Kayak Journal

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Monday, December 27, 2004

More Exploration

After returning to Pucon from our trip up North, we wrapped around to the backside of Volcan Villarica to the Llanchue River (sp?).

Villarica getting its smoke on.

Robbie Dastin, Este and a few others discovered the upper Llanchue several years ago. The run comes off the backside of Villarica, opposite from the Palguin. The upper run is relatively roadside and features solid class IV-V rapids, a 17-foot falls and a nasty class V+ that has been run by the likes of Polk Deters and Josh Anthony. The takeout is at a pleasant hot springs just after a walled in 20 footer run only by Mr Dastin.

The 17 footer.

photo by Nate Elliott

Polk Deters.

photo by Nate Elliott

Daniel scouting same rapid.

After a day on the upper (and an extensive soak) we set off to explore the un-run Middle Section. This section of the river remains one of the last ‘unknowns’ of the Pucon region. The river makes a large bend to the left away from the road and drops between two imposing mountains. Due the hostility of the environment, few kayakers have ever penetrated the gorge. With news a new trail and 3 falls dropping over 80 meters, we set off into the unknown.

A friendly Tarantula we found after an hours bush whack into the gorge.

We never found the falls, but did make it to the river below what we felt was the steep section. The level was too high but we committed to return and further explore the middle section.


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