© 2010 Adam Johnson Bryan Runs the 50 footer on the Florine

Rio Florin Stouts…

After spending several weeks in Pucon, it was time to venture outside of the immediate creeking wonderland (what EG calls “Babylon”) and onto rivers farther south.

We knew that the water was holding well in Pucon; however, we had heard reports from Aniol Serrasoles that their group had run things like Nilahue and the Gol Gol a week or so before we got there. On our way, we stopped to check out the Nilahue nearby the town of Los Riscos (?). It was high. Real high.

Cacada Nilahue at High Water

Cascada Nilahue at High Water

Just for some perspective, here is a photo of when we ran it the previous year at lower water:

Nilahue from last year. Notice the lack of water coming in from river left.

Nilahue from last year. Notice the lack of water coming in from river left.

A cool panorama from last year can be seen here. Compare that to the photos from above. Much lower water!

Needless to say, we bailed on running Nilahue on sight. That said, Aniol and his crew ran it high. Check out the photos from his trip. That could possibly be the highest anyone has ever run that drop since it has been a steep slide. I would double check with Rodrigo and the Garcia’s on that one though…

So, we pushed onward to the Florine, super late in the day–around 4pm. The putin/takeout is at a hotsprings where you can camp. All you have to do is bring something to mow on after the river.

We got geared up, and began hiking from the takeout 1-2 miles up to the putin. Jared Seiler was the only one to have run the Florine before, and he was our tour guide (thanks for coming out bud). When we got up about halfway to the river, we saw it from a distance. Jared said something like, “Wow, that looks hiiiigh. Maybe like 2.5x the water I had last time.” When Demshitz says something is high, you know that sh*# is stout.

After lots of deliberation about factors not contributing to our situation (it was about 5pm at this point, putting on a river with 2.5x the normal flow, and not knowing exactly where to go nor the lines), we pushed ahead in true Demshitz style to the put-in.

After we put-on, there were a couple of class III-IV boulder gardens, then the river started to gorge up. We ran one right to left 10′ boof, then came upon this stout:

Florine Double Drop

Florine Double Drop, high water.

This drop looked gnarly! It looked as if you would plug in on river left, get beat on by the curtain on river right, flip, and careen straight down off the left side at the base into rocks. We were all atop of this drop thinking, “Those Spaniards ran this?? Must have been lower water… Had to have been lower water.” So, we decided to portage. Jared said normally you just go on the river right and portage; however, there was water flowing into exactly where the portage was, so we climbed out of the left into some Chilean gnar woods.

Portaging the 1st big rapid on the Florin

Portaging the 1st big rapid on the Florin

After some exploration and weed wacking we arrived back down at river level. We were above a cool 30′ slide…

Isaac Levinson about to run the slide

Isaac Levinson about to run the slide, notice the stout above.

Isaac runs the Florin Slide

Isaac runs the Florin Slide

Directly after the slide was the big hitter for the day, the 50 footer. I waited for Chris Baer who was shooting photos to grease the slide, then proceeded to get out to scout the 50′ drop.

Slide from the bottom, Jared about to probe the 50 footer.

Slide from the bottom, Jared about to probe the 50 footer.

As I was getting out to look at the 50′ Jared was already heading back to his boat to run the waterfall. I said something like, “Already?” and he smiled and passed by focused on what he was about to do.

Jared Seiler, Professional Whitewater Probe for Hire

Jared Seiler, Professional Whitewater Probe for Hire

Chris Baer on the 50'

Chris Baer on the 50'

Bryan getting footage with his HD helmet camera

Bryan getting footage with his HD helmet camera

Isaac about to drop in.

Isaac about to drop in.

Isaac and I decided to chuck our paddles so we didn’t break them. This is another classic Chilean waterfall for paddle hucking–large pool at the bottom with good friends to help you get your stuff back. Both Isaac and I had successful runs, with a hit at the bottom that was somewhere between soft to medium.

The 50 footer from the bottom

The 50 footer from the bottom

One thing I learned after running this waterfall, along with the other large pluggers in Chile, is that I don’t think I will be wearing my elbow pads any longer (sans any impact danger) for large drops. For some reason–counter to what one would think– they end up at the bottom of my arms. Almost lost one of them on the Stout 70′ on the Palguin. Figures just to stash them in the boat until afterward…

So, after running a total of three drops, we took out on river right (note that if you go in there) to avoid another reportedly gnarly portage. We climbed out of the gorge about 400 vert, and found ourselves in this dreamy field…

The picturesque field on the Florin canyon rim

The picturesque field on the Florin canyon rim

Note: If you run the Florin and take out here, it is best to hike back up to the top, cross the bridge, and hike back down the road you came in on. Unfortunately for us, we began hiking downstream, hiking, hiking, hiking…

The crew not sure where to go, but loving the scenery

The crew not sure where to go, but loving the scenery

Eventually, we hiked downstream enough to cross the river and get back to the road.

Chilling after about two hours of hiking.

Chilling after about two hours of hiking with kayaks.

Overall, the Florin is a fun time, but you might not want to do it more than once per year–especially if you don’t know where exactly you are going. It looks like Chris Baer + company went back in there for a second round after I left Chile. Check out his blog for some epic photos. That guy has a good eye.

That is it for the moment. Hopefully one day I will get caught up with this trip. As of right now I’m in Morgantown, WV and it is about 20 degrees with 2.5′ of snow on the ground. Fun times.

Until next time,

Turbio Self Portrait

-Adam Johnson

3 Comments

  1. Posted February 17, 2010 at 11:37 am | #

    very nice report !!!

  2. Posted March 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm | #

    Yo sick report man, like the new site too. coming up to wet Virginia, you going to be up for any kayaking?
    joo

  3. Posted March 17, 2010 at 1:35 am | #

    Hey Isaac,

    Yeah bud. I am always down to boat. I am trying to get out of class more this semester due to the record snowpack and, well, senioritis. Give me a buzz if you come into town. riotaj (at] hot mail dot com.

    Cheers boss,

    -Adam

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