After spending 9 and a half months in Chile i have finally returned back home. It was a long season with an amazing amount of water accumulating to an amazing season of paddling. While there was a lot of time spent sitting around while the rain pounded outside, the sun did occasionally shine. Already having paddled many of the rivers in the country it is still amazing that we are able to find new drainages, new drops and continue to push our selves n this one country.
Tres Saltos, at one point i think we hadnt seen the sun in over a month and it seem every other day we were making our way up the liacura valley paying our 700 pesos per person and launching over the falls. When the winds were slamming the house and we were tired of sitting around the shit shack, three bedroom house, where 10 people were crammed in on top of each other, there was simply nothing else.
Entre Saltos of the Rio Claro, We were able to get a handfull of laps down this canyon containing some of the most dynamic drops i have ever seen in the world. Places where the canyon pinches down to only boat width. It will be interesting to see how this canyon is for the next season as the massive earthquake that struck chile has opened a hole in the bed rock and people have now found that the lower section of the claro has run dry! We will have to wait and see next season if salto caracoal still exists.
Salto Bonito in Argentina. The location of where Rush Sturges broke his back. It was my second time to run the falls, and this was our second visit to the falls this season. The first visit myself and tyler bradt walked away feeling that the water was too low. On our second visit i was accompanied soly by Rush, and the water level was no different. I went first and had a good line but was violently ejected from my kayaks and left with two black eyes due to the very green pool below. Next was Rush, as he came into my sight the only thing i saw was the bottom of his kayak flying threw the air FLAT. As he landed we spent time waiting to see how he felt and then began our 300 ft accent out of the gorge, using ropes and tib-locs we accended from the canyon and found ourselves in barriloche awaiting x rays and the bad new. I am happy to say Rush has made a full recovery and is now back on top paddling.
On a side note, Rivers Lakes & Oceans, our new company has taken off and having finished our first year of importing kayaks, rafts, and canoes we are looking forward to our next season of international sales. For more information you can visit our website, www.rioslagosmares.com. As well for any kayakers looking into coming to chile next year, the airlines are getting stricter and stricter on flying with kayaks. We can help there with nearly every model of white water kayak in stock. Look us up!