When the winter rains hit Chile there are a ton of rivers to kayak that are dry in the summer months…One of these is the Huichahue
Ben May Rio Huichahue
Located in the 9th region of the Araucania, the river flows out of the Cordillera Melo just west of the Llaima Volcano. It is a relatively low elevation drainage and only runnable after extensive rainfall so most likely to have juice from June to September.
Huichahue, pronounced Wee-Chaw-Wee, is a Mapuche word meaning Pull of the river´s current
The river is a 1.5 hour drive from Pucon via good roads near the town of Cunco. To reach the takeout from Pucon follow the road to villarrica then turn north on the recently paved Ruta Inter Lagos for 12 KM to Pedregoso. After crossing the bridge continue 18 km north on gravel road and at T instersection go left on paved road for 8 KM to Los Laureles. Turn right and pass through town and on other side take first paved road to the right towards Cunco. 1.2 KM after reaching an intersection turn left at sign that says Faja 6000. Go 5.2 km to the swinging bridge Puente Huichahue
The river is continuous whitewater from start to finish with not a hint of flatwater,. There are no portages and only one spot where Ben May and myself had to get out of our boats to find a line on our June 1, 2012 first descent. At the put in we had an estimated 400 CFS and by the end of the run the river had doubled in flow to around 800 CFS mostly from the additional tributary Rio Calbuco. The river is remarkably free of wood. Basically class 3+ with perhaps one class 4 rapid.
This article was cross posted from http://riversofchile.com/ an excellent resource for more information regarding the rivers in Chile.
For full Pictures click on the gallery link.
Thanks to the extreme generosity of the friends and family of kayak chile and cascade raft and kayak we managed to raise enough money for a second trip to provide aid to the victims of the recent earth quake in chile.
After the success of our first trip to Tirua we took advise from the military and the red cross and decided to deliver this batch of aid to a smaller town closer to the epicenter which has been missed out by other aid groups as it is so small it is not on all the maps.
So with the funds raised over the last week we managed to buy enough food and life essentials for over 100 families of 6 to live for over 2 weeks, this consisted of one large bag of pasta, flour to make bread and other food products. They also had another bag containing life essentials such as soap, shampoo, bleach and other hygiene products to ensure everyone stayed clean and healthy. We were also able to give them a sag of clothes per family from donations here in Pucon.
Once we had bought all the food and collected all the clothes we were faced with the challenge of making the individual bags for each family, luckily that day David Hughes from the New River Academy had seen the photos from our previous trip and phoned to ask if there was anything there students could do to help.
So on friday 15 students spent the morning at the red cross in Pucon making up the ration bags for us to deliver the following day.
On arriving in Coliuma we found a much higher level of destruction than Tirua but a much smaller population so our aid managed to help every body in the town.
Our 4 wheel drive trucks made it possible to access all the camp high on the hills which had previously been missed by other aid trips as the camps were inaccessible by the large lorries or semis that had brought previous aid.
We are trying to collect for a final trip to Leabu next saturday so anybody thinking of making a donation please feel free to follow the link to the PayPal account.
Thanks again for all your support so far we have helped over 200 families and we have been able to see the true value of our work on the faces of the families we have personally given the aid to.
All money raised is spent on food hygiene products or fuel. No money is wasted on tax, administration costs or vehicle rental as we use our own vehicles and volunteers.
Owner Kayak Chile
Photos of the first Two event now in the photo gallery click on the links below or to your right and stay tuned as in the next few days I will have all the photos of the palguin 3 man boater cross and there is lots of carnage.
Community Raft Race
Adam Goodenough, expert english guide, is currently in a plane heading for Chile for his fourth season.
The work on the san pedro dam is under way and there is a court order prohibeting paddling the river.
However having spoken to the manager of the dam site he is happy for paddlers to paddle on the days they are not blasting, this information can be found at the endesa office in Pangipulli.
You will also need to register with the Pangipulli police before and after you paddle please do this on all trips and do not paddle while they are blasting and we should be able to have at least one more season on this great river.
The season is finally coming to a end here in Chile and the rain is turning to snow. But it was a great season with trips to Futa plenty of paddling and trips around Pucon plus a few trips to Santiagio. Here are a few random photos from the year.
There are also a few important pieces of information about Kayak Chile and next season.
Firstly, although last season some of you stayed in the Palguin Lodge, it was not yet completed. Well, finally we are nearly there, just the floor to go in over the winter. For pictures see below.
The Palguin kayak lodge is near completion so I thought I would post some pics of the outside still needing a few more coats of paint. But looking a lot better than before.
A few shots of the bedrooms and bunk roomPictures of the new bar living and eating area.