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.
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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 next morning we rose early in anticipation, wondering what the Rio Marañon had in store for us.
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”.
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.
….and now for something completely different.
I hope you saved time to watch the video of Wasson’s Landslide.
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