Claro +PLUS Rio Nuble (III+ to IV+)
November 21 - 27, 2020
CLARO VIDEO Custom Group. Ask about a custom trip for your group. Claro +PLUS custom group video of the Patagonia Study Abroad program with Pucon Kayak Retreat.
CLARO +PLUS Nuble DESCRIPTION
Claro +PLUS is for kayakers keen to explore Chile’s most famous waterfall anomaly. Known in Chile by its national park namesake Siete Tazas (Seven Teacups) after the photogenic and relatively easy section of seven clean cascades aka Seven Teacups section. The Rio Claro canyon drops kayakers into a 57 million year old basalt chasm that is polished, milled and carved perfectly banking “+PLUS” offers an added Maipo Valley of river sections for the start of this trip. Guests on this trip will explore the Claro by spending several days based inside Seven Teacups National Park paddling sections like the infamous Garganta del Diablo (or “Throat of the Devil”), notorious for the 180-degree two-tiered waterfall of the same name that drops you into one of the lower canyons.
Rio Claro Sections – from top to bottom
Vienty-dos aka Twenty-two Saltos Section, IV. Underrated and overshadowed by the Throat of Devil Canyon the Twenty-two Saltos section is often considered the highest and best action section of the Claro. Kayakers will hike one hour up river from camp into the desert sun. After a canyon rim scout we’ll seal launch lower ourselves into the basalt chasm for the epic waterfall experience of a lifetime. Drops range from 3 feet and swirly curves around banking walls to the biggest 30 foot drop. The second largest drop at 25 feet spouting off a perfect lip into a giant pool of celebrations. Some drops require strokes, tucks, body protection, and moves. While others offer the advancing and progressing kayakers opportunity to explore. For example, Ski Ramp’s unique banking allows kayakers to charge the highest corner and stomp their bows down.
Entres aka the Between Saltos, III to V. Our camp is based next to the Between Falls and we usually keep our beers cold there. there are a dozen or so excellent drops here ranging in skills and heights from 3 feet to 15 feet. There are two mandatory class V hikes.
Cinco aka Five Tazas, III. Like a kayaker fairy tale book lie five perfectly photogenic easy drop-pool cascades offering a playground lap just below our camp.
Garganta del Diablo aka Throat of the Devil, III to IV+. Just prior to entering the Devil canyon kayakers have a last chance to hike out on river left steep wall. We most often paddle the Entres and Cinco Tazas sections from camp into Throat of the Devil Canyon. You’ll spend some time scouting at the lip and of course beforehand from the more dangerous above cliffs. This is the last section we run and often run it multiple times. Kayakers typically self-assess and know by this time if they are ready for the whitewater celebration of a lifetime. At proper flows rescues and manageability at bottom are easy. What can we say about whitewater’s most iconic waterfall? Keep your bow down. We’ll have a few things to cover. Notable are the 50 and 70 foot crack drops, handful of 6 to 8 foot boofs, and vistas of canyon entering waterfalls.
Seven Teacups aka Siete Tazas, III to IV. The Seven Teacups serves as our warmup and skills assessment section. This section with its trails and overlooks is the easiest to stage group photo shoots and multiple lapping. Run it. Repeat.
Other Canyons. Just last year two new sections opened up. Aniol Serrasolses notched a first descent of Leona just below the Teacups canyon filmed by PKR’s very own Tino Specht. Same time frame Tino got in with a crew to explore canyons above the 22 Saltos section adding another 20 or so drops. There is also talk of exploring easier sections below the canyons. Why don’t we explore those? Truth is that the canyons we paddle are so remarkably good and easy to access that we have not taken the harder trekking effort for the more dangerous or harder to access canyons.
+PLUS Rio Nuble.
Photo. We’ll get you to the good boofs. Crossing a tributary en route to the Upper Upper Nuble.
