Select Page

By Rafael Ortiz

One year ago I scouted a waterfall, along with Stookesberry. It was humongous, without doubt the craziest thing I had ever considering running. A stout lead-in: through a tight slot into a boiling maze, right into the five-foot wide lip of the 80-foot falls. Since that day I had it stuck in my mind.

On the 2nd of November of 2007 I gathered up my courage and went for it.

I rappelled down to the lip, with my Rocker attached to my harness. After one last quick scout of my line, I got in my boat, and seal-launched into the eddie. I splashed some water in my face, as I usually do at moments of such intensity, in order to cool down my nerves. Then I left the eddie and started paddling.

I survived completely unhurt. The lead-in I greased through, as I blurrily remember. Then at the drop I started a bit right, so I hit a massive boiling reactionary that almost flipped me on the way down. I guess that using such a brace on the way down had me spinning in a full 180º rotation. At the middle of the freefall I realized my landing would be flat so, in the midst of the thousands of droplets that where falling just next to me, I threw my torso forward to save my back.

Boom!! Flipped, rolled up, made it!! No imploded skirt, no missing paddle, no major pains rather than a little head ache from the impact.

I know I didn’t stick my line ideally, but it was a mission accomplished for me. There’s still something bugging my mind about cleaning it, but it will be sometime later.

The picture is by Marcos Ferro, amazing Argentinian photographer. The footage will be shown in Young Gun Productions upcoming film: The Source. Check it out.

Rafa Ortiz


Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image