week 2 in chile: gol gol, nilahue & fuy

After returning from the cochamo, we left again for points south, this time heading to argentina, where the middle aged mulletted asshole customs man would not let us enter the country with our kayaks because he claimed we would sell them. Denied, we drove back through the taint, re-entering chile and putting on the gol gol.

me on one of the coolest drops on the run. fred norquist photo

boofing salto princesa. again, fred norquist photo

then the burl, salto indio, which sent us all deep and popped a few skirts. my skirt stayed on but the boat was bent a bit when i resurfaced. fred took this photo as well.

Then we drove the dusty road to Nilahue Falls, which was pretty high flowing, so only a few stepped up to the plate. Here is Rodrigo dropping in the maw

dave fusilli riding the dragons back

this is what happens when you shrimp brine

la puma on the middle fuy

we then drove some more dusty roads to the rio Fuy, which is another Chilean river slated to be dewatered by a hydro project

evan boofing the upper Fuy

Rodrigo in a nice spot

Jared on Leona

myself, boofing pretty hard. Jared Seiler photo

another fine drop. J Seiler photo

evan running the weir hole


one week in chile: rios cochamo y negro

So I arrived in Santiago early in the morning, December the 2nd, with my kayak and all my gear, spent all day at the bus station, argued with a bus attendant who did not want my kayak to get on the bus, and made it to Pucon the morning of the 3rd after another full night of travel. The next day we left to paddle the Cochamo, one of the coolest rivers in Chile. We were nine, including myself, the brothers Seiler, Evan Garcia, calm Dave Fusilli, Fred Norquist, Toro from Switzerland, legendary explorer and pucon local Kurt Kasey, and the one and only Cool Dave from Colorado.

we arrived in Cochamo after a beautiful drive, and the river looked to be at a good level

it wasn't to hard to find a place to camp and some old gauchos with horse for hire to take our boats and gear up the 9 mile trail

the Cochamo valley is known as the Yosemite of Chile. needless to say, it was beautiful, and the trail we climbed is one that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to run their cattle from the mountains of Argentina to sale on the Pacific coast

after a full day of hiking and pulling the horsed through mud and ruts, we got to the granite valley and found a bad ass waterslide at a place called La Junta. Jared wasn't the only one who busted his ass fly out of control down the slide

we camped that night in a pasture surrounded by granite domes

the next day, we began the descent. Cool Dave on a cool boof early on

then the river got steep, but we picked it apart drop by drop, as you can see in the following photos

there were many siphons and a few portages but all in all it was quality class V whitewater

After the Cochamo, we drove further south along the gulfs and through some dense coastal jungle to Hornopiren (aka Hornytown) to paddle the Rio Negro which has been done a few times but does not see too much action. The river turned out to be sweet, with some beautiful ledge drops, a marginal 50 footer that we all portaged and some sweet gorge rapids. Also had some chill camping at the take out.

looking up the mighty Rio Puelo which flows out of Argentina into the Pacific

la vaca de mala leche, pa cementertio va

dave on the first drop

fred about to boof the same drop

e.g. boofing a nice 20 footer we all ran that flows right into a chunky rapid and then falls 50 feet, mostly onto rocks. we eddied out and portaged right

after the big boy there was some mank

kurt kasey on the next clean ledge

Jared monkeyin another fun drop...

..that bucked some

Toro boofing..from here the rapids became more gorgey

one of the last drops

after two days on the Negro we drove some more and caught a ferry to Puerto Montt

and the seafood was bomb

we came, we saw, we ran the shit, we drove back to pucon