Rio Nevado (Lower)
|Stretch:||Demshits to the Rio Liucura|
|Difficulty:||Class V to V+|
|Flows:||small, check at kayakpucon and see what Rodrigo says about it being in|
|Gradient:||550+ fpm average|
|Shuttle:||4 miles, 15 minutes|
|Featured in Video #33, Chile 2010 Part One|
The Lower Nevado sports one of my favorite rapids of our trip to Chile. The boof to slide was just too much fun and in too committed and scenic of a gorge to not fall in love with. The drawback to this run is the extreme brevity of the run. For those of us who do not want to run the Demshitz drop nor the Diablito just below, this run has only 4 drops and 1 rapid. Because of this, you will likely want to extend the run through the Lefincul Canyon section of the Rio Liucura just down river a kilometer.
If you don't run the two big boy drops, you can put in at the top of the slide into the 15 footer. There is a trail that leads down to a cliff that will require teamwork to lower boats to the river level eddy. From the eddy, you push out and are immediately sliding towards a 90 degree turn and accompanying cushion that you want to boof. If you fail miserably at the lip, you might find yourself in a comical corkscrew through the air and you might also find that there is in fact a rock in the landing. Luckily the rock will feel round and thus your ribs will be ok... or at least that was my experience. After that, you have one more must run drop that boofs and slides down perhaps 40 feet total. This will land you in a cool walled in pool with a 5 foot ledge leading to your freedom. After that, you have one junky slide that you want to run middle, followed by a cool s-turning rapid in a tight gorge followed by a kilometer or so of shallow shoals until the Rio Liucura comes in on the left and the fun of the Lefincul Canyon begins.
Also, this section of river gets run when the Upper section starts to become too low. Of the stuff we ran, I think we could have handled more water, but then again, I never saw it with more water, so who knows.
Thanks to LJ Groth for his contribution of photos.
- Demshitz (V+). We did not run this beast. If you are thinking about it, you are likely not reading my website because why would you need beta on the class IV-V runs I have listed here?
El Diablito (V). Just below the Demshitz drop is another consequential drop. A 15 foot ramping autoboof kicks you into a small boiling pool. The exit is just downstream and is only a boat width wide. If you are not straight, you will pin. Which is complicated by the difficult rescue and the sieve portage immediately below.
Sieve (?). I think you have to portage a small section. I think on river left. We put-in just below to start our day.
Slide to Falls (V-). Peel out of the eddy, slide towards the wall and fall 18 feet. Over achieve and end up in the cave on the right. At low flows you could paddle out. Under achieve and corkscrew off of it and find that there is a rock in the landing. Over boof, and find that it is actually much taller than it looks from above and get a good crick in your back. Have fun, one of the best put-ins I have had.
Boof to Slide (IV+ to V-). Really not that hard, but a 5 foot boof lands you on a slide which makes a 90 degree right turn before dropping you the final few feet vertically. So good. You can scout this drop from the left at the top.
Exit (III-). A small 4 foot ledge. Run anywhere.
End of Gorge (IV). The final falls is a short and junky drop that if you over achieve to the right will send you into a rock pile that doesn't feel great, believe me.
Mini Gorge (IV). A sweet mini-gorge rapid follows, just follow the water and punch a few holes. So good.
The river then is easy class I+, shallow rock dodging until you meet the Liucura and get to the Lefincul Canyon...
Put-in: Head out of Pucon on Camino Internacional, cross the Rio Turbio and the Rio Trancura. About 5.5 km past the Trancura, turn left at the fork onto S-907. Drive towards Huife, past signs for the Tres Saltos, Keep an eye out for signs to Lefincul and a dirt road dropping down to your left towards Lefincul. Take the dirt road, cross over the Rio Liucura (small here) and continue up a km or so to the first clearing (meadow) on the left of the road. Hike from here following the trail to the bottom of the Demsitz drop.
Take-out: Back out on S-907, head back to Pucon and in about 1 km take a road dropping to you right, it will cross the river in a hundred yards.
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