A panoramic view of Cochamo Valley after a nights rain.
Yoshihiro Takahashi paddles through the
Putting on it's surprising how much flat
water we're paddling. The flow is healthy and scenery is great, but it
takes us almost an hour to reach the gradient. What a contrast, the
Cochamo doesn't waste time transitioning into fierce whitewater. It's
grade five at the end of the valley and we can't see an end in sight. A
quick scout reveals a multiple move rapid, scrape over a rock up top,
boof left, go left again, drive back to the center, boof again, eddy
out and scout the cascade that continues around the corner.
One or two read and run rapids lead us
to a crux section of gradient. Igor Mlekuž boofs the entrance.
Andrej Bijuklic boofs to finish the same section of
Side creeks plummet into the mighty Cochamo.
It's taking us time to scout each
section. Scouting may well be the most dangerous part, the rain wetted
rocks are too slick. Above the scour line it's thick jungle, but we
have to force our way through dense vegetation to scout several moves
in advance due to the steep gradient and high water. This is like the
steepest sections of the bottom nine, except the bottom nine goes into
siphons at peak gradient. Here the team is able to run almost
everything. Still at this pace it's going to be a long day, it's
grinding by more slowly then the bottom nine. Where the side creek
comes in below looks to be a break in the gradient and probably a good
Andrej Bijuklic, Igor Mlekuž, Fabian Bonanno and Klemen Valentincic scout the final drops
of the first steep section.
Andrej Bijuklic hits a classic boof.
Yoshi Takahashi boofs in the stacked gradient.
At each cataract we are amazed at how good the Cochamo is. Fabian
Bonanno boofs a favorite.
Rok Sribar on the same.
A little mix up turns into a swim for a
team member, but all is recovered minus the paddle. Not too bad
considering the gradient of the run, it would be only too easy to lose
a boat in here. We take a brief pause to wolf down some food and water
before returning to the downstream grind.
Below the swimmers rapid it's read and
run. I'm just getting in the zone for a long
day, then suddenly it's over. At lunch time. I
guess we failed to note that although the Cochamo is steep and tough,
it's also rather short, the whitewater is contained in a one mile
section. We exchange high fives at take out and head to Puerto Varas to celebrate completing a
magical section of river. Apparently higher is better on the fabled
Bojan Rusjan, Yoshi Takahashi and Rok
Sribar enjoy a break in the rain just in time for take out.