DRAFT - Thrills and spills from Chile 1998

From February 15th to March 1st 1998, nine friends met in southern Chile for two weeks of class IV and V kayaking on some of Chile's most famous rivers.

[ Fuy | Gol Gol | Manso | Futaléufu ]

To the Manso we will go....

Driving to the road which leads to the takeout of the Manso was a pleasure, as the highway was up to North American standards, however from the highway to the shore of Lake Steffan was another story. Switchbacks on a steep, one-lane dirt road made for an interesting experience when an oncoming vehicle was encountered. We picked a campsite next to the lake and kicked back, resting in preparation for a long day.

The Manso starts in Argentinian National Park Nahuel Huapi, and as such there are plenty of tourists - and the Argentinian parks service charges each and every one 5 Argentinian pesos (pegged 1 to 1 with the American dollar).  This is the first time I've had to pay a 'put in' fee.

The river starts right where the tour buses drop off their blue-haired cargo to look at the 'pretty waterfalls'.  Not so pretty if you are contemplating running them.  The first one was a doozey, probably 30ish feet of solid white froth.   Kinda hard to tell what was in there, we opted to put in below... but not before a large horde of tourists gathered thinking we were going to run it.  Aren't we all a little morbid at heart?  We heard that Dan, Clay, and Brennan had run it the day before.  (note to self: find a pic of this)

So we started off on this grey day, paddling quite a ways on flatwater (grrrr, overall this river has too much flat stuff) before the first drop, a river wide slide, about 20 feet high.  A hole halfway down on river left (?) was the only concern on this fun drop.

20' vertical drop
portage through cane around badnastythumpthump waterfall
(try and remember this part, eh)

The last half hour of the Manso was mostly flat, essentially a warm-up for the two hour paddle across (I mean all-the-f*ing-way-across) Lake Steffan.  Sure the scenery was nice, but that wears thin pretty damn quick.


Please submit comments on this DRAFT to dlaw@kayak.yk.ca.

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