Circa 2001 PKRAMA owner David Hughes sat down with NOC’s Jon Clarke. Jon had began teaching the San Fabian / Nuble Valley community about the treasures of the Rio Nuble. Jon along with the mayor and a group he was teaching to raft guide and kayak began the Nuble Festival. Nuble Fest was an effort to protect the slated to be dammed over 50 miles of free flowing whitewater Nuble. Today, families have already been displaced. While, the Nuble Festival continues to fight against giant hydro projects the dams are under construction. PKRAMA has taken a stance to goto the Nuble annually while it continues to flow freely.
It’s like Big Sky Montana with giant open skies, snow covered peaks, and turquoise water. It’s a granite bedrock playful in nature with excellent triangular rocks for boofing. The upper valley gets more and more remote and a bit steeper. The Nuble is a true Chilean rustic experience we cherish annually.
Nuble Bonus. Jon Clarke’s Spirit. Those youth Jon taught to kayak we now continue to coach and some day hire. Their families are contracted to host us, prepare a true Chilean asado, and Javier and Juan Pablo paddle show us the latest and greatest boofs and trout holes.
- Breakfast and Lunch daily.
- Kayak Rental.
- Airport Transfer.
- World’s Best Kayak Instruction.
- Daily River Transports.
- Dinners out.
- Two travel day lunches.
- Meals average about $9 to $12/meal and pricing has been reduced $US100 to account for meals.
Day 1 (NOV 21)
Arrival to Santiago International Airport (SCL) before 10 AM.
Boat outfitting and welcome. Drive to Seven Teacups National Park. Orientation and possible Seven Teacups section lap / assessment.
Day 2 to 4 (NOV 22 to 24)
Exploration of the various canyons begins with easier canyons and progresses daily to more challenging canyons. It is a natural progression. Days consist of a minimum of two sections morning and afternoon. Some enthusiast kayakers may opt for an additional dawn or sunset patrol laps. We often combine a more challenging morning lap with a lighter afternoon lap. Things we consider are afternoon heat combined with intensity of hike; skill of group / skill of section; proper progression and confidence building; energy / body recovery levels… Natural section progressions may be: Seven Teacups (III+ to IV); 22 Saltos (III+ to IV+); Entres Saltos (Between Falls (III+ to IV+ portagables); Cinco Tazas (Five Teacups II+ to III); Garganta del Diablo (III+ to IV+).
Mornings. Kayak Theory, Safety Protocol, Waterfall 101, Art of Flight. Morning lap.
Afternoons. Recovery Ciestas and afternoon laps. Keep in mind the days are 13 hours so we have more time than energy.
Day 5 (NOV 25)
AM – Pack camp and drive to the Nuble Valley.
PM – Check-in. Set camp. Hike to waterfalls. High FIVE… Can you believe this place?
Day 6 (NOV 26) Nuble Valley
AM – Seven Teacups Section
PM – Vientidos Saltos “Twenty-two Falls” Section
Day 7 (NOV 27) Drive to Santiago Airport or Continue on to Pucon Creek Week
AM – Wake. Pack. Drive to Santiago airport (SCL) or kayakers going to Pucon Creek Week ride to Pucon.
PM – Time permitting afternoon Nuble lap and asado.
LOGISTICS NOTES. Pucon Creek Week or Santiago Flights
Pucon Creek Week, NOV 28 – DEC 5
Kayakers seeking a week of Pucon’s optimal creek season will ride with our staff via van and trailer 6 hours south to Pucon.
Santiago Flights, NOV 27 after 7 PM
Kayakers that must depart via a Santiago flight will have a gratis flight to the Santiago airport. Flights must be reserved for after 7 PM.
Are You Ready For the Claro Hikes?
The Claro Canyon is an intense place. Access requires hot hiking typically about an hour before or after your section. It’s a best idea if you come to Chile in shape with your hiking legs ready. Passing and lifting kayaks, strenuous hiking into and out of canyons, and water dehydrating hikes are a mandatory part of the trip. On the water… that is both the fun and easy part.
We recommend before your trip that you kayak often, are part of a normal hiking or workout routine, and who couldn’t lose some weight? Workouts like Crossfit… we love them. Yes, get in shape it will help your confidence as you paddle too.