Down Hill Kayaking: Mexico 2013 Part II: Team Previa

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Toyota Previa II

Monday, March 10, 2014

2013 Part II: Team

Below: Matt Beauchamp Puerta del Salto in the second of the Rio Verde, photos by Adam

Just after dark on the day we ran the Rio Viajas (see Mexico Part I HERE ), we were down the narrow driveway the Aldea Huesteca campground we met a van going the opposite way. were no boats on the roof, so at I wondered if it might be the campground leaving for the night, but then the of kayak stackers caught my Windows rolled down on vehicles and someone inside the van out from the darkness, “Is Adam in there with you guys?” The was Brett Barton. Our mutual Matt Taylor had told of us to be on the lookout for each other we would be in the same regions of around the same time. and I had briefly corresponded online, but made any firm plans to up due to both of us wanting to stay and being hesitant to commit to a timeline. However, here we on the evening of our second night in already running into other and staying at the same The frequentness of such encounters friends and acquaintances from the community while far from continues to astonish me… despite it too many times to count the last decade.

Below: Previa deep in the cane in to the Rio Frio, photo by Evan

Below: Unloading at the put-in for the Rio photo by Evan Alfano

Brett and Joni Randall had Joni’s 1997 Toyota from WashingtonState to Colorado, they picked up Jake and kept driving all the way to San Luis Mexico. Team Previa (as we them, soon thereafter) had run the El section of the Rio Valles on the day we had paddled the Micos section. On the day we met them on our way from dinner after the Rio Minas Viejas, they had paddled the Cascadas Micos and headed into town to get a few Later that night, they returned to the campground, it was that all of us would head to the Rio together the following morning. Previa had run the Cascadas Micos another pair of paddlers who had at Aldea Huesteca while we out paddling the Rio Minas Viejas. also asked to join us for the Rio and we agreed, bringing our combined for the following day up to nine.

Below: ledges on the Rio Frio, photos by Barton

The Rio Frio is one of the three tributaries that combine to the Rio Gallinas about an hour’s west of our campsite at the Cascadas The shuttle for the Rio Frio is only a few but the road is quite rough so two vehicles saved us from would have been a miserable bike shuttle, had we there on our own. Our group of was riding in my truck while the five piled into Previa. The closer you get to the put-in for the Rio the worse the road conditions The last quarter-mile is especially and a few sections required everyone in the Previa to get out and walk to prevent it bottoming out in the deep muddy Eventually, we arrived at the put-in, boats, and Jake and I retraced our through the mud two more times to set

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the of the “new” rapids on the Rio Frio, by Evan Alfano

Below: Alfano on the same, photo by Barton

Leaving the put-in, the Rio starts off slow with the occasional small travertine and a large down tree to Locals picking oranges on the left bank waved to us and proceeded to toss oranges from the tree, into our hands. As we ran a few more ledges in the to four-foot range, I explained to the what I remembered about the of the slightly larger drops on the I was the only one who had paddled the Rio Frio so I was doing my best to remember I could from my previous However, without stopping to our whole group paddled what I had described to them as an rapid-to-slide combo. What we was something completely different, but nothing dangerous. High had blown out several travertine and dramatically changed the set of drops. For I can say that high water changed a river for the better! The drop was a really fun, rapid that accelerated into a nice water-boof off an ledge. It was so much fun that of us walked back up to run it three or times!

Below: Shannon on the biggest of the drops on the Frio, by Brett Barton

Below: Adam Goshorn on the photo by Matt Beauchamp

The that took place at the bigger rapid were an of what we would encounter the day. Many small dams had been partially or broken. In one spot, a three-foot dam had a vertical crack in it that most of the volume of the river, but was too narrow for a kayak to pass. At the of what has always been the rapid on the Rio Frio, we found dramatic changes. What had been a six-foot ledge another four-foot ledge was now a ledge with a sticky hole. The high water had the second ledge to collapse… with much of the hillside on the A few people tangled with the but we completed the rest of run without and over dinner that in Cd. Valles we made plans to the second canyon of the Rio Verde the day.

Below: Getting the clouds on the drive over the to the Rio Verde, photo by Evan

Below: View of the Rio Verde the shuttle road, photo by Alfano

We woke up early, ate a breakfast at camp, and were on the by 7:00 AM. The drive over the to the Rio Verde usually takes three and a half hours, but a new road sped up our pace shaving almost an hour off the We unloaded boats and left of the crew on the side of the road the hike down to the put-in Shannon would be shuttling my for the day, but since she had never there before, I wanted to her where the take-out was located. So, followed us in the Previa to park it at the as well. An hour and a half of roads later, Jake, and I arrived back with the of the crew, geared up, and began the to the river.

Below: Adam Goshorn on the Rio Photo by Brett Barton

Brett Barton on the same as viewed from below, by Adam Goshorn

The second of the Rio Verde (a.k.a. Middle is one of the best runs in the area it has good water. After found great water on the Cascadas Micos and Rio Frio, I was about our chances of having water levels for the Rio Verde as However, the glimpses of the river I had from the shuttle road low, but then again I was far and looking deep into a valley, so I didn’t mention it to as we geared up and hiked in. Not to mention having driven almost hours to get to the river and another and a half to run shuttle, I was planning to run the regardless of level and I’m sure of the others felt the same Upon reaching the sandy at the put-in, it was clear the water was but thankfully not unrunnablly low. are still several well-channelized, rapids and drops on the Middle even at low flow. The down is that there are also long sections of slow water, a portage, and quite a few cobble-bar rapids in the wider of the river. As we made our way downstream I to push the pace of the group as as I could. I knew the low water slow us down and I was also the group spending a fair of time at the biggest drop on the a waterfall in the 35-40-foot range, as Puerta del Salto.

Toyota Previa II

Below: Matt Beauchamp on the Rio photo by Adam Goshorn

Warm springs trickling the Rio Verde, Photo by Bret

We made pretty good throughout the day and indeed we ended up almost an hour at Puerta del Everyone scouted for a while and one by one each person made decision to fire it up. I took and video of everyone else and their lines off the drop and the results. The low water was making the especially tricky and almost was checking the left wall at the lip and to salvage their line for the of the way down. Eventually, I was the only one at the top and opted for the throw-and-go off the cliff on right. Once we were downstream again, pretty everyone’s thoughts turned to downstream progress as quickly as not wanting to be out on the highway late at We hammered out the rest of the rapids and the water at the end, reuniting Shannon and our vehicles around PM. After winding our way back to the at the put-in and eventually the highway, the new road once again us over the mountains in record and we were back in Cd. Valles dinner by 8:30 PM. Hoping for water levels and missing the logistics provided by Aventurec on the drive home from that night our group that we would depart for early the next morning.

Below: Matt Beauchamp Puerta del Salto in the second of the Rio Verde, photos by Adam

Below: Evan Alfano on the photo by Adam Goshron

tuned for Part III, we encounter high water, a few downs, and an all around good in Tlapacoyan.

Until Next

Adam Goshorn Below:

on shuttle, photo by Evan

Below: Jake bouncing off the at the lip of Puerta del Salto, photo by by Adam Goshorn

Below: Beauchamp between basalt on the Rio Verde, photo by Brett

Below: Joni cork-screwing off of del Salto, photo by Adam

Toyota Previa II
Toyota Previa II
Toyota Previa II
Toyota Previa II

Toyota Previa II

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