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Argentina & Chile

We meet the rest of the team in Esquel, Argentina. It's late spring time, but doesn't feel like it when we wake in the morning. Snow line is just above town. We run a few errands and try to decide what to do. It's still raining. Group motivation is at a low. A few of us would like to run the Manso Gorge, but it's a logistically challenging river and we only have one car that wants to get on the water. Rok and I decide to go up and check out the put-in drop of Rio Manso, the Salto Alerces, even though it's probably too high.

High water, cold weather, lots of rain. It might just be a day for scenic photographs. The left channel of Salto Alerces.

I would love to shoot someone running it from this angle. Seems there is more than enough water.

Walking back to the car I decide this is probably my last chance to paddle on this trip. From here we'll be heading back to Buenos Aires, but selling our kayaks in Bariloche on the way. That'll happen tomorrow. Despite the poor weather, it's time to make this happen. I'm well aware of what can go right at high flows on Salto Alerces, I remember seeing Devin Knight resurface in the right eddy during Twitch V. Even though there are only two of us, we're confident that we can make an extraction up the cliff with our combined throw ropes. Coming off the lip my line is standard fare for high water Alerces, boof, vanish. I can't even tell when the transition from freefall happens, the water is aerated and I roll up in the right eddy. Not ideal, but at least we've planned for this. That's what I've been carrying this Tiblock around for years, finally a chance to use it. Climbing straight up a rope is near impossible without help of hardware like this.

Salto Alerces

I'm covered in mud as Rok helps me onto the viewing platform. In a way the last few minutes were indicative of our whole trip. We wash the mud off, pack our gear and start the journey home.

One critical Volkswagen ad shoot on the way out of the Manso.

1,500km later and we're back in Buenos Aires

The city, is not for me.

13,000km later the rental is returned in pristine condition.

Perhaps not the most efficient path of adventure.

The End

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