Rivers of Chile 2010 off to a great start

Alzar School | 30.12.09

After scouting and preparing for this expedition, the Alzar School instructor team was joined by the students on the 28th. Despite some exhausting travel schedules, the students were psyched to be in Chile and ready for adventure. The complete group came together in Curico, home of our two Chilena students, Valeska and Titi. Titi immediately provided the students with a mini dictionary of Chilean “modismos” (slang).

The first day, we were able to practice swimming in strong current at the Rio Claro bridge in Los Quenes. All strong swimmers, the group learned how being effective in swimming in whitewater makes you a better rescuer. This was a great way to get the plane stank off too.

The next day, we took advantage of the river fed swimming pool at our campsite to work on rolls with all students. Even though most students had not paddled since August, they were looking sharp. Our beginner students worked on wet exits and learned the basics of the hip snap.

Before leaving Los Quenes to make our journey south, a small group of students paddled the lower 5 km of the Rio Claro. They enjoyed its crystal clear water (duh, hence the name) and fun Class III rapids. They’re learning how whitewater in Chile is continuous and fast paced!

Today, we made a 5 hour push south, camping outside the Saltos de Laja, a giant waterfall. The students were excited to play taca taca, enjoy their first hot showers of the trip, and use the warmer swimming pool to work on rolling.

We’ll have them post very soon. They say hello to all family, friends, and supporters who are following this blog!