That wasn't so bad. We paddle
corner and see the gorge really starts here. We exit early on the left,
not wanting to drop into anything nasty. Nasty it is, around the corner
the Rio Baker drops through a thirty foot wide notch. Pure chaos, water
exploding, boils surging ten to fifteen feet up the walls. Maybe you'd
just go through? Maybe not? None of us feel like taking that risk.
Yoshi and I decide to run the lead in and eddy out in the big eddy at
Arnd Schaeftlein has the first and only descent of this rapid, and
believe me a still image does it no justice.
Coming through the lead in
we've underestimated even this. Typical of the Baker, features that
look benign from above are powerful on the water. Coming into the eddy
a boil rises up and rejects us. We swirl on the edge of the eddy, I may
just have to turn around and run this one. After a minute of sitting on
the edge a surge lets me get into the eddy. That felt like an eternity.
little helmet cam of the eddy action. Perhaps boring to watch
you don't understand what almost happened.
We quickly portage the rapid and Yoshi scouts the next rapid. He comes
back with a big smile and a picture on his waterproof camera. We scout
from the rear LCD, the rapid looks fantastic, just stay left of the
Rok Sribar scouts another Baker classic.
It's hard to understand the
these beauties, Rok Sribar and Yoshi Takahashi are in there somewhere.
Yoshi Takahashi flies over a wave in the same.
Rok Sribar and Yoshi
through above the must run rapid.
With vertical walls
sides it's obvious that we are entering the must run rapid. Right of
center right? It's a nice wave train and one of the easiest of the
river, quite a relief. Scouting the last rapid we're at an obvious end
of the third gorge.
Rok Sribar enjoys a glorious final to the Rio Baker.
Yoshi Takahashi heading into the glory.
Yoshi is in that mess of whitewater.
A beautiful moment of sun on at the ferry take out.
A much longer day than the
of the Rio Baker, we can't stop expressing how glad we are to have
experienced the third gorge too. If and when the Baker is impeded by a
dam, this third gorge will be gone forever. It's a magical place and
certainly not as scary as it feels when you look upstream at the gorge.
Our time here is coming to an end, Yoshi has to fly home from an
airport a day north of here. We return to the cabin for one last night
and put a quick morning lap on the first gorge.
Water color like no other; Rio
A place so vibrant it gives the impression of a chimera.
Slovenia, America and Japan in Patagonia.
Headwaters on the drive out.
One last look at the river of dreams. I could spend weeks here.