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October 14, 2008

By Nick Troutman


Well, I might as well start from the beginning. I flew into Mexico 12 days ago, on Oct. 1st. My good friends, Phil Quinn and Rafael Ortiz were already here waiting for me to arrive in the airport. From there we headed straight the to Road-side Taco stand for some late night snacking. Phil and I hung out in Mexico City for the next two days, while we were waiting for Joel and Ben to arrive. I even got to go to University with Rafa for one of his classes. It was a little hard for me to understand fully what the Professor was talking about, with the language barrier, though I think I got the just if it.

Once Joel Kowalski, and Ben Marr arrived we headed straight to the Rio Alsesseca for a nice little warm up on the ‘Road Side’ section. Here we met up with some of Rafa’s friends, including Iker another one of our team members. Once we finished kayaking, we packed up our 8 kayaks and all our gear, and realized that the car’s battery was dead. It then took us 2 hours to get someone to pull over and help boost our car. The only problem was we didn’t have any cables, and neither did the fellow how wanted to help us. This local we found ended up stripping some house lamp cables to rig up a system that would work. In the end it seemed really sketchy, though it worked and we were able to get the car started.

We used Rafa’s sweet ranch, as our home base while we have been here in Mexico. It is about 30 minutes from the Alsesseca, and even closer to the Rio Jalacingo. The Rio Jalacingo became a focus for our team, which is a tributary to the Alsesseca and still a first descent. We found several sweet drops on the Jalacingo, including several 20-40 footers, more slides than we could name, some continuous 5 footers, San Rafael Canyon (which is a 60 into a 40) and one of the coolest rapids I have ever seen, which we named ‘Bukaki.’ Bukaki is somewhat similar to Mexico’s famous rapid S-Turn, but ending with a 20 footer that falls off the left side, and an eddy on the right. Iker ended up with the 1st Descent on Bukaki, after we spend 4 hours cutting and towing a huge log out of the rapid.

We have also gone to check out a couple other 1st descents that Joel had mapped out. First was the San Martin, though we got skunked looking for that river. Next was the Rio Quichat, and on the way we found a 55 footer (San Pedro) on the side of the road. We all geared up, thinking it was a 30-40 footer, and hucked it. Everyone had pretty good lines, though the lip shot out a bit, making it harder to plug. Phil, Joel and Ben had pretty good plugs, while Iker boofed it completely, and Rafa and myself got a 45 degree angle. Rafa ended up clipping his chin with his paddle, and got a pretty good little gash. We had to end up getting him 4 stitches on his chin. From the hospital we went to this waterfall some locals had told us about, in some farmers field. It was a nice little 25 footer, that we sessioned for about 3 hours, getting cool underwater housing shots, and practicing tucks, and boofs etc. The Next day we went back looking for the Rio Quichat. It dropped a ton, something like 800 feet a mile. Like always we had to scout the entire gorge before getting in, the only problem was that almost all of the drops had caves or sieves, and the ones that didn’t led into another drop which were un-runnable. Though at the end of the day after we realized that we couldn’t get into the gorge we decided to run the last slide of the run.

We then went back to Rafa’s Ranch in hopes to finish the Jalacingo into the Alsesseca. Now we are off to do some more big drops that Rafa has in mind. Stay tuned for later.

Nick Troutman

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