Published on April 25th, 2017 | by Matt Dumoulin

First descents in Argentina!


Check out this mission by Argentinian paddle Matias Lopez!

A week ago, in the Carolina Province of San Luis, Argentina, a fisherman friend and a kayaker sent us a picture of a series of really interesting drops in the Rio Grande. Once we saw them, we Matías López and Silvio Gallo, immediately packed up and left to check them out a claim the first descent.

Deep in the Valley of Pancanta, we explored 30 miles of river in 9 hours. There we discovered an amazing variety of rapids. There were incredible cascades and a few portages, some easily accessible, some deep in the gorge walls. This river holds little water all year long, but with a little rain it can reach impressive levels quickly. Two days after our initial mission, we went back, joined by Robert Derias, to see if the portages went with lower water. We only ran one that trip, but knew the biggest one was also possible. I went back a third time with Lucas Carena, Cristian Brega, and Santiago Muñoz only a few days later to run the section 5 miles from the put in. After doing five drops in 500 meters we left, walking two hours out back to the road.

With a strong resemblance to the Californian style, this part of Argentina has the potential to be a kayaking paradise. The Rio Grande is only one in a large number of rivers waiting to be discovered.

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