Estero del Bosque

22 Oct

This short 6 km, class V trip makes for an interesting combination of tight, technical boating on the Bosque averaging 53 mpk or 280 FPM @ 300 CFS, culminating with a high volume flush thru the Río Ibañez narrows. The Bosque’s clear water contrasts sharply with the brown, silty water of the Ibañez.

Start your run with a boof off the left side of a 7 m-high waterfall at the put-in. Continuous rapids follow in the small canyon downsteam. After the canyon opens up, the creek tumbles over a steep slope down to the confluence with the Ibañez just above the narrows. Roughly 280 cubic meters per second (10,000 CFS) rush through this tight 200 m-long mini-canyon, which is easily scouted from Puente Ibañez. On our run, we flushed through the narrow defile with unintended bow and stern squirts. Shortly downstream, I got backendered in a hole below the bridge, much to the delight of locals who gathered to watch the first kayaker they had ever seen get pummeled.

From Villa Cerro Castillo, 100 km south of Coihaique, drive north out of town a few hundred meters. Turn left and cross a unnamed bridge where you will find a camping area next to the Bosque. Hike up river right approximately 1.5 km and put in just above the 7 m-high waterfall at elevation 500 meters. To find the take-out, cross Puente Ibañez, turn left towards Las Manos, a prehistoric pictograph site, and take out below a good surfing wave at 340 meters elevation.

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