Monday, April 9, 2012

Chile 2011

Fired up on an amazing year of quality kayaking, I decided to travel to South America in search of all the tall, clean and beautiful waterfalls I had heard existed in the country of Chile.  I made this trip solo with the only plan being to go huckin.  With the word that Pucon was the  place to be, I flew into Santiago and then made my way by bus to Pucon 800 km south in Region IX.  Pucon was welcoming and even though I didn't know spanish I knew kayaker's and it all worked out.  On my first day in Pucon my good buddy Jake Greenbaum managed to find me a house to rent for dirt cheap with some Norwegion and Canadian paddlers and a ride to the wonderful waters of the Nevado's.  Stoked on my new surroundings of jungles, volcanoes, and waterfalls I slipt into the vacation groove and found myself content making my way to the river each day with whoever in town wanted to go paddle.  I quickly picked up on the so called Gringo spots and more friends of old and new seemed to make their way into town each week. Pucon has an amazing concentration of quality water and I found myself grabbing laps on some of the best.  Hope you enjoy my trip to Chile!

Chile is pretty far away!

Stoked on Chile! (p. Jake Greenbaum)

Blank Space

The Palguin river is one of the closer runs to town and has plenty of big stuff to scare yourself on as well as quality sets of smaller rapids and waterfalls.  I found myself at this river every week of my trip and launched it's marque 70 foot waterfall 5 times before the end of my trip.  The Palguin Race was a blast and an even better party. I believe Anton Immler won both.

Rio Palguin (p. Nick Murphy)

Mathias Fossum on Boof to Swim (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself launching Boof to Swim (POV)

Jared Seiler on Stout 10 right above 70 footer (p. Nick Murphy)
--This one is legit, I only sacked up on it once--

Ian Garcia linen it up togo deep (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself with away togo (POV)

Charge! (p. Anne Hubner) (seq. Nick Murphy)

Committed (p. Anne Hubner)

Anton Immler- Don't think about it! (p. Nick Murphy)

My helmet was blown off on this run but the GoPro stayed on!

It all good at the bottom! (p. Nini Bondhus)

Another run super close to town was the Nevados and man was it good.  The top section made for a fine charge and the bottom spiced it up a bit.  Again I found myself doing many laps on this river and fired off it's marque drop, the rowdy Demshitz Drop, 4 times in the rapids short window of proper flow.

Euro John on the Cali Slide (p. Nick Murphy)

Euro John on the sweet 20 (p. Nick Murphy)

Anne Hubner with style on the Nevados (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself launching Dulce Amor (POV)

Evan Garcia and Jake Greenbaum comin in hot off Dulce Amor (p. Nick Murphy)

Aniol Serrasolses guttin the Demshitz Drop (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself droppin Demshitz (p. Anne Hubner)

Evan Garcia in the middle of El Diablito (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself on Diablito (POV)

Volcan Villarica from the take out of the Nevados (p. Nick Murphy)

On of my favorite runs a lil out of town was the Puesco.  This river was full on with proper flow and felt like one big boulder garden rapid the whole way down.  Rivers like this are never as photogenic as big tall drops but are sometimes harder and more demanding.  Bottom line this one was good to Charge!  The Puesco is the headwaters for the Trancura which flows through town and offers some big water surprises and I found myself on the Llanchaue for some relax boofs!

Take out @ the Puesco

Anne Hubner on the Llanchaue (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself on the Llanchaue (p. Anne Hubner)

Volcan Villarica from the banks of the Trancura (p. Nick Murphy)

Aniol Serrasolses on the impressive Merriman rapid on the Trancura  (p. Nick Murphy)

I'm not tryin to let the Merriman get me down! (POV)

When in Pucon- Brown!
I hopped in a car headed north to the Rio Claro and found quite the sights as this river has some of the most fascinating geology I've ever seen.  When the car wasn't breaking down, which it did more often than not, we found some great paddling !

Rio Claro (p. Nick Murphy)

Miguel all lit up! (p. Nick Murphy)

Jake Greenbaum throwin it down! (p. Nick Murphy)

Jake Greenbaum knows where togo (p. Nick Murphy)

Joe Thurgood feelin the Crack (p. Nick Murphy)

Lee Royle (p. Nick Murphy)

Oh Yeah! (POV)

Sam Makman on the Siete Tazas (p. Nick Murphy)

Views of the Claro (p. Nick Murphy)

Broken Down (p. Nick Murphy)
The week before I left I jumped in a van and rolled down south to the Fuy and Nilahue for some good downriver and waterfall action.  We fired up some drops and left others for another day.  I was really stoked to make it to the Nilahue drop even though the river was a mess of volcanic ash and pumice from a nearby volcano erupting near Bariloche.

I should of fired it- It was good but gnarly- Huge leadin slide- Ah man I should of run it! (p. Nick Murphy)

Hunt Jennings on the Fuy  (p. Nick Murphy)

Jake Greenbaum on the Fuy (p. Nick Murphy)

Jake Greenbaum- Easy Flyin (p. Nick Murphy)

Eric Bartl - Eye on the prize! (p. Nick Murphy)

Jake Greenbaum round 2 (p. Nick Murphy)

Myself Chargin (p. Jake Greenbaum)

Nilahue - Sign me up! (POV)

Nilahue and Me (p. Galen Volckhausen)

Myself on Nilahue (p. Hunt Jennings)

Oh Yeah! (p. Jake Greenbaum)

Seth firen (p. Jake Greenbaum)

Eric Bartl lookin small (p. Nick Murphy)
Chile was the perfect way to cap off my 2011 and has left me even more stoked to go big and live the lifestyle of the river nomad.  Thanks to all the people for supporting me in my decisions to chase my dream- I'm doing what makes me happy!

Chow Chile- something tells me I'll probably go back!

Sunset over Pucon with fire in the volcano- Thanks Chile

Much more to come- Keep up the Charge!