Friday, October 31, 2008

Río Paucartambo (Mapacho): V - Day 3

by Zak Sears
Back to day 2
Elevation at camp: 2240 meters

We had an early morning in anticipation of our arrival in Orange Canyon, a section we wanted a lot of daylight for after reading other write-ups about the river. The morning consisted of the same style of chunky class 3/4 whitewater for about 7 or 8 miles. At this point we entered a mini gorge with large round boulders where the nature of the whitewater started to change. A few kilometers after this we passed under Puente Chimor which crosses the river over a super-beautiful shear-walled gorge with calm water below. Shortly below this we came the the first class 5 rapid we had seen yet. It lay at a sharp left hand bend in the river and sent the river diving into another large shear-walled gorge. The whitewater held its gradient with great class 4+, 5- rapids for about an hour. We had lunch just above the portage we had heard was in Orange Canyon.

Massive orange boulders constrict the river into several small channels. The channel on the right was hard to see, but we could see it was a three meter drop we had heard about. It´s a tight line and goes but we opted to portage it with extremely heavy boats. The landing for the drop was tight and had a must-make move with a sieve on the left. Throughout the next 1 km or so, we had three mini-portages including the first one, all around steep manky drops that could have been run, but not the most quality whitewater on the run. The last portage was around a massive boulder in the middle of the river that was extremely undercut. During this portage we found a sweet camp on river left in a pocket of sand that lay in the depths of massive orange boulders. There was an unbelievable mini gorge of 2 meters width that was just above camp, and a fun looking class 5 drop just below camp for the morning. On the water for a total of 6 hours.

On to day 4

1 comment:

Terry Cremin said...

Michael and Dan,
Hope posting these comments work -- This is your very dull Uncle Terry and I can't tell you how proud I am of you two guys -- following your dreams - and posting some magnificent pictures at the same time! Keep 'em coming. Remember to wear your helmets, eat your vegetables and never point your Red Ryders at anyone as you could poke someone's eye out.

U T.