Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Last River in Chile: Middle Fuy

We took the ferry from Argentina to Puerto Fuy on our way back from the Baker with high hopes of running the infamous Middle Fuy. Tales of mandatory waterfalls and past vertical canyon walls had me excited. A heavy rainstorm hit as we docked in town, and after a quick scout of the river we decided that it was most likely going to be too high. So, we trucked on to Pucon where we waited out the storm for some sunny weather, and Rodrigo, Evan and I returned to the Middle Fuy two days later.

Although the level at the put-in was frighteningly low, the level at the take-out bridge was looking like a good medium-low-flow for the classic Lower Fuy. Rodrigo had done the run before at the recommended boat bashingly low flow, but he was convinced the run could take a little extra water. Just about 100 yards below the first rapid a tibutary tripled the flow, and we committed to the gorge concerned, but at the same time confident that we could make a safe descent. The extra water actually made the run really fun and cushioned-out.

The big falls is the big attraction. It has a sketchy lead-in before the water plunges about 50 feet into a deep pool below. heavy vegetation and steep cliff-walls make this one nearly impossible to portage. The three of us decided to do a big seal-launch to avoid running through the undercuts in the entrance. Rdorigo hucked it first with a clean line, but he lossed his paddle after tossing it to avoid the potential of a break. I followed and rolled up at the bottom with half of a paddle. Damn. Broke my paddle on my last day of kayaking in Chile. Evan hucked his paddle to be sure we wouldn't run out. I was tring to shoot video from the bottom, so I didn't get any good photos of anyone running the drop from the pool below. The rapids that followed were steep and continuous. It reminded me of the Little White. I am now back in the Columbia River Gorrge, and I had the good fortune of running the Little White this morning. It was cold, but as much fun as ever.

Salto de La Puma. We put-in just below this beast. I think it could be run with more water.

Rodrigo doing what he does best. Going big.

The Middle Fuy has game! The big one.

Rodrigo and Evan taking one last look at the big one from below.

If the Fuy looks like this from the bridge, the Middle is good to go.

No comments: