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Does anyone have any beta on kayaking in Mexico (ie - season, flows, locations, etc), anything would be great, thanks
 

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Get the book, Gringo's Guide to Mexican Whitewater. It has all the beta. Also, check out aguaazul.com for some other information.

We are going this coming November for a couple weeks, if you would like to come along. -Ryan
 

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I've been down to SLP (Valles area) 6 times and down to Veracruz once. I can provide some good information about shuttles, roads. flows, etc. PM me and I might be able to provide some maps as well..
 

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Gringos Guide and the Agua Azul website are your best bets.I am compiling a data base for Mexico and Central American rivers,basically just consolidating as much available information as possible from guidebooks,magazines,the web,videos,and personal explorations.It's gonna take a while!Already have at least some beta on 150+ rivers{includes Columbia,Venezuela,Jamaica ,and Dominican Rep.}The focus is on whitewater but will also have flatwater of outstanding scenic value,seakayaking venues,and surfing opportunities.When the sites up i'll post a link.
I am working out an itinerary for the ultimate tour;Veracruz,Agua Azul/Palenque,best of Belize,AltaVerapaces,NW Guat.,Oaxaca,explore Michoacan,and back thru the Huasteca Potosina[Sta, Maria,Valles,Cascadas Micos}.Without the Belize and Guatemala part I believe a well organized group could do it in 4-5 weeks.
If you are interesred in Chiapas you might contact [email protected] he is the new guru for Guatemala and adjacent areas ,see Paddler magazines latest issue.
Ryan I will be driving to Belize via Veracruz and Agua Azul in October or early November ,if all goes well.Maybe we could caravan.
 

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Cayo I am looking for beta on everything between mexico and costa rica. Its hard to find. Specifically guatemala, nicaragua, and honduras. Anything you have would be helpful. If you could email me some stuff I would be forever in your debt. Turrialba at hotmail dot com otherwise i can just wait till you post it online.
 

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Brian,
There is not much available info for Nicaragua,Rio San Juan {border of CR and Nic] has a cool Spanish fort I want to check out,there are some surfable waves nearby but not really a whitewater run.This was the other proposed route for a trans CA canal it comes to within 11 miles of the Pacific.A guide for Island Expeditions is doing a solo expedition sea kayaking from Belize down to the San Juan ,across to the Pacific then up the coast to Vancouver,he might have some beta his name is Dean,I think.There is world class surf near San Juan del Sur and all up the coast,the Lunch Video crew have beta on this .
All the packpackers I met who had been to Nicaragua raved about Isla Ometepec in Lake Nicaragua,for climbing the Volcano.The lake is excellent for sea/touring type paddling.
For whitewater you'll have to explore,I would start with Rio Matagalpa and its tribs,or around Esteli.
There is a guide book for Honduras.Greg Schwendinger was done other first D'S all around Honduras and Guatemala,he lives in Antigua and is always looking for people to boat with and new rivers to explore.La Cieba is the only whitewater hub with outfitters and well known runs.Rio Papolateca,Danto,and Sambo Crk. are highly recomended. Western Honduras around Copan and Gracias has known runs of all difficulties and more to explore.I intend to explore between Corinto and Omoa ,the backdoor to Honduras as the Belizeans call it, I passed through here once and we crossed a buttload of little creeks that are unexplored,most probably too small but i'd bet on a hidden gem or two.
In Guatemala the Polochic comes highly recomended by both Greg and Mad Max. In the same region are the Lanquin,Cahabon,Sauce,and upr. Sarstun,rivers. A Dutch kayaker has set up shop in Lanquin www.Donkey shot[s}.com.The Retiro lodge in Lanquin is one the best places to stay in Central America,like 6 bucks a night excellent food easy to meet cool travelers from around the globe.It's one the Lanquin river III-IV{v+} and access to the Cahabon,above the fantastic Semuc Champey is solid continuous V-V+ leading right into the cave awaiting someone with huge balls ,don't miss the eddy.
I n Belize the whitwater is limited ,but the Moho river is very fun travertine class 3,Macal Gorge III-V[P's},Privassion Crk.IV[p's} on the lower[1st d'd by me and Greg in Dec.}and an upr .hair section awaits video boaters,Rio On and the Sibun Gorge need exploration. T here is light whitewater on the Mopan,Swasey Branch, So. Stann Crk.,and Roaring Crk. Other park/hike and huck opportunities exist.
You are a pro paddler ,no?Areas that warrant exploration IMO are Pq.Nacional El IMPOSSIBLE El Salvador and the stuff around Union Juarez ,Chiapas.
Rambil on too much gotta go,it will be awhile before I get that site going.
 

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done the Moctazuma, Mesquital, and Urique

The likes of Zerkelbach, Nofzinger, Hebblewhite, Keagen, Morgan, and I accomplished the first decents in the '80s and '90 of the Rios: Moctazuma (sp?), Mesquital, and Urique. The Moctazuma (sp?) is not recommended. One will experience a must run blind class 6 for one thing. Another is a questionable 40' waterfall that held a boat behind the falls for 5 minutes. Just to name a couple of the dangers. It is like a 6 day narrows of the Black Canyon experience.

The Mesquital is great, except for 150 miles of paddle out with little drop or action. Being it was unexpected to be like that, we were doing 50 miles a day for three days and overtaxing the ligaments. The take out was a welcome site. The first 90 miles are good adventure, though.

The Urique is all good. There is lots of V and V+. However, the most worrisome danger there in 1990 was the Banditos. They were having there way with anyone they encountered. Robbery, torture, rape, and murder was rampant throughout the canyon and even on the rim. Hopefully, the military has taken control of the area. I had a call from someone that went recently and, though they hiked out at the half way point, they weren't aware of any the threat of Banditos at all.

