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By John McConville

Continuing on with my Mexico adventures, I find myself at Adventurec in Tlapacoyan. When we first arrived here about a week ago we had heard of a section of the Rio Alsecesa called the BIG BANANA. The rumor was that a crew the week before found a way in without having to repel the 120 foot waterfall. After talking with a few locals, and a bit of luck, Lance Reif, Chris Baer, Jake Greenbaum, Davis Grove, and myself found a trail to the base of the 120 foot Big Banana waterfall.

Day 1,
After a great breakfast and a late start we were off to the river. The hike in took about 2 hrs, up and down ridge lines and even down a creek bed that would eventually take us to the base of the waterfall of the Big Banana. (since then we’ve found a much shorter and well defined path to the river, aprox 1 hr less hiking, great parking at a church on river left) The run starts off with a few bolder garden style rapids, one of which claimed two swimmers due to a log just under the surface. I think it was like the 5th rapid in, last slot on the right wall, big walled in pool just after.

Heading down from there are a few more bolder gardens until the first big horizon line, which is a 20 foot waterfall. Super fun and good to go, scout right. Directly after is a mandatory hallway, slide, drop thing with a big hole at the bottom. Looks scary but good to go right down the middle. I broke my paddle first time down, and stuck the line a few days later on the return trip. After pulling out the breakdown, it was time to get back to business and push on.

Another beautiful walled in gorge, and then a 35/40 foot waterfall. Easy scout on the right along with a great trail to portage down to a 15 foot seal launch. Due to time constancies, everyone walked and did the seal launch. Directly down stream from there are 3 very unique drops, good scout on the river left. 1st one feels weird but is really fun, 2nd could defiantly beat you down, and 3rd one boof down the middle.

Working down from there are a few more smaller fun rapids until arriving at the Meat Locker. SCOUT RIGHT AND DON’T RUN UNTIL YOU’VE FOUND A WAY OUT OF THE "LOCKER"!!! The DEATH HOLE is the next ledge! By the time we got to this point it was dark, and after a group decision we decided to leave our gear and hike out. Being that i was the only one with a headlamp, i lead the group up and out through the banana fields on river right. After about a 2 mile hike we found a farmer and got a ride back to town.

Day 2,
After a much needed night of rest and "early" breakfast we we’re back off to the river. Arriving back at the meat locker we quickly set safety, and made sure there was no way someone could float over the DEATH LEDGE. Extremely good lines were had by all, super fun way to start off a new day. 🙂
Directly after that is a section of the river called Pezma. About 5 main drops, one of which we officially started calling 80 / 20 after the way EJ described it in No Big Names. 80% boof 20% plug. Really fun section and a short paddle to the take out at Tomata falls

Round 2, Return to the Big Banana,
Heading back a few days later our run down went really well. Jake and I ran the 35/40 footer with great results and we even made the take out by 4pm. The Big Banana is defiantly AS REAL AS IT GETS. Beautiful steep walled in canyons that barley let any light in, super clear water, and a handful of amazing drops. No other place in the world like it, and i’m thankful to be one of the few that have been ably to experience it.

Live from Mexico,
John McConville

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