February 17, 2007 at 4:31 pm (Rafting, Travel)

On our last day in Futaleufu, we ran the Terminator section, putting in at Aren and Sarah´s on the Rio Azul and floating down to the confluence with the Futaleufu. This is the same section that “Terminated” Danny´s first raft descent trip with Curry Expedition in the early 90´s. They had already run Inferno and most of the Class V whitewater when they came to an unnamed Class V rapid that popped their boat, if my memory serves me correctly. It had rained for the previous 24 hours, so we had higher water than the other days on the river and the water was a chalky turquoise color.

Rio Azul

On our trip, waves 12 feet high crashed over the boat and at times I felt lost in the rapids, as though we were somewhere in the middle of the ocean rather than on a river with banks on either side. I rode in the Cataraft after lunch on the Bridge to Bridge section with Hernan and we almost flipped in Mundaka, a really fun, big rapid. As we entered the rapid, he said, “If we get pushed center, we might flip, so swim right.” Two seconds later, as we were heading straight into the biggest hole in the rapid, I heard him yell, “We´re going center so SWIM RIGHT!” I turned around to see him get thrown from his seat to the low side of the boat, barely hanging on as I high sided on a completely vertical boat. Catarafts are pretty amazing the way they seem to come out of situations like that with ease, and we eventually found ourselves on the backside of the wave, relieved that we didn´t flip. My favorite rapids were Kyber and Himalayas, which seemed to be just one long rapid with incredible wave trains. This region is incredible for its whitewater, but what amazed me constantly was the stunning beauty that is all-encompassing.


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