David Silk 24/02/2017 | Posted in 2013 Karma, Creeking, rivers, Trip Reports, Trips, Video, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
It started as just yet another trip suggestion from one of my best friends, one of hundreds that Andrew Oxley and I concoct. We were in Washington state at the time, talking about how much fun falling off cliffs in kayaks is. Pretty soon he came up with the idea- we should go back to Mexico this winter! I quickly agreed. Over the course of the year a few other friends decided they were going to go to Mexico too- Thomas Kolmans was quickly in on the idea, and later Trent McCrery and Knox Hammack also decided they were going to make the trip down. Eventually we had a whole group, ready to go to run some of the worlds most classic waterfalls and to film the fourth installment of Torryds infamous series, Xenogenesis.
We were all flying in within a couple days of each other. My plan was to meet Andrew in the Mexico City airport, as we were flying in at about the same time, and then to bus down to Tlapacoyan together. I was flying in from Chile, and he was leaving from Montreal. Unfortunately, on my way there I had a flight cancellation in Brazil that landed me in Mexico 15 hours late, and with nothing except my backpack. I ended up taking a bus to a friend of mine, Sofi Reinoso’s house, to get some sleep and meet up with Thomas, who was also there.
The next day, we got up and Sofi (thanks a million for this) called the airline and Spanished her way into getting my luggage sent to her house.. in three days. Myself, her and Thomas then wandered Puebla for a bit before she got him and I on a bus to Tlapacoyan to meet up with the rest of the boys.
The next morning was a whirlwind- finally in Aventurec, all I wanted to do was go paddle with my friends. Unfortunately, the only piece of gear I had at the time was my helmet. Luckily, Sofi had called Aventurec and they were letting me borrow a boat to use, and thanks to some exceptionally kind people who lent me get, I was able to get on the water! We rallied over to Big Banana, met up with Sofi and Antonio Reinoso, did the hike in as quick as possible, and launched off. We moved pretty fast, even with Trent having to get out with his drone and film at a few spots, and soon were at the first set, Mexican 20 into Mordor. Trent got out to film, and we rallied through, all going great until Thomas. There wasn’t anything outwardly wrong about his line, and it was pretty much the same one as everyone had, but it was clear as soon as he landed that something had gone wrong. He took a really hard impact, and floated out of it bent over his bow in obvious pain. Unable to hike out there, we kept going down, and as he insisted he was feeling better, he ran the whole thing, only walking Silencio, Houdini, Meatlocker, and Boof or Die. Later, we found out that he’d actually broken his back in two places on the drop. Oops!
The next day, borrowing some more gear from another friend at Aventurec, LP, we made off for the Roadside section, leaving Thomas behind as his back was hurting (kinda makes sense now). We bombed down race lap style, stopping only briefly to film S-Turn, before we piled in the car again and went to Tomata. With levels a bit low and everyone kind of tired, only myself, Knox, and Trent decided to run it that day. I went first, having a pretty good line, and then waited below for Trent. Everything about his line looked fine- maybe a bit faded in, but otherwise perfect. However, on waiting for him to resurface, he didn’t. I immediately realized he must be behind the curtain, and sprinted up towards the waterfall for him. I saw his paddle float past, but ignored it in favor of getting him. Luckily, he didn’t need my help. He managed to pull himself from behind it still in his boat. However, during this, his paddle floated down over the ledge before Tomata 2, where it then surfed the hole for the next half hour. During this time, someone threw Trent a paddle to run the ledge, and Knox ran Tomata with a perfect line. After a bit of rope throwing, followed by losing the throw bag, followed by a bit of luck, we managed to get Trents paddle out of the hole, and then hike out.
As soon as we got into service, I got a text from Sofi telling my that my boat and bags had finally arrived from Brazil! I got straight on a bus to Puebla to go pick them up, and bussed back to Aventurec again the next day, this time with all my gear. From then on it was smooth sailing- no scout no portage laps of Big Banana every day, occasionally adding Roadside to the mix, and just enjoying being with the boys and running waterfalls. As the trip wrapped up after many feet fallen, our only regret was constantly how low the water had been. Then, the last day, it happened- we got rain! We rallied early in the morning to the famous Upper Jah, and despite getting lost hiking in and missing Twisted Pleasure and Dirty Sanchez, we had a sweet last day routing through the jungle, rejoined as well by Sofi and Antonio. Knox and Trent flew out the next day, while Andrew, Thomas, and I had the luck of having our last day be New Years, which we went up to Puebla to hang out with Antonio and Sofi for. All in all, despite a few kinks, a solid trip!