Wasson’s Landslide, Rio Marañon, Peru

The Endangered Rio Marañon

Before we get into Wasson’s Landslide, a word about the endangered Rio Marañon. The “Big Money” of South America and parts of the world want to dam this amazing river, arguably the primary source of the Rio Amazonas. Not just one dam but many. This post and those to come are my effort to bring awareness to the problem. It’s not easy to overcome the power of “Big Money” especially in a country such as Peru. Now one of the river’s guardians has been murdered for his stance against the damming of the Rio Marañon. News article quote “Hitler Ananias Rojas Gonzales (34 years) was killed in the village Yagen district of Cortegana, Cajamarca region, Peru, on Monday, December 28, 2015. Rojas was a recognized defender of the Rio Marañon and opposition to the construction of the dam Chadin II Brazilian company Odebrecht”.

What can you do? You can share this post to get the word out. You can go see this amazing river, SierraRios will assist you with that. You can  support Paddling With Purpose, which believes the communities and ecosystems of the upper Amazon are too important to lose. Perhaps a contribution to Cool Earth, a charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rain forest destruction. You can find a way!


Wasson’s Landslide greeted us day on #9 of our whitewater journey down the Rio Marañon of Peru. The entry/upper section, a good long Class 4 with hydraulics, waves and boulders, we chose to break into two segments as to not spread our safety kayakers and on shore safety to thin. We then proceeded to line the rafts down the right shore of the unrunnable section which I believe is know as “The Junk Yard”. The rafts were then rowed out the final Class 4 section and we were all “alive below Wasson’s”. Our scout for Wasson’s started at 6:53 AM and the last raft completed the exit at 2:38 PM, 7 1/2 hours, Pedro said that was almost a record.

 As seen in my previous post, the Yesojirca Narrows I believe was the most difficult rapid of the Upper Gorge. Now Wasson’s Landslide is the most demanding of the rapids in the Inner Gorge and then, a few miles downstream lies Llamara, another Class 5 which was easier but still extremely challenging.

(click on images to view full screen)

Our day eight camp above Wasson's Landslide.After arriving and setting up our camp on river left about a half mile above Wasson’s, Barba and myself attempted to get a look at what was in store for us the next morning. This image is looking back up stream at our camp.

The entry of Wasson's Landslide.We didn’t get far before the cliff prevented our downstream progress. We should have brought a rope. Above is the long shallow entry to Wasson’s.

The next morning we rose early in anticipation, wondering what the Rio Marañon had in store for us.

Pedro leaving the scout eddy.Our trip leader Pedro heads downstream as we hike down to scout.

Upstream view of the entry.Upstream view of the entry. The time was 7:05 AM. Rafts can be seen in the scout eddy, top left of image.

Kayaker on the Rio Marañon.Safety kayaker, Barba, was second in the First Runable Section.

Nate on the Rio Marañon.Nate was third.

Safety kayakers on the Rio Marañon.With our safety kayakers in place it was time to have a go at it.

Pedro rows the cataraft in Wasson's Landslide.After running the First Section in his kayak, Pedro hiked back up and rowed the cataraft. CJ provides on shore safety.

Pedro rows Wasson's Landslide.Pedro exits the First Section.

Raft in Wasson's Landslide.Pedro rows Kathy and Steve’s raft in the First Section.

Britt Runyon in the entry of Wasson's Landslide.The author getting his monies worth at the entry move of Wasson’s Landslide on the Rio Marañon. Photo courtesy of CJ.

The Rio Marañon and Wasson's Landslide.The eddy at the end of the first Class 4 section.

Wasson's Landslide on the Rio Marañon, Peru.The crew can be seen scouting the eddy at the end of the Second Section of Class 4 whitewater. It was here that we began the lining of the rafts through the section affectionately known as “The Junk Pile”.

Wasson's Landslide of the Rio Marañon, Peru. CJ’s raft at the staging point for the lining of the rafts. Note the extremely large boulder (upper left) blocking the flow of the river, this is the “Sieve Rock”.

Wasson's Landslide of the Rio Marañon, Peru.A downstream view of the section to be lined.

Zacarias on the Rio Marañon.Zacarias gestures for a little more during the first lining of the rafts.

Lunch time in Wasson's Landslide, Rio Marañon, Peru.With the first of two lining completed we decided it was time for lunch.

Lining Wasson's Landslide on the Rio Marañon. With a hardy lunch in our bellies we proceed with the second lining of the rafts.

Boulder along the shore of Wasson's Landslide.Riverside boulder.

Rafts on the RIo Marañon.With the completion of lining the rafts down the nasty bit, it was time to “pony up” and row the Class 4 exit.

Kathy and Steve row the Lower Section on Wasson's Landslide.Kathy and Steve in the lower section of Wasson’s Landslide. Note the large hole river left and in the center of this image. We didn’t want to end up in that “Bitch Hole”, YIKES!

CJ rows Wasson's Landslide on the Rio Marañon, Peru.CJ makes the drop right of the “Bitch Hole”.

What followed after exiting Wasson’s was a glorious evening of some of the best continuous Class 3 & 4 white water I have ever done.

Downstream view on the RIo Marañon, Peru.Evening light shortly before arriving at camp.

….and now for something completely different.

I hope you saved time to watch the video of Wasson’s Landslide.

Wasson’s Landslide of the Rio Marañon, Peru ~ 2015 from Britt Runyon on Vimeo.

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Snow Geese in Flight

Watching Snow Geese in flight at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge amid a cacophony of honking, is a little like standing inside a snow globe. With my camera set on manual, I exposed many images one or two stops brighter in order to show more detail of the underside of the birds in flight, knowing the sky would lose detail.

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Snow Geese at the Bosque del Apache NWR

Snow Geese numbers have skyrocketed and are now among the most abundant waterfowl on the continent. They are one of the most frequently seen water fowl found at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

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Art Prints(Note the watermark will not be on the printed image.)

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