We launched the 2019 rafting season on the Marañón in Peru on 9th of May with a crew from Thompson Rivers University. The crew came as part of their final year assessment to complete their course in Adventure Studies. As part of this assessment they were charged with all aspects of trip planning from food to mapping to group management and mapping; Marañón Experience guides were along for the ride to help with cultural interpretation and backup river safety.
Nivel: 350 m3/s (min: 320 m3/s, max: 400 m3/s)
Final: Puerto Malleta
Distancia: 250 km
Días en el río: 12
The group stepped up admirably to the challenge of running a wild river canyon at medium high flows, many rowing for the first time through some enormous rapids and stepping up from class II or Class III to Class IV kayakers. The river section allowed for a perfect progression.
The trip went incredibly smoothly, only one (instructor) flip and many student swims as they pushed their limits in a safe environment. The whitewater at this level (400cms) is incredibly high quality, with fun flowing big water action.
The biggest rapid of the section ‘Samosierra’ Class IV+ was a big unknown coming in. After unusually high water levels this year, we expected that the rapid would have changed significantly, but we were surprised by just how much. The river bed used to cut across the valley left to right now hugged the right wall. Where there had been trees, rocks and tonnes of earth there was now a brand new river channel churning through the canyon. There were some wild raft lines and one kayak swim, but the safety team cleaned up quickly and efficiently.
Participants were blown away by the whitewater on this trip, but many commented afterwards that the thing the would remember and cherish most were the genuine interactions with Marañón locals found in villages, on soccer fields, in alleyways and in the kitchens of kind señoras who cooked traditional plates for us.
A huge thank-you to the Thompson Rivers University Team from Luigi & Ben at Marañon Experience. It was a pleasure to host you on the river, help you learn river skills and learn new skills from you. We look forward to see where adventure studies will take you next!