Rio Trancura (Upper)
|Stretch:||Salto de Mariman|
|Put-in:||Up the dirt road, next to the river|
|Take-out:||Bridge on Road 905 (Camino Internacional)|
|Shuttle:||5 miles, 10 minutes|
|Featured in Video #33, Chile 2010 Part One|
The Upper Trancura was a nice warm-up for us on our first day of boating in Chile. That day, we were with a class III boater, in new kayaks, and using new paddles so the team put-in above Salto de Mariman. Later in the trip, with sore backs from our " Very Park-n-Huck Christmas" we opted to come back to complete the Upper Trancura and rest our bodies. In all, the Upper Trancura only has 5 or 6 standout rapids including the commonly portaged Salto de Mariman. However, spectacular views of the Volcan Villarica make this run one of the more scenic sections of river that you can boat while in Pucon. And if you are not up to kayaking the class IV rapids, worry not as several rafting outfitters in Pucon offer daily raft trips.
What you can expect when you go to the Trancura is a few nice ledges which are easily scoutable, a few nice long bouldary rapids, and a portage assisted via a nice trail. The last rapid of the run is by far the biggest (other than the portage) and should be scouted from the left shore prior to running. There are several large holes awaiting all the lines, so knowing where to go is highly desired. All in all, the day on the water is very pleasant. To extend the day, you can also continue down the class III Lower Trancura to end up with 3 (or so) hours on the water.
Thanks to Rodrigo of KayakPucon for his contribution of photos.
- Ledge (III+). After 0.7 miles you get to the first rapid of consequence. It is impossible to miss as it is a river-wide ledge. We ran straight down the center on the left side of the river, there was a tongue leading to the rather large hole. If you get your nose up you just blast straight through.
Long One (IV). A long rapid or a short ledge. We went down the right channel down a long rapid. We entered left and stayed left making sure to avoid the hole near the bottom that would typewriter you into the wall on river right. The left channel had a sweet boof as far left as you could go. Though there were plenty of crap lines over there too...
- Some pleasant class II-III rapids and occasional views of the volcano keep you occupied. You can also put-in in this location to reduce the number of hard rapids.
- El Feo (IV). Another ledge, this one should be scouted from either river left or river right. Several lines exist, we went far left or center right.
Salto de Mariman (V+). A stout rapid with rocks in all the wrong places and huge holes awaiting to smack you around. As you approach the rapid, look to the eddy on the left for the trail up the scree field 15 feet to the easy walking trail. Continue walking until you see the river again, lower your boats and scout the next drop. Head to the river and run it.
La Ultima Sonrresa (The Last Laugh) (IV+). A big rapid, this one should be scouted before running your first time. Several lines exist, though all of them are through or are skirting very large holes. We went left, you can also boof the center, or go on the right. Just get back left at the very bottom to avoid a big hole.
The river lightens up for the next 2 miles to the bridge downstream.
Take-out: Head out of Pucon on Camino Internacional. Continue past the Turbio, until you drive over the bridge. It is about 8.8 km.
Put-in: A couple hundred yards further up Camino Internacional there was a dirt road on the right. Take it and drive up the river. Drive about 6 km until you drive past night houses, drive over a small bridge over a small trickle and see a less nice house on the left. We parked here and walked down the trail to the huge beach below to put-in.
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