Chile 09, Rio Baker, Rio Futaleufu,and other Rio's

It was winter 2008, I had just gotten back from Uganda where I was with a group of friends for three months sessioning the White Nile. I was in Philadelphia and was getting ready for my trip to Chile. Will, one of the six friends of mine in Uganda, who was now in Salt Lake City, was planning on joining up with me somewhere in Chile. So we booked our tickets and made a date.
We met in the town of Chillan. From there we strategically took a bus to Pucon at two am. We thought it was genius, go to a bar till one, then slip our boats in the bus late at night when less people would be traveling….in actuality not as brilliant as it sounded, but it worked. So we were in Pucon, got lucky, met a group headed south the Rio Futaleufu festival. After a few days in a our slow van with eight people we made it. Not with out re-routing twice due to the Chiten Volcano that was exploding.
Some Futa Fest pics.

Our new group hung at the Futa for about two weeks and decided to head south for a Rio Baker and Rio Bravo expedition. In those two weeks we ate fresh salmon from the Futaleufu, joined many asado’s, and ran the upper canyon a number of times.

cooking fish dinner on bamboo over fire

After we had the Futa for a warm up we were off the Rio Baker. On the way we hit the Rio Ventiscara which flows from a glacier fed lake. And the Rio Cysniss.

Only about 8 hours away from the Rio Baker, our van died out side of the town of Caiaque. After three days of waiting we hired another van and did the rest of the journey to the baker. Due to time restrictions of some of the group members and the rental van being over budget, we only had one day on the baker before we had to go back, and we had to scrap the Rio Bravo. But that one day on the Baker was the biggest white water I had ever run. It was awesome, humbling, and I can’t wait to go back. I have never been in such chaotic white water. I was in a Riot Magnum 80 and it felt like a squirt boat.

the put in for the Baker next to the Rio Neff.

Rapid number 2. Unfortunately I don’t have all the pics yet because some of our group had to leave before I copied their pics. These pics contain rapid one and four. entering rapid number 3
Veiw into the finish of rapid number two looking from the rim of the canyon.
After the Baker we headed back north. Hit the Rio Monso outside of Bariloche Argentina. This is Will dropping in on the first drop.

Myself on the second and third drops. Got to love creeking in play boats.

After your done hucking there is fun little wave just a little above the put in.
Sipping on some Matte tea in the eddy to warm up.

. And after a full day on the river the drive home is absolutely beautiful

In the last days of Chile, we where out side of Pucon at the local play spot.

At this point fall was coming into Chile and it was time to go to another hemisphere to continue my endless summer. It started in Montana in 2008, fall came there and I fled to Uganda, summer was going on in Chile and I fled their. Now Im continuing home to Montana to check out my fourth summer this year. Thanks WRSI for helping support my dreams and keeping my head in one piece so I can continue it next season. Mmmhhh I’m thinking Thailand and one more season in Chile….time for some creeking. Chow, Todd Richey.


New River Academy Takes on the Southeast!

Whattup from West Virginia!
New River Academy is well into our fourth quarter, and the kayaking has been epic so far. Runs have included the Ocoee, Tallulah, Green, New River Gorge, Rock Island, and this thursday we leave for the Ottawa! Guess whats in? MINI BUS! 
I will write a detailed blog on one of the above rivers soon, but I have homework!

Hope you guys did something earthly for Earth Day!
-Tracy d'Arbeloff

Check out other updates at My school Blog.


spring update

The South is back in business after a long, brutal drought. The water table is healthy and 2009 is looking good. The Watauga is a great backyard class IV/V stretch near Johnson City. It runs consistently through the winter. Cooper Lambla took the picture below of me boofing the quintessential Watauga drop, Stateline Falls.

The Linville River drains the neighboring watershed. It is one of my all time favorites. I managed to bag several runs this season, including a high water day a few weeks ago. The photos above are from Linville, taken by Will Stubblefield.

Early winter was dry. I stayed in paddling shape by going to Big Rocks with a drysuit. Mike Patterson is the paddler, throwing down big loops on a cold day.

Jay Panther

Hello everyone,

I have finished my video compilation from this season and have posted it on YouTube.  I hope you all get a chance to check it out, the link is: 

I am now exactly three weeks removed from my shoulder injury and it is getting better.  The pain is starting to recede, my shoulder is moving better and it is starting to get stronger.  I have no doubt that my shoulder will return to 100% and be stronger than before.   

I have some more exciting news to report.  In March a film crew, a few managers, and some producers from LA came to Park City to film me and my friends in hopes of making us into a Reality TV show.  They threw and filmed a birthday party for me and my buddy Nick, taped us training and just doing what we do.  We all know it is an incredible long shot and have tried not to think about it too much but there is some positive feedback coming in.  Apparently the sizzle reel (five minute highlight reel from over 20 hours of footage) they put together has been well received.  There is still a long way to go as a network has to be interested enough to request a pilot and then it is up to the American public.  It is fun to think about what this could do for sport and the ski industry.  Could you imagine mogul skiing being on MTV every week?!?!  Crazy.   

Thank you all so much for your love.  The injuries were a little frustrating this season, but I learned how to Compete and be a Competitor.  It is more than skiing well when all is well; it is skiing well when no one else even thinks you should be skiing.  Now it is just a matter of staying healthy and skiing my run when everything is on the line!  It is soo hard to believe that I won't compete again until December, at least I have plenty of time to get ready!   
Vancouver 2010 

Jay Panther