OK-heres the 07 Costa trip report from Dec 7 to Dec 17.
Gordon, Forrest and I arrive at 7:20am. Waiting our arrival is Local paddler Ferdinand to show us the goods. He is the man in Costa Rica. Also our super shuttle driver Cacho, who is well worth the money.
Two hours off the plane we show up to run the Pozo Azul. This run starts with the put in at some lady's front yard. A mile hike in gets you to a huge blue'ish spider and a dicey entrance to a 20 foot waterfall. This was my first stoke in 7 months. This is a nice soft class 5 run with 3 waterfalls, with the largest being 30+ feet.
Day 1 complete with only a few casualties.
Gordon's 80 dollar paddle snaps before he even put on the water. One toss off a 20 foot cliff into water and snap, he's already using a breakdown. Cacho then picks up the paddle on the bank only to get bit by a bullet ant. His hand swells 3 times the size.
Day 2 - We head to the Rio Orosi. This starts with 3 big granite class 5 drops then mellows too 4+ with some fun rapids, a great hot spring and nice gray granite boulders. Great day two!
Day 3 - My 37th B day. We did a first D of upper Buena Vista. This run is awesome and is a instant classic per Ferd. It reminded me of NSV with a little cheeseman mixed in. It had tight gorges, big drops and a mini double trouble, with a little spice. It was a 10footer into a hole with no recovery and a cave on the left, right off the bottom drop into a nasty hole. Beatings were handed out on this drop. It was a great run and a nice present.
Day 4 - Top Chirripo Pacifico
This run starts and ends with a bang. Solid class 5 from start to finish. It had twisting gorges and great drops in an intense jungle setting. I took my first heavy beating in the last drop of the run. This rapid is super hard, I had to look at it all night from our room. I didn't want to redeem either.
Day 5 - Upper Chirripo Pacifico
This is the must do in Costa Rica. It is super stompy and for real. We lost Ferd for the rest of the trip after a brutal hole surf and a tweeked shoulder. This run reminded me of the Embudo at 3.7/3.8 from Slam Dance to Taco. It was crazy in there. This was a non stop Kung Fu fighting monster from first stroke to takeout. We got her on the high end of what it had been run. One drop that sticks out the most was this 10 foot falls into a huge hole that pushes you into/under these vines/bamboo that are two feet above the river. You're fighting to stay upright and out of the hole, only too drop off into more 5+. It was my favorite run of the trip, hands down.
Day 6 -Headed down to the pacific coast of Qeupos. There we surfed and tried to stay the hell away from those howler monkeys, little bastards!
Day 7 - Rio Chirro
This run was super short with a awesome gorge and great drops. It's very pretty with some great rock. It is way too short for the effort though.
Then we stopped and hit Hermosa Beach for some 6 to 8 foot waves. Got out our kayaks where I proceeded to take the worst beating of the trip in the beach break trying to get out. It was brutal!
Day 8 - Headed up to Turrialba for some Upper Upper and Upper Pacuare action. This was an emotional day for me; 10 years ago Bill Whitehead broke his back on the upper and ended up passing from the accident.
As I paddled in, I thought about Bill and wanted to clean the run up for him.
The Pacuare is an amazing, beautiful place. I was all fired up and ready to send whatever was in front of me. The first miles were read and run 4 to soft 5. We then came to the first gorge and scouted. It all looked good to go and we ran everything fine. I then started running all the meat lines through the huge holes and rapids, I was fired up!
About a half mile from the takeout was the last huge drop. This class 4 rapid had crazy shit going on... I saw irregular waves and an under tow along with two holes on the right... I wanted them! I wasn't gonna take no tongue down the left like my muffin partners... As I came to the first hole I boofed the shit out of it and landed perfect for the next one; I hit the second with such a great boof that I figured Gordo was counting scatches on the bottom of my boat from his muffin line view, when all of a sudden, a Sloth grabbed my stern and drug me back into this hole backed up by a rock.
I don't panic cause this ain't shit and start working to the right; I'm going nowhere, so I work to the left. Denied! I flip and start some pull up action then roll; Same spot! Shit, now I'm thinking about all you gapers and I'm gonna be one of them, lol. Fred, Keck, Lotsa, Craw, Parker ect... So I flip over again and rudder my paddle and then roll, Hell yeah i'm out suckas!
Hell no, I swam that shit... Broke the boat I just sold a day earlier. As I'm laying on the sand with Forrest taking pictures, I have to smile as Bill comes to mind. I felt like he gave me a spanking and is laughing his arse off. Was a great day, in a very beautiful place.
Day 9- Rest day! Massage, Internet, food and sleep. Forrest does make an important call to ask Ferd if theres a hard run in Costa Rica? Ferd tells him to go to the Rio Verha(sp). He says, "It's really hard". At that point Gordo and I knew day 10 was gonna be on.
Day 10 - Drive to the Verha put in. This is a super low volume creek and looks like poop. Serious Jungle and you're way out there with one way out. This will be the second descent of this creek and it's a tired Gordo and Gary. We're not sure about Forrest as he's all smiles.
The first few miles were scrappy and tight with few things to write home about. Then the river takes a right turn and drops off the mountain side and the shit hits the fan. Forrest and I make our first portage of the trip around a deadly sieve. Then another around a brutal falls and another. This is a real mission, 10 big drops and catch a eddy to portage something. These drops are stacked and tight with no room for error. That's when we get to the 40+ falls. It has yet to be run and has a nasty log at the entrance which we thought you could get around only to drop the left side and resurface in the wall below. We portaged and this was the real deal. We should have ran the falls as everything is sharp or poisonous. After the portage is more super stomp til you hit a waterfall into the top Pacuare.
All in all we got shit done. Great trip with the boys.
heres the link to a few pics
Gordon and Debra Banks