Rio Claro (Ibañez)

22 Oct

This beautiful creek flows between two unrunnable canyons. Easily scouted from the road, the Claro starts out class IV in difficulty, eases up a bit, then returns to class IV. After turning away from the road, the river drops through a unrunnable, convoluted slot canyon. The water volume doubles by late afternoon due to daily snowmelt flucuations.

From Puerto Ibañez, 164 km south of Coihaique, drive up the road west a few kilometers towards Levicán and Salto Ibañez, a mind-boggling cascade that may be run some day in a Superyak® designed by Jonathan Katz. You will need all of its 21st century features—pliable, bioplasmic hull resin, leakproof AlGore-Tex liner, Rapidmaster interactive scouting software, ARM (Automatic Roll Machine) technology, and a Precognition™ onboard computer with patented “Artificial Huevos”—to make it down this awesome tumult safely.

Continue past Salto Ibañez about 500 m to the lower of two Puente Claro’s. Drive up the hill, veer to the right and continue up the drainage. Follow the river upstream to the other Puente Claro, a recently constructed steel bridge. Walk upstream from the bridge to the bottom of the class VI narrows elevation 410 meters. Take out 4 km downstream at the point where the road leaves the river elevation 300 meters. Average gradient is 27 mpk or 144 FPM with volume of 600 CFS

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