Mexico boating is way cool .. and can be way dangerous. Enjoy and be smart.
 

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Re: done the Moctazuma, Mesquital, and Urique

Ken Vanatta said:
The Mesquital is great, except for 150 miles of paddle out with little drop or action. Being it was unexpected to be like that, we were doing 50 miles a day for three days and overtaxing the ligaments. The take out was a welcome site. The first 90 miles are good adventure, though.
Ken, What would you say the ideal time/flow for this run is? How many portages did you encounter? Does anyone know what happened to the poor chap who lost both his legs on the first attempt (as mentioned in GG)?

Ken Vanatta said:
The Urique is all good. There is lots of V and V+. However, the most worrisome danger there in 1990 was the Banditos. They were having there way with anyone they encountered. Robbery, torture, rape, and murder was rampant throughout the canyon and even on the rim. Hopefully, the military has taken control of the area. I had a call from someone that went recently and, though they hiked out at the half way point, they weren't aware of any the threat of Banditos at all.
Again wondering about the ideal season/flow. GG is kinda strange in that it doesn't mention the season or even the rating in their overview of each run - you have to gleen it out of the writeup if its there at all. It has good maps tho.
 

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Mania,
American Whitewater July/August 2001 ,cover story is about the Mesquital .' National Parks of Northern Mexico' by Richard Fisher is an excellent source of info about the Copper Canyon,including some about river running.His other book ' Majestic Canyons of Light and Stone' is also awesome and would surely interest canyon lovers of all ilks.
I will try to extract some logistical beta for you. Gringo's Guide is awesome in certain respects,covers some great rivers,but lacking in that they don't give difficulty and seasonal beta very clearly and an over emphasis on geology. I'd loan you that mag and book if your'e around Denver sometime. Are you 'Snoop's" brother?
 

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Mexico flows and Mesquital follow up

In general, the best timeof year for the three rivers I've done is probably January through March. These are very technical runs and you hope that the action doesn't get too fast to handle. Low water abviously means things are more sievey, but coined the phrase "It's bangable." ... being glad to have lines without being cartwheeled and (Stern Heavy) rear endering through class V all the time. Sometimes the put-ins may only be 200 cfs and by trip ends your somewhere between 500 - 1000.

Steve Daniel's is the guy that lost his legs. It was 1987 when I had to cancel at the last moment on that trip. It was a large group and within the first 20 miles Steve ran over a horizon line without scout. Vertically pinned and boat taco -ed in half forward, Tom Monfzinger and Steve Morgan rescued him and floated through rapids resucitating him. Then a couple of days hike for help and an amazing military helocopter landing in the gorge flew him out. Both legs had to be amputated. Steve Damiels was, and probably still is, a professor at Texas A&M. Nofzinger, Morgan and I went back and conquered the run the next year.

I caution anyone doing these trips: With self supported stern heavy boats we had numerous other close calls. Factor in this unique complication when determining your ability to make the many must make lines in these canyons. These are completely remote locations and truly awe inspiring in many ways. To counter the delima of heavy boats, when doing the Moctozuma we planned to have sherpas hike into the canyon at various locations with food and provisions. Unfortunatley the walls were 2000 vertical most the entire way and we starved for 6 days as we struggled to get through alive. At several juntures, the trip seemed we stuck with no way through. Todd Hebblewhite and Tom Nofzinger (both now deceased from non-boating related deaths) performed amazing feats to find and prove ways through the seives between vertical walls with no banks. Purposely pursuing vertical pins to allow climbing out onto middle of the river portages of house size boulders while white death raced on all sides required cat like agility. Todd was amazing to watch, and we were fortunate to have pure and determined heart on that trip. As mentioned before, anyone attempting this run will also encounter a non-scoutable, non-portagable, blind turn, horrific Z drop. You know you're going to get clobbered, but there is no other choice. Fortunately, we all got spit out through one slot or another at the tail end. Many of these adventures are not mentioned in the Gringo's Guidebook because the author and his brother hiked out at the only midway chance that presented. They had a troublesome time getting out, but had had enough swims and seemingly hopeless experiences in the first few days that they were willing to take their chances on land. We thought we'd never see them if we made it through, but they were at the take out, along with our sherpas, when we emerged. It was quite an adventure, but not one that I would highly recommend attempting again. That was in 1985, I think another group did try it in the 90's, but I never heard how they faired. Copper Canyon, on the other hand, I highly recommend. It has it share of hair boating, but seems a bit more accessable for escape or help if needed.

Cheers to all that enjoy adventure!
 

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Re: Mexico flows and Mesquital follow up

Ken Vanatta said:
Cheers to all that enjoy adventure!
Wow Ken, amazing story. Might start with Copper Canyon or Santa Maria and see how it goes...
 

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cayo said:
I'd loan you that mag and book if your'e around Denver sometime. Are you 'Snoop's" brother?
Thanks such a kind offer. I am very rarely in Denver and no I don't have a brother.
 
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NHINDS posting from Shaggstyle's computer in NC

If you are interested in seeing a full length video of that area with shots of Micos, Rio Salto, plus 1st Gorge of the Verde, and Oho Frio Clips please just let me know. kayakben, I will send you one pro bonno if you wish. This will be a bonus to my video guide of CO, NM, ID, and CA. There will also be a nice section of Costa Rica trip runs as well.

Stay tuned at www.otcouch.com.

Kayakben please email me at [email protected] when you have a moment with your address.

Nick Hinds
 
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