After the confluence of the Rio Azul and Arroyo Las Cruces with the Futaleufu River comes School House Rapid. The river narrows slightly, takes a left turn and drops between some big boulders and small holes. This rapid is called School House because it offers an excellent introduction to the Futaleufu River. Although the drop is slight, the rapid somehow contains all the necessary features to make it an excellent teaching area and playground.
High and Low Water
At low water the rocks become more exposed creating a lot of interesting play features. At high water the rapid washes-out and some of the larger rocks get covered, creating hideous holes.
Boat scouting only.
Toward the end of the rapid, on river-left, there is a very dangerous hole but it is easy to spot and avoid. Some of the small holes in this rapid are quite sticky, so watch out!
The big rocks in this section offer powerful eddy lines for vertical moves and rock splats. There are a few small holes and a great play-wave if the water levels are right.
Where to Swim
On the upper sections of School House Rapid swim to the left into the large eddy on river-left, across from Examination Eddy. Below Examination Eddy, swim right, to avoid the large hydraulic on river-left near the bottom of the rapid.
Where to Rescue
Set-up by having rescue kayakers wait in the large eddy on river-left, across from Examination Eddy. You can also place a rescue kayaker behind Ferry Rock on river-right.
Where to Portage
There is a trail on river-left that runs along the Futaleufu River Valley, but this rapid is too long to consider portaging.
Running the Rapid
All aspects of this rapid should be aggressively run and played, especially if the paddler has never been on the Futaleufu before. If all the moves can be perfectly executed here it is a good indication that a kayaker can paddle the Bridge-to-Bridge Section of the Futaleufu and beyond.
From the Azul Confluence catch the Start Eddy immediately on river-left behind the guard-waves. From this eddy cut across the river to Ferry Rock. From Ferry Rock cut across the river again to Rescue Eddy. A great test of your paddling skills is to ferry across the river and enter Examination Eddy. The eddy is extremely pushy and violent with lots of upwelling. It is a good indication of what many of the other eddies on the Futaleufu will be like. Stay upright in the eddy, peel-out and re-cross the river to Rescue Eddy. If you have trouble here, re-consider your plans to paddle the rest of the river, or take a few days to tune-up on lesser tributaries. Once you pass Examination Eddy take some time to play in the School Yard. Here you will find play-holes, play-waves and eddy-lines to practice going vertical. Be careful of the big hydraulic on river-left.
Copyrights: (Copyright © 2006, Expediciones Chile) All photos, maps, diagrams, text and computer code is the copyrighted property of Expediciones Chile with all rights reserved.
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.Read More: Disclaimer