About an hour and a half south of Pucon, the Río Llancahue flows off the southern flank of Volcan Villarica. We made two separate trips to this classic creeky run. The first time, we put in too high, forcing us into a silly portage back up to the road where we walked to a better put-in. Just below the put-in comes the highlight of the run: a beautifully clean 23-footer into a big pool.
The lead-in offers a fast angled approach to the lip, where you slide down the first five feet to an auto-boof flake. It´s easy to err to either side on this one, but the consequences are minimal. Here´s a sequence Mike took of me running the waterfall.
On our second lap, everyone had great runs. We came away warmed up and excited for the rest of the run. Below here, the run is class III boogey water until the bridge rapid, which can be seen/scouted from the road. This is one of the tougher drops on the run and can get rowdy, but is a total blast when done right!
Below the bridge are several more twisty bedrock rapids. Here´s Zak leading the charge on another IV+ drop.
And Mike on the same ledge, shot from below:
Along with a handful of tight, pushy rapids, the volcanic bedrock creates several boof ledges other than the waterfall. Here´s Joe on the biggest:
The entire run is roadside, so the take-out is wherever you want to make it. I believe the 8-foot ledge pictured above was the last rapid we ran before taking out above a log jam. Apparently there is one more great rapid below that portage, but further down is a huge drop that´s only been run a couple times. The Llancahue is a great day trip and is easy to run on the way to some of the other classics down south. Just upstream, Termas Ríncon offers great camping at the hot springs.
Access: From Pucon, drive on pavement through Villarica and Lican Ray to Conaripe. From there, follow signs to Termas Geometricas. After several (10?) kilometers, you´ll start driving along the river and eventually reach the turn-off for Termas Geometricas. Park your rig, hop the fence, and find your way down to the river there. Take out wherever you´d like. The full run is only about three kilometers, so the shuttle can easily be walked.
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