Bump Up

A spot of sun got me off my duff into my itty-bitty jet boat and I headed out into the great big fjord.  Glade I waited that extra day, because right at the beach of the cove it seemed flat — flat as glass, but once you get out a couple hundred meters it’s a whole another thing.  The wind didn’t whip up, but those slow moving roller had a direct shot coming in from the gulf.  My boat at a buck-fiddy doesn’t take roller well, but they were’n’t all that bad and we made it no problem to the start of the river.  Hmmm the river, took me some time find the windy channel leading to the true blue stream of fresh water, but we got it and my heart only spent a minute or two up in throat.  It always tough crossing from the ocean to river — never straight forward reading the mixing of the two waterways.  That is an allowable minor freak-out, nothing like the troubles that were about to come.  Oops, I said to  much.  Well yeah, I had a larger freak out up the river 20 mins later.  My motor when poo and I was in the middle of rather large sustained white water stretch just above two vary large snags crossing almost the entire river at constrictions just a bit below.  I’m frantic; a moment of paddling like a banshee got me into an eddie and out of the rivers might and way.  Everything looked OK so why’d  my motor stall?  Vapor lock on the fuel tank was my only guess, and it seems to be running fine now.  Oh, but my nerves are fried!  So I walk the bank of the river a bit to see if the tough rapids continue on or let up.  Bush and river braids keep me from advancing very far so I make the call to head down.  Premature yes, but my nerves were in need of rest.  I should have talked Marcos into this trip too it’s better to have someone you can share the stress with.  I know later I’ll think back and wish I’d forged on.  But for right now, I’ve got to get pass those large snags at super high down river velocities.  And I do.  No problamo!  Hell, this supposed to be my vacation so I’m going to Fundo Pillan!!   A little R & R.

Reñihué [REN-IE-WAY]

I’m going to Reñihué. Not because I want to visit the fjord or because it has the only visitor center in the Pumalin complex, but because the small river at the head of the fjord. Rio Reñihué is there, it is not mighty and only a few bother to visit. Those that do visit, never really see much beyond Tompkins’ ranch and summer retreat. The trail long grown over and the originally settlers long since bought out and now they are likely living a comfortable life miles from this lovely valley. This river goes up at a gradual slope until finally it is in the middle of no where. Until finally, it is in the middle of the cordillera! Several lakes, the north side of Volcano Michinmahuida, and the Argentine border are its only neighbors. Maybe it is obvious why I’m drawn.

In the wake of disaster, I keep finding paradise!

What a place Chaitén.  My opinions on the town, it’s governance, and it’s landscape has changed so much since the eruption of 2008.  My opinions — they keep going back and forth, up and down on such grave issues. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and seen so much more, but the direction the community need to take still seems unclear to me.   My thoughts, so petty, in comparison to those of the displaced.  So… instead of thought stock, I’ll post some pics from my first visit to village the summer following the floods (Jan 2009).

Off gassing as seen from town.

Turns out these gasses are very dangerous.  Ed and myself hike to the rim of the caldera the very next day!

A sea of death

Ed in the middle of all that destruction.  We’ve just started the hike — what an eye opening experience!

This the very moment I felt my very first tremor. And I was about a quarter mile away from any active volcano crater!

From the very edge of the caldera!!!





















I was very glade to discover the cone of the volcano (and most of the venting) was located on the very opposite edge of the caldera from where we were.  Not to mention we had a favorable wind that day too.  That was an experience, to say the least.  One of many I’ve had in the area since.  I’ll talk more about 2011 in my next posts.  Cheers, Dave

hummm drum… the dog days of austral summer.

With little to report in the Puelo valley, (below the lake) I’m moving on. I did spend some quality time with the Pinto family at the head of the Ventisquero. Worth while trip of course, but i’m looking to Chaiten. Expect to read some reports of Reñihué and Yelcho to come.

Have I mentione…

Have I mentioned it’s been raining!!! Well, one calm clear(ish) morning I snuck out of Horopiren and made my way to the hot springs. a few days there and I got up the courage to run up river. What I saw was a little discouraging. Bolder runs that I’d hoped were going to be blow’n out, had simply swelled to mammoth proportions. Good for us, I was the only person living in a fantasy world where rapids would get run-able with excessive amounts of rain; that way I was the only person disappointed with sitch.