Rio Palguin (Lower)
|Stretch:||Below Medio Palguin|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to V|
|Put-in:||Bridge below Medio Palguin|
|Take-out:||Bridge downstream (real helpful huh?)|
|Season:||Year round apparently|
|Featured in Video #34, Chile 2010 Volume Two|
The Lower Palguin is probably the least run section of the Palguin (or at least so it seems to me). The character is not one of waterfalls, but rather of rapids with only two small drops that could be characterized as waterfalls. The runs starts off with class II boogie leading to the first ledge at which you want to be far left to avoid a cave. More boogie leads down to the most serious rapid (portage not included) on the run. A tricky lead in feeds a hole which flushes into a narrow corridor with undercuts on either side. I found out the hard way that it isnít fun to flip at the top and get stuffed in one of these undercuts. At the end of the corridor there is a small ledge hole with a good size hole awaiting. Slack water then bends around the corner and a 8 foot falls with large hole awaits you. Downstream two small rapids lead to a rapid that is no longer run out of respect for Brennan Guth who was swept into the cave downstream in 2001 and passed away (Account of the Accident). Below that one more slide to kicker awaits before the final class II boogie leads to the take-out bridge.
I will always remember the sadness I felt when on our last day, at the conclusion of our Upper and Lower Palguin runs, as I landed in the eddy below the last drop I knew that the trip had come to a close. I hope one day I will return to Chile to visit and kayak again. But with all the twists and turns of life, I knew that most likely I would not be return.
Thanks to Rodrigo of KayakPucon for his contribution of photos.
- Donít Go Right (IV). From put-in, the first rapid is just downstream. It is easy as long as you are as far left as left can be. The right half of the river drops into a cave hole thing that I wouldnít want to mess with. You then pass under the bridge.
Class III-IV. A few class III-IV rapids keep you occupied for the first little ways.
Double Undercuts (IV+ to V-). A long class II lead-in leads you to the crux of this run. When you see a bed rock growth on the right short and a small channel going off to your right, it is time to hop out to scout on the right. The entry pushes you left into a curler off the wall and into a hole, from which it flushes downstream into an undercut on the left and right. Once clear of the undercuts, boof the final hole blocking the mini gorge. It is a good place for safety because a short falls with powerful hole await just 50 feet below the exit hole.
Exit Boof (IV+). I rate this a IV+ because of the ferocity of the hole at the base and the small undercut on the left. Boof the center with small right angle.
Hole on the Left (IV-). Two rapids below the Exit boof, is this somewhat small but dangerous rapid. Just run down the left and punch the hole. But the key is then to eddy out on the right because the lip just downstream is a huge rapid that is now always portaged.
Donít Know the Name (V+). It used to get run fairly often, but after Brennanís passing, kayakers have paid their respect and heeded the warning by portaging via trail on the right. Make sure that you eventually break off that trail and follow the smaller trail back to the left and back down to the river.
Final Falls (IV). The last drop we ran in Chile, this is one of the easiest and yet most fun drops in the area. Just slide down to the autoboof and sail through the air. So good.
Take-out: Take-out: Honestly, I donít recall all the turns and for the life of my I canít even decipher exactly what is going on on the map. I think I found the location on the map (approximately at least). Anyways, on the dirt road (assuming you can find it using a different guide source, I am sure kayakpucon will show you in the right direction) take the first left onto another dirt road. This leads quickly to a bridge which is your take-out.
Put-in: Continue driving up the dirt road. Just before the road climbs up and away from the river there is a spot at which you are 100 feet of the river. We put-in here. There is a small bridge just downriver.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...