Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 5, 10/3/15


Shapalmonte Rapid (Class IV), at K. 82, was the big event of Day #5, which also included an encounter with a large dam survey operation and our arrival at the road that descends the Rio Huaycrachuco from the east, and then follows the river downstream to the Puente (bridge) Jitaraxan. We camped on river left, opposite the road.

Creek_SCN2773

A clear creek enters on river-right

16.3 Shapalmonte_SCN2776

At Shapalmonte Rapid – what appears to be gypsum

16.2 Shapalmonte_SCN2775

same as above

16.4 Shapalmonte_SCN2777

same as above

Shapalmonte Rapid has an upper and lower section. The upper starts with some large holes, and is followed by a longish stretch of scattered boulders that requires a lot of maneuvering. The lower section starts with a sharp drop that is studded with large boulders, followed by a turn to the right as the river runs into a granite cliff. Then, a midstream boulder is  followed by two large holes.

20. Shapalmonte_SCN2789

Scouting the upper section of Shapalmonte Rapid. Left to right: Luis, Marion, CJ, Pedro, Kathy and Britt. The horizon line seen past Britt’s head is the location of a sharp drop that ends this section of the rapid.

Zacarias , on the scout, with an orchid in his helmet. Later, he surprised us all by trying to swim across the top part of the rapid. Pedro came to his rescue, with a throw rope, to get him across the last channel.

Zacarias (our guide trainee and Awajun tribesman), on the scout, with a bromeliad (?) in his helmet. Later, he surprised us all by trying to swim across the top of the rapid. When he got pulled too far downstream, he climbed onto a boulder, after which Pedro kayaked to near him and used a throw rope to get him across the last channel to shore.

Scouting Shapalmonte from river left, at a point about half-way down the upper section

Scouting Shapalmonte from river left, at a point about half-way down the upper section

The drop at the beginning of the lower section

The drop at the beginning of the lower section, seen from river-right

Pedro shows us the way

Pedro shows us the way

The approach to Shapalmonte Rapid

Floating towards the head of  Shapalmonte Rapid

CJ, in Section 1, passes Nate

CJ, in the upper section, passes Nate

CJ, at the first drop of Section 2

CJ, at the drop into the lower section …

CJ takes a good bounce as she turns the corner

followed by a good bounce as she turns the corner

Britt at the first drop of Section 2

Britt at the drop into the lower section

Luis and Marion back paddle, to help get the raft to the right of a big boulder they are approaching

Luis and Marion back paddle hard, as they make the turn

The last big rock and drop

The last big boulder and drop, which is followed by a pair of large holes

Britt drops into the big hole below the turn ...(Karl Swanson photo)

Britt drops into the first big hole after passing the midstream boulder … (Karl Swanson photo)

Britt and crew have made the move (Kathy Miller photo)

bounces up and out of that hole … (Kathy Miller photo)

and rides up on the last big boulder

and is now headed into the second hole (Karl Swanson photo)

CJ, in the first hole ... (Kathy Miller photo)

CJ, in the first hole … (Kathy Miller photo)

Likewise for CJ (Kathy Miller photo)

and the second hole (Kathy Miller photo)

Sculpted boulder

Sculpted boulder

34. Waterfall_SCN2817

A waterfall on river-right

Downstream view

Downstream view (enlarge to see Karl in his packraft)

Dam survey site

Dam survey site, with a worker on the left, Zacarias on the right and their motorized craft

38. CampAbovePuenteJitaraxan

Camp #5, on river-left, across from the road

Puente Jitaxaran (Jitaraxan bridge) was located just a few minutes float downstream from Camp #5. There, Luis and Marion would, the next morning, leave the trip, and where we would receive a replacement cataraft. But, how was this to be achieved? Earlier, Pedro had called  the Sierrarios equipment depot in the coastal city of Trujillo (by cell or satellite phone), and asked that they ship a replacement boat to the town nearest to the river. Then, after an early dinner at Camp #5, he kayaked across the river and hitch-hiked to the designated town, where he spent the night.  In the morning, he hired a taxi to both get himself and the boat to the river and return Luis, Marion and the destroyed boat to civilization. Our arrival at the bridge would end the Upper Grand Canyon of the Rio Marañon, and begin the Inner Gorge section. Here is the link to the following post:

https://believesteve.org/2015/12/14/peru-the-rio-maranon-day-6-10415/

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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One Response to Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 5, 10/3/15

  1. 1world2feet says:

    Great photos! Wow!

    Like

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