Wrapping up the White Water Grand Prix in Chile, Nicole is joined by many of the world’s greatest white water paddling talents including fellow Werner Team members Geoff Calhoun and Jakub Nemec, in stretching out to some South American life style and running the local stouts. Here are some recollections.
“When the rivers are flowing, Pucon, Chile is definitely one of the whitewater capitals of the world, with countless creeks within a day’s driving distance. I arrived in mid-November to Pucon to find everything other than the Palguin and Trancura already too low to run. But, during the Grand Prix and for two weeks after, the rain did not stop. With the southern rivers too high, Jakub Nemec and myself found ourselves back in Pucon for the next couple of weeks to celebrate the holidays, run the classics, and explore some of the less frequently run rivers. With all but, the Trancura and Palguin too low to run again, we are back on the road camping, enjoying the sunshine, and paddling some others great rivers the country has to offer.
Difficult to catch because of its’ flashy nature, we were fortunate the previous night’s downpour allowed us to spend Christmas Eve paddling the Rio Turbio. We may have spent hours lost in the woods after losing the trail before we even began the hike in, but it was worth it to paddle this less frequently runnable Pucon classic. Here Jakub is paddling the slide at the put-in.
Christmas day was spent on a high side of good Palguin. Here’s Jakub running the Middle and the rest of the crew enjoying some rare sunshine.
Between Christmas and New Years we did numerous laps on the Nevados with varying water levels. Jakub is entering the top slide and I am approaching one of the Pucon’s “best boofs”, Dulce Amor.
Geoff Calhoun, Jakub, and I also had a bit of an epic mission on the Rio Plata, which we had high hopes for given the guidebook photo’s caption of, “Looking for silver but finding gold.” It wasn’t until we found out for ourselves that everyone shared their less than positive opinions of the river. With the landowners help we found the river in about 3 hours and spent another 5 hours dodging and portaging siphons, trees, and undercuts. I’m glad I went, but I am not convinced I would go again. Here Jakub and Geoff are trying to decipher the directions to the put-in. "