Category Archives: Kayaking

Whitewater kayaking and sea kayaking: photos and notes on whitewater kayaking, kayakers, whitewater rivers and locations for kayaking, gear, etc.

Whitewater Kayaker surfing photo Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

A whitewater kayaker surfing on a play wave on the Rio Baker or Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another from the Rio Baker – at the end of the first canyon, which is 5 enormous rapids over 2 miles, there’s a flatwater section, and then just down from the take-out spot is a big playwave. We bought an extra kayak, a smaller playboat, just for this one wave. You’d never want to run a river the size of the Baker in such a small boat, unless you’re a kayaker with world-class crazy skills – a bigger volume boat is what you need for running such big rapids. But, once down at the playwave, those big boats aren’t as handy for doing tricks and surfing, like this small Wave Sport ZG playboat. Being smaller and less volume, the boat is more maneuverable, and in the hands of someone like Santiago Ibanez, from Peru, it rocks and rolls with ease. Santiago’s a great fella, a helluva great kayaker, and he guides on the Futaleufu River when he’s not in Peru.

By the way, if you haven’t read my earlier blogs on the Baker, the river is scheduled to be dammed in the coming year. Hopefully enough activism and enough demonstrations will stop that from happening. For more information, visit these pages:

Baker River and also here.

Cheers

Carl

Whitewater kayaking photo Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

Whitewater kayaker dropping off a waterfall on the Baker River, Patagonia, Chile

Hey Folks,

Simpler times indeed. Last year at this time I was in the Andes Mountains with some good friends, on a trip to the Rio Baker, or Baker River, Patagonia, Chile. A series of insane Class 5 and 6 rapids make this one of the biggest whitewater kayaking runs in the world. This is the first of the 4 rapids, a cool drop over a waterfall. This kayaker is my friend from Futaleufu, Chilean native Memo, who’s real name is Guillermo – we just called him Memo. It was his first time on a river this size, and he paddled it with aplomb. I’m hoping to get back down to Chile maybe next winter and revisit some old friends and places. We’ll see if that happens.

Cheers

Carl

Slow Turning – John Hiatt tune.

whitewater kayaking on the Rio Baker, Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks,

Here’s my first attempt to bring an mp3 (Dad, that’s an audio file) online.

[display_podcast]

I have no idea if this will work. This is a tune I recorded with a few friends of mine years ago, for an album a group of John Hiatt fans recorded, called We Love The Jerk. The album is named, tongue-in-cheek, after one of his songs called “She Loves the Jerk”. Each person who wanted to recorded a song, and submitted it to the group, where the compilation was put together, including a cool album cover, and CDs shipped out to the John Hiatt fan club. Kind of a fun little project.

This tune is me playing guitars, my good friend Steve F playing bass, Steve Lusk singing his a** off, Chip Lunsford playing drums and Randy Hoexter playing piano. Randy recorded it at his studio. I really need to get in and do some more recording/writing and get some tunes online — maybe that’s another project I should finish. The song, Slow Turning, is the title track on John Hiatt’s “Slow Turning” album .. one of his best efforts, IMO. Definitely check out that album.

The photo is a friend of mine, Nate, way down in Futaleufu, Chile, right now, about to run the 3rd rapid of the Baker River, or Rio Baker – big, big water. Nate got smashed! 🙂

Cheers

Carl

Mundaca Rapid, Futaleufu River, Patagonia, Chile

The rapid known as Mundaca, a Class IV kayaking and rafting rapid on the Futaleufu River, in Central Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks,

Happy Winter Solstice!

Here’s a look at the rapid from yesterday’s photo, Mundaca. This photo is looking up at the top section of the rapid, where the river narrows rapidly, hits a few pretty large boulders, and goes every which way but loose. This angle doesn’t really give you a great look at the rapid (pronounced Moon – Dahka), but I like the scene. You can’t see down into those holes and waves, but I’ll make a few posts over the next couple of days showing the rapid a little better, as well as some action from there. We had some pretty big hits on Mundaca last year, with a bunch of rafts flipping. I proudly can tell you that the company I worked with had the most flips of the season at over 16. Pretty cool!!! Go big, or go home.

