Dance of Angels

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Quick Facts

  • Class: IV
  • Type: Composite: Constriction Gorge with a few Ledges
  • Length: 330 meters (1000 feet)
  • Alternate Names: Danza de Los Angeles, Purgatory
  • Previous Rapid: Wall Shot
  • Next Rapid: Dynamite
  • Interactive Map: Futaleufu River Valley
  • River Section: Upper Futaleufu, Infierno Canyon


A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Dance of Angels
A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Dance of Angels

Dance of Angels offers a welcome respite between the Class V, Wall Shot and The Perfect Storm. Here the Infierno Canyon constricts once again but does so more gently offering a relatively straightforward Class IV rapid containing a large wavetrain at river-center. The entrance to the rapid is guarded by the Froth Hole which is much more Froth than Hole and a lot less intimidating than it looks. Froth Hole is followed by a second drop and then a long wavetrain that appears to run into a wall offering another Wall Shot type scenario, but the effect is a lot weaker.

High and Low Water

At lower levels the standing waves are big, sharp and fun. There are stories of a rafts flipping in this rapid, so some caution should be exercised. A ledge-hole appears on river-left which can offer a bit of a surprise. At high water this rapid tends to wash out.


Boat scout from river-center above the first v-drop or eddy-out river-left at the Froth Hole and look over your shoulder.


Dance of Angels is one of the more hazard free drops in the Infierno Canyon but there are a few features to note. Log Pole Eddy on river left, so named because it has for the last ten years contained a underwater log reaching toward the surface. The wall at the bottom of the drop is somewhat undercut with a moderate subduction zone. It is best to stay to the right of this wall and not under-estimate the power of the river. There are also a series of reactionary waves coming off the walls along the river-left side. These can add some chaos and turbulence to what otherwise should be a classic big water wavetrain. One of these reactionaries is caused by a sizable ledge that contains a hole when the river is at a low level. Stay to the right of this hole, if it is in.

Play Opportunities

The Froth Hole often has shoulders that are slick and this combined with the center froth makes for a superb surf. At lower levels you can return to the river-left Log Pole Eddy if you are quick. Usually this wave is picked up on the fly. If you are planning to surf, warn others in your group to make sure it is clear before they enter the v-tongue.

Where to Swim

If you swim make your way over to river-right and try to eddy out. Stay away from the river-left wall.

Where to Rescue

Position safety kayakers at the bottom on river-right to make sure that in the unlikely event of swim they can help someone before there is any chance of getting near to the final rapid in the Infierno Gorge.

Where to Portage

No portage available.

Running the Rapid

Dance of Angels can be run straight down the middle avoiding the wall at the bottom by moving toward river-right late in the run. Most paddlers are inclined to do some evasive maneuvering to avoid the Froth Hole instead of punching the middle. If so, angle right and cut the right clean shoulder of Froth Hole then move back center before making the final move to river-right to avoid the river-left wall. Eddy-out on river-right behind an outcropping of boulders at the bottom of the rapid.

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: 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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