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.
Kayaking the Baker is a tough haul. it’s a full on mission just to get there. Our trip took us almost 20 hours of solid travel from Futaleufu, which is already several days drive from Santiago. We had a 20 hour bus ride, 11 people in a little 17 seater bus (17 people for the first 5 hours), 7 kayaks cam-strapped on to the roof of the bus, thermarests and sleeping pads used to protect the roof, as we didn’t have a roofrack, and countless bags and packs and river gear. And it was SO worth it. The Rio Baker is an absolutely gorgeous river, in a gorgeous part of the world. It’s currently slated for daming, by Endessa, the local power company, and I sincerely hope that never comes to fruition. Seeing a river like this makes one realise just how important it is we develop or redevelop ways of living that allow us to live within the land, and the environment, rather than against it. It’s hard to look at a canyon or a river as beautiful as this and think of it as being lost. I camped by the river, right by these falls, for 2 nights, and it feels so alive, so organic and sensorial – I really get the impression that to dam a river like this is to kill it, in a very real sense. It’s a terrible thing, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to pass. You can read more about this on the International Rivers Network website. Also, visit Futa Friends and read some information there on the whole issue.
I need to get some rest. I’ll be back tomorrow, with a few more whitewater kayaking photos from the Futaleufu and Baker Rivers, in Patagonia, Chile. More whitewater kayaking photos.