As the summer progressed, the everyone became more familiar with Mundaca, and also the water level changed enough to make it safer to go straight down the middle. At high water levels, flipping is more dangerous for a few reasons:

* the water’s flowing faster. Continue reading

Kayaking on the Futaleufu River, Patagonia, Chile.

Kayaker Getting trashed, MUndaca, Futaleufu River, Chile.

Hey Folks,

Well, as I sit around and deal with html code and other assorted things web related, I thought I’d post a few images from throughout the year. This one is another from the Futaleufu River, in central Patagonia, Chile. One of the best known rapids on the river is called Mundaca, named after the gentleman who owns the land alongside the river at that particular rapid. The rapid is wicked. Earlier in the summer, at higher water levels, the main section of the rapid is this huge infusion wave, before you actually hit the main rapid. Sometimes, this wave catches folks by surprise, because they know Mundaca is in the middle of the river, and they think by skirting the rapid down river right they’ll be fine – and right as they cross this little drop, the wave surges and they get nailed. This guy here got totally worked in the hole before rolling back up and then got nailed in Mundaca. I’ll post a few more images from Mundaca in the next few days – it’s an awesome rapid, and lots of folks got hammered there, particularly rafters. Mundaca gave some big rafts a pounding! It’s amazing how much power is reeling in those waves, and only when you hit them full in the middle do you realize how absurdly powerful they are.

Cheers

Carl

Waterfall, Baker River Photos, Region XI, Patagonia, Chile.

Waterfall, Baker River, Region XI, Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks

I’m going to ease away from the blog for a little while here. Not because I want to, but because, well, I won’t have regular email access for the next few weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to check in reasonably often and maybe post something, but it’ll be slow around here. I can’t tell you right now exactly where I’ll be, but it should be a lot of fun.

In the meantime, here’s another photo of the endangered Baker River, or Rio Baker, down in Region XI, Patagonia. I’ve written about this situation a little recently, Continue reading

A Crazy Kayaker on the Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

A whitewater kayaker on a play wave, Baker River, Chile.

Hey Folks

Why 2 posts so close to one another? I just got an email from this fella, whom I met and hung with in Chile this last winter (their summer). We went down to the Baker River together, along with a bunch of crazy folks, and all had a good time. We were there for 4 days, but the trip took another 2 days traveltime. It was quite a mission. Continue reading

More Whitewater Kayaking, Baker River, Chile

whitewater kayaker, Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another from my recent trip to the Rio Baker, or Baker River, in Patagonia, Chile. In this photo, Santiago Ibanez is running the very first rapid on the river, a relatively small drop from a calm pool into a tumbling turbuent pool. Santiago ran the drop several times during our trip, and this was probably his sweetest line. He paddled back over to me after the drop with a huge smile, and said how good it felt. I was grinning from ear to ear myself, because I’d already viewed this photo, and was just as happy aas he was. I showed him the image on the LCD on the back of my camera and he loved it. I knew I had a nice chance of catching a little rainbow in the frame, and the line he took put him right in the middle of it. Thanks for a great photo, Santiago. Continue reading

Whitewater kayaking, Baker River, Chile

whitewater kayaker, Baker River, Patagonia, Chile.

Hey Folks

Here’s another of my buddy Matze, running a little drop on the Baker River, in Patagonia, Chile. The Baker River is absolutely awesome, 4 or 5 of the biggest Class 5 rapids anywhere. It’s huge water. I was fortunate that some of my friends were nice enough to get out of bed early one morning and come run the Baker in nice light. Matze took this crazy line after doing some scouting – it wasn’t his smoothest line, but he made it OK. Continue reading

Whitewater kayaking on the Fuatelufu River, Patagonia, Chile

Whitewater Kayaking on the Futaleufu River, Patagonia, Chile

Hey Folks,

This photo is of my friend Ken Kruger running an 8′ drop in a rapid known as “Terminator”. This photo shows about 1/100 of the rapid. Terminator’s HUGE, and aptly named. We were running a whitewater rafting trip down the Futaleufu River, and the water level was high. While all the guests walked the rapid, and we ghosted the boats down the river, the kayakers paddled it. I got into position below this drop, and was lucky to get Ken with his mullet flying Continue reading