|Beyond the Pacific Northwest|
The water and the woods in the Pacific Northwest is some of the best in the world. With so much good stuff to run and see so close to home, it's sometimes hard to imagine any good reason to go elsewhere. Sometimes though, an opportunity presents itself, and you get on an airplane with your "waveski" and burn some jet fuel on your way to a distant continent.
Last winter, I had the chance to hop on an Ecuador trip with a great group of paddlers. We planned on heading down to Quito, meeting up with our friend Abe (from Boof Sessions), and getting as much darn paddling in as we could. Sure enough, we paddled every day, often on multiple rivers, got on some of the best rivers I've ever seen, and boofed and boofed and boofed.
That's one of the things about boating in Ecuador, the character of the runs is so unique, and so different than anything I've seen around our home turf (except maybe my backyard run, the Lostine.) Everything is super continuous, super bouldery, and you really do just boof over and over again. Most rivers are like an easier version of Getting Busy, but can go on for many, many miles. So much fun!
Here are a few shots highlights from our trip, big thanks to Abe for taking the pictures. Unfortunately, my camera blew up on me on the trip, so I ended up with nothing...
Rio Pusuno: We didn't put on this one, had to leave if for the next time (in a couple months!). We hiked down, the water level was good, then it jumped 3 feet in less than 30 minutes, and almost trapped us down in the canyon. The most intimidating move of the whole trip was the upstream ferry trying to get out of here!
|Ominous Water, Pusuno|
|The mandatory 30 footer, Pusuno|
|Jondachi, First Rapid|
|The tricky one, Jondachi|
|Jungle Beauty, Lower Misahualli|
|Below the Portage, Lower Mis|
|More Boofs, Topo|
|Slot drop, Topo (the main line on this one is super stout)|
|Ecuador Hitchhiking, Topo|
Long story short, Ecuador is an amazing place to paddle. We had such a good time, and having Abe as our guide made the trip a million times better. There's no way we would have be able to paddle all the runs we did in the time we had if it hadn't been for his intimate knowledge of the area, local contacts, general stoke! The other thing that was amazing about hanging with Abe; we got to experience the real Ecuador, we hung out at local restaurants, shopped at the regular markets, and really got to experience the culture in a way that you'd probably miss if you went with one of the bigger tour groups. So big thanks to Abe for showing us Ecuador Paddling!
Now get over to Ecuador and get boofing!
|Chilling in Baeza|