Peru, the Rio Marañon. Day 10, Llamara Rapid


Early on Day 10 we ran Llamara Rapid, a beautiful Class V- rapid in a granite gorge, reminding me of rapids in the Sierra Nevada of California. It consisted of an upper Class IV section, a Class V drop and a Class IV+ section. All together, it was a long rapid. We arrived a little after 8 AM and began our scout. Kathy and I pushed off close to 9 AM, to run the first Class IV section, down to a must-catch eddy just short of the Class V drop.

 Llamara, top section

Llamara, top section. Pedro and others are way down at the eddy.

 Llamara, top section

Llamara, top section, with lots of rocks and holes

 Llamara, top section

Llamara, top section, approaching the eddy. Barba stands by.

The eddy

We arrive at the eddy, with Britt to the left and Pedro to the right. There is a farm just above us.

The drop

Immediately below the scout eddy, the river squeezes through this Class V drop

Kayaker runs the drop to the side of the main drop (Pedro Peña photo)

Kayaker runs a kayak-only drop to the near side of the main drop (Pedro Peña photo)

Pedro takes CJ's boat over the drop ...

Pedro dives CJ’s boat over the lip of the drop …

getting turned 90° to the left

which then executes a 90° counter-clockwise pirouette

Britt runs the drop

Britt runs the drop

Starting down the lower Class IV section, which we didn't scout much - or at all. Pedro said:

Starting down the lower Class IV+ section, which we didn’t scout. Pedro said: “Stay left”.

Not far below the above photo, we dropped into a hole, got spun around and started to surf. It was a violent surf, and a loose oar handle smacked Kathy in the ribs, before it let us go. We then eddied-out close to where the cataraft is seen in the photo. Kathy was hurting, and I took the oars.

Britt starting down the remaining portion

Britt pulls out from the eddy we caught just after our surf. Barba is seen directly upstream of a large boulder, with Pedro to river left of same. We, also, were supposed to get left of that boulder.

Britt is past the boulder, and CJ subsequently goes right of it

Britt is past the boulder, and CJ subsequently goes right of it

Then it was our turn. I tried to get left of the boulder, as instructed, but wasn’t making it. I, therefore, straightened out and did a bow pivot off the boulder, with my stern swinging to the right. Before I could get my stern all the way around, we dropped into a hole and started getting surfed! It was another violent one, and we high-sided for all we were worth. Kathy exclaimed: “Oh no, not again!”, to which I replied that it would let us go as soon as we filled with water, which is what happened. Then we got slung towards a cliff on river right, almost squashing Nate in his kayak. You know what I should have done, don’t you? I should have stayed to the right of the boulder, like CJ, just making sure to keep the boat straight as I ran whatever holes I encountered.

Pinto Rapid

Pinto Rapid (Class IV), with a large pillow boiling off the  rock straight ahead (Kathy Miller photo)

Catching the pillow off the rock

We run into the left side of the pillow (Kathy Miller photo)

Lots of Class III action

Lots of Class III action

We let this waterfall beat on our heads

We let this waterfall beat on our heads

Chinchango Rapid (III+)

Chinchango Rapid (Class III+), at K.179

We continued to our Camp #10, on the right, at K.182

A roomy camp beside a clear stream

A roomy camp beside a clear stream, and a big fire. From left to right: me, Kathy, Nate, Pedro, Zacarias, Barba and CJ (Britt Runyon photo).

Camp #10, upstream view (Britt Runyon photo)

Camp #10, upstream view (Britt Runyon photo)

Tomorrow would end the Upper Gorge section, with our arrival at the town of Chagual. There we would receive two friends of Nate – Kym and Artie – who would fly in from Trujillo. Here is the link to the following post:

https://believesteve.org/2015/12/22/peru-the-rio-maranon-day-11-10915/

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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