Rio Claro (Ibañez)

Rio Claro (Ibañez)

Kurt Casey

Oct 22, 2009

This beautiful creek flows between two unrunnable canyons. Easily scouted from the road, the Claro starts out class IV in difficulty, eases up a bit, then returns to class IV. After turning away from the road, the river drops through a unrunnable, convoluted slot canyon. The water volume doubles by late afternoon due to daily snowmelt flucuations.

From Puerto Ibañez, 164 km south of Coihaique, drive up the road west a few kilometers towards Levicán and Salto Ibañez, a mind-boggling cascade that may be run some day in a Superyak® designed by Jonathan Katz. You will need all of its 21st century features—pliable, bioplasmic hull resin, leakproof AlGore-Tex liner, Rapidmaster interactive scouting software, ARM (Automatic Roll Machine) technology, and a Precognition™ onboard computer with patented “Artificial Huevos”—to make it down this awesome tumult safely.

Continue past Salto Ibañez about 500 m to the lower of two Puente Claro’s. Drive up the hill, veer to the right and continue up the drainage. Follow the river upstream to the other Puente Claro, a recently constructed steel bridge. Walk upstream from the bridge to the bottom of the class VI narrows elevation 410 meters. Take out 4 km downstream at the point where the road leaves the river elevation 300 meters. Average gradient is 27 mpk or 144 FPM with volume of 600 CFS