I got an email today from someone asking about the term ‘highside’, I mentioned in yesterday’s post. This photo shows a guide pulling a classic ‘highside’, alas, to no avail. His raft flipped moments later. The guide, nearest the camera with the blue helmet, is diving to the high side of the raft. If his crew had done the same, instead of falling out to the left, the boat may not have flipped – though I suspect it was going to regardless. You can see why folks wear a helmet on the Futaleufu. The poor soul in front of the guide, Brent, got smunched before the boat even flipped.
This is another shot from Mundaca, possibly the classic rapid on the Futaleufu. It’s not the biggest, which is why it’s so cool. Some of the bigger rapids are ‘Terminator’, ‘Throne Room’ and ‘Casa de Piedra’, among a few others. But they’re SO big guides generally have to play it safe – Terminator is at least a 1/4 mile long of solid whitewater, Throne Room is even bigger, and Zeta is a narrow slot canyon full of nasty undercuts and holes that keep bodies a long time – most commercial trips walk Zeta unless the water level is way down.
I promised myself I’d get to bed earlier tonight, but I got to watching the film “Crash” again, and here it is kinda late. What an awesome film.
On another side note, anybody notice anything else new about the ole blog today?
Ahhh – the days feel longer already. It’s like Boxing Day for Solstice.
I told you I’d show a couple of photos of how big Mundaca is. This is my friend KC, from New Zealand, guiding a 16′ raft through the entrance wave of Mundaca. One guide plus 6 people in a heavy raft and the wave stands it up almost totally vertical. Some awesome power in the water here. KC’s a killer guide, he’s worked on rivers all over the world, including the Zambezi and the White Nile in Africa. Not too bad for a Kiwi!
Shooting whitewater rafting photos is kinda hard – I found the hardest thing was to not fill the buffer – mostly because the rapids were so big, I could shoot the whole series and still miss stuff. The D2x has a buffer of 17 shots when shooting raw files, and it’s amazing how quickly they go by when you shoot 5 frames per second. Continue reading
Here’s a photo of us rafting down the Upper Marsh Fork of the Canning River – essentially the headwaters of the Canning in the Brooks Range, close to the continental divide. The river here has eroded its way through the layers of bedrock to form this really neat little mini-canyon. I hopped out of the boat to take some photos of the run. Actually, we ran it several times, and I shot each time, some horizontals, a few verticals, some wider, some tighter, trying to get different compositions of essentially the same scene. Continue reading
Here’s a photo of the arctic coastal plain, near the Canning River, ANWR, Alaska. This is the now infamous ‘coastal plain’, known as Section 1002, the area that is so frequently proposed be open for oil drilling. One of the big arguments made in favor of opening the area to drilling is that the coastal plain is ‘boring’, or ’empty’, or ‘nothing’. I disagree that it’s boring. I found it stimulating – the place simply feels alive, vibrant. There’s an energy here Continue reading