Cazuela

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Contents

Quick Facts

  • Class: III plus
  • Type: Composite: Constriction, Ledges and Boulders
  • Length: 100 meters (300 feet)
  • Alternate Names: Casuela
  • Previous Rapid: Last Wave is a Rock
  • Next Rapid: Condor
  • Interactive Map: Futaleufu River Valley
  • River Section: Lower Futaleufu, Bridge-to-Bridge

Overview

A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Cazuela
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A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Cazuela

After Last Wave is a Rock the river opens up and widens before it begins to constrict into another drop called Cazuela. Cazuela is named after the Chilean word for a hearty beef and vegetable stew. This dish, cooked in a deep casserole, seems to have a little bit of everything in it - as does the rapid. Cazuela is a classic constriction rapid with a few interspersed ledges and boulders. The run gets increasingly intense as the river constricts and picks up speed. At the bottom, river-left of The Soup Strainer, are two massive waves called Assault and Pepper. Pepper is the biggest.

High and Low Water

At low water Assault and Pepper decrease in size and The Soup Strainer becomes more retentive. At high water this rapid has to be highly respected as Assault and Pepper become massive and are easily capable of flipping a kayak or raft end-over-end or causing a swim.

Scouting

Scout this rapid from up-top on river-right, just after Last Wave is a Rock.

Left side of Cazuela at low water.
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Left side of Cazuela at low water.

Hazards

Stay clear of the two ledge-holes, known as The Soup Strainer, on river-right. The offset wave-holes in the center can also be problematic. Assault and Pepper are capable of delivering a hard hit. At the bottom of the rapid there is a large pocket-eddy in the canyon wall called The Cauldron. At high water The Cauldron becomes difficult to exit and should be avoided.

Play Opportunities

At the right levels, the wavetrain below Assault and Pepper offers some great surfing opportunities with eddy service.

Where to Swim

Above The Soup Strainer stay in the main current to avoid the hazardous river-right side. After Assault and Pepper, swim river-right, into the big calm eddy, avoiding The Cauldron and river-left wall.
Setting safety on the left side of Cazuela.
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Setting safety on the left side of Cazuela.

Where to Rescue

It is going to be very difficult to rescue in the middle of the rapid. Position a rescue kayaker at the bottom of Cazuela in the calm eddy on river-right. If possible, position another kayaker in The Cauldron on river-left to prevent swimmers from entering it.

Where to Portage

The Futaleufu River Valley road, on river-right is the best option for evacuation.

Running the Rapid

Down the middle of Cazuela.
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Down the middle of Cazuela.

The easiest and safest route down Cazuela is along the river-right side. This route avoids the offset wave-holes at the center of the rapid and allows paddlers to generate a left-to-right momentum that will help avoid The Soup Strainer. Running the rapid on river-left allows for the possibility of interacting with reactionaries of the river-left wall that will propel a kayaker left-to-right and into The Soup Strainer.

The only real obstacle in the river-right route is the submerged Potato Rock. Approach the Potato Rock from the river-left side and cut around it to the slack water behind it. Expert paddlers may want to eddy-out on river-right and reassess the rapid. Otherwise paddle in the slack water behind the Potato Rock and follow the current that will transport you above and to the left of The Soup Strainer. Sit-up tall as you enter the v-tongue that leads to Assault and Pepper. Hit Assault and Pepper head-on and ride the wavetrain to the bottom avoiding The Cauldron pocket-eddy on river-left. On the river-right side you will see a big calm eddy. This is the Promised Land.

Video

Copyright & Terms of Use

  • Copyrights: (Copyright © 2006, Expediciones Chile) All photos, maps, diagrams, text and computer code is the copyrighted property of Expediciones Chile with all rights reserved.

  • Terms of Use: Any type of reproduction, republication, or re-transmission for commercial use is prohibited without the expressed, written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users of this Wiki guidebook may print copies of the text, images and diagrams for personal river running use only. Users may not alter the diagrams or text without expressed written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users must read and acknowledge the disclaimer before printing. Printing implies acknowledgment of the disclaimer.

Disclaimer

  • Disclaimer: Under no circumstances should paddlers substitute the information and diagrams in this guidebook for their own sound judgment on the river and their collective experience running rivers. This guidebook is based on Expediciones Chile's twenty years of experience running the Futaleufu River. However, the diagrams and descriptions found here are only approximations of what paddlers will find on the river once they get here. They are not to scale and nor are they completely accurate. Water levels change, rocks move around, landslide debris can enter the river at any time making the diagrams obsolete. Expediciones Chile also reserves the right to update these diagrams and descriptions at any time as we find better ways to illustrate and discuss the rapids. Use this guidebook at your own risk.

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