The Rio Caren is a small tributary of the Rio Puesco just downstream of the normal take-out. On a previous trip to the Puseco, Rodrigo and I scouted() the Caren and found a huge falls above a tiny gorge and a fun looking falls at the bottom of the gorge.
On a lazy afternoon some weeks later we were rallied by the young and intrepid Gerd Serrasolses, see www.kayakgerd.blogspot.com, to go run the Puesco and the fun falls at the end of the gorge we had told him about. We were also not sure if it had been run before, so that added to the excitement.
We found the Caren with quite a bit less water than before, but all had good lines over the falls.
Freewheel (first D?)
After a successful run.
I was still curious about the gorge upstream, of which we had only seen the very tight entrance. I voted to put off the Puesco for a few minutes while we go try to explore the gorge from below. It had been impossible to see into the gorge from above before, so I was hoping that we could find something good and accessible from below. The gorge though, was quite intent on keeping its secrets hidden from us. Our upstream progress quickly ceased when we came to a deep pool below an ugly crack/falls/siphon/undercut with vertical walls of crumbly conglomerate rock on both sides. I made several attempts to climb up and around the drop but never made it more than a few feet before the rock would give way and I would fall into the pool.
That put an end to our exploration for the day, so we ran the falls again and walked back to the car. It had gotten cold and a little dark by this time, so all motivation to run the low water Puesco had diminished and we drove back to Pucon.
More rack problems on the way home.
After a few more local low water runs in the following days, we were ready to get out of town and paddle something new. Off to the north we went! We were not detered by the long drive(6 hours), the staggering gas prices(about 4 USD per gallon), or the guaranteed low water conditions(it's just bedrock, right?).
We stopped to scout this splashy little drop on the way up. Yes, those are rocks in the LZ.
Photo by Juanjo
And ended up running this sketchy little one just downstream.
Photos by Juanjo.
After a long drive in the afternoon, we arrived to the Claro and found a place to camp.
Photo by Juanjo
The next morning we awoke to perfect a perfect blue sky and a quite comfortable temperature. We hiked for about an hour and a half through some rough terrain, then got to our put-in and jumped around on the amazing granite for a while attempting to scout the tight entrance to the gorge.
Happy to be in a granite wonderland.
Paddling around above the put in.
Once on the water it was very difficult to scout or get out of our boats, as the walls were usually totally vertical and smooth. That said, I do not have many photos of this amazing run to share. It was one of the most amazing gorges I have ever seen, not to mention paddled down.
Gerd in a tight one.
Photos by Juanjo
I think this was the only drop that was possible to portage.
Gerd into the unknown. The general character of this run, seriously.
Fun falls near the end of the run.
Another fun slide into a falls.
After the run we got back to the car and found it DOA. We weren't sure of the problem, so we just camped where the car died and tried to find a ride to town in the morning. We found out that there was a bus that might be able to tow us the 50 or so kilometers to the nearest town.
Hey, on the second cast!
Lucky for us, a nice, wealty, Dutch(I think) couple with a pickup truck was leaving earlier than the bus and offered to tow us to town. The drive was intense to say the least, as the only things we had to connect the cars were two pieces of tubular webbing from our safety kits. I think that when the line was totally tight I might have been about 8 feet behind their truck. We did make it safely to town, and they would not accept any money for the great service they had just done for us. The repair only cost 10 dollars too!
So was the end of our trip north, except for the drive back...