After a couple runs on the Gol Gol, some of the group was ready to call it quits and head back to Pucon. But Scheepers and I still wanted to get after more water, so after little deliberation we decided to head to the Rio Florin. We had limited to no beta on the run so were expecting a pretty exciting mission to find access and scout the gorge. All I knew was that there were supposed to be some big drops in an amazing canyon, so I told Scheepers and he was in.
We dropped the rest of the group off at the bus station in Osorno, then began our drive to the Florin. We arrived in the late afternoon and drove around on some horrible roads while looking for a route upstream. The Suby held strong, but there is only so much 6 inches of clearance can take, so we thought about licking our wounds and going to check out the hotsprings we saw on the way in. Upon arrival at the hotsprings a woman came out to talk and immediately invited us inside. She told us to sit and then disappeared into another room, but soon returned with a photo in hand. She showed me and it was the group who did the first descent a couple years ago, including the familiar faces of Ben Stookesberry, Devin and Ryan Knight, and Eric Seymour. I was excited to see that they had made a good impression on these locals and that we were enjoying the reciprocity they had built up with the farmer and his wife. I hope we did the same.
They offered us a cabin to stay in and use of the hotsprings and a guide to go check out the river. We gratefully accepted and took off to check out the river with Ricardo, a farm hand. He brought us down to the first gorge and told us that we couldn't walk any farther, so we went back to the cabin and rested for the night.
The view from our cabin. Down the valley and towards Lago Ranco.
The next morning was beautiful and had us up early and ready to get on the water. We hiked from the cabin up the road for about one kilometer to the put-in bridge. We took our time putting gear on and stretching, had a little safety conversation, then put into the cold water. We had seen everything down to the first big drop, so we quickly arrived at the first drop and ran it without problems.
Scheepers in the first rapid.
After this we moved down some bouldery drops on our way to the first gorge.
Scheepers above the first gorge.
We got out to scout the entrace drop, but didn't spend long, as we had seen it the day before. I went first, then climbed back up to film Scheepers. Taking photos was very difficult because the gorge was deep and not much light could get through to the river and we couldn't stand far from the lip.
Entering the first part of the first drop. You can see that it was an amazing gorge.
From the first part you would rocket out through a veil falling from the side then fly off the second ledge.
About to fall off the second ledge.
Resurfacing at the bottom, for scale.
Looking back upstream from below the first drop.
Soon after this was a fun slide into a pool above a huge horizon line.
Scouting the next drop.
This falls needs no description.
Committed at the lip.
Tucked and ready for impact.
Scheepers at the top.
I took a big hit at the bottom and have a black eye and the top left side of my face is bruised and a little scratched from my helmet liner. Better my helmet that my eyebrow or lip or cheek though. Got to be proud of the wounds!
There were a couple more rapids then we got to the portage gorge and instead of jumping in, we started hiking out. We got out of the gorge and onto a farm where we found a road that eventually got us back to the river so we could cross and return to our car and the hotsprings.
Resting after the climb out of the gorge.
We spent some time in the hotsprings then thanked Alejandro again before departing for Pucon.
We arrived in good time and split ways, so Scheepers could prepare to go back to South Africa and I could go to sleep. Another amazing river completed.