, and on the fly problem solving.

save this valley

Chile Sin Represas 

Puelo community in action, Sin Represas

After two days of paddling this amazing canyon, we reluctantly made our way back towards civilization. Our timing couldn’t have been any better as we stumbled into an anti-dam rally. Most of the residents of this beautiful community had come together for a three day anti dam march. The demonstration concluded in the small town of Puelo. It was a spectacular experience to get to paddle in this remote canyon and then jeer with the locals. In Chile, like so many other locations, dams are halted by small community groups. I felt proud to join with my Chilean brothers in protest against the destruction of a beautiful community and stunning valley. For more info on Chile's continual fight against dams check out,

adventure by Chris Baer

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