martes, 18 de enero de 2011

Big Banana Falls

This is a belated update from the past month of October. My first week in Mexico was completely crazy, hucking lots of waterfalls with the best creekboating crew I’ve been. Anyway, we don't missed the party and we had really good benders and funny moments in the 2 weeks we spent together.
In my 1st day kayaking in Mexico, we hucked Tomata I, next morning we hucked tomata I and II, and the next day kayaking was Texolo waterfalls ( 30 mts.) people started to get hurt since the second day, with EG fucking up his knee in tomata II and Mr. Todd knocking himself on a blind 50 ft. In the 3rd day. Anyway we where super fired up and ready to go scout the Big Banana waterfall, the one everybody was talking about…

Happy crew, after lay treats on tomata's.
Deep inside the jungle of Veracruz, hides a 128.6 feet tall waterfall. It has never been paddled before, it’s dark and after a scary gorge only scoutable and accessible with your kayak or rappelling into it. It’s got a tricky entrance, with an auto-boof just at the lip that makes everybody feel scared. Land this drop flat would be fatal for your back. It looks massively big from the top, there’s a perfect pool below the waterfall a bit undercut wall on the left but all good to go.

Rafa Ortiz rappelling down
the beast!
I knew I wanted to run this drop since the first time I scouted it. I slept really bad the night before to run It, I couldn’t stop thinking about the waterfall, I imagined myself a hundred times going in to the beast before fell sleep.

We woke up early, it was cloudy for the first time in a month and starting to rain, bad signal, I was feeling really bad, couldn’t even eat anything for breakfast. I felt better as soon as we started walking to the put-in.

The machines ready to go!
All the team went down at the pool of the waterfall to do safety and set the cameras while Rafa, Rush and myself walked uphill. It took us an hour or two to find our way to the top of the waterfall, set the rappel, camera… Once we figured out it was all super fast, gave a big hug to my friend Rafa and a few seconds later he was rappelling down to the gorge, then we loaded his kayak. Took some strokes on the mini-eddy, gave the signal and a few seconds later I saw him flying high, he stomped the line and didn’t swim, the waterfall looked even more perfect to me after that.

Rafa Ortiz 1stD of BB falls, he looks so small! 
I was really fired up to go for it, took me less than a minute to get changed and start rappelling down, I haven’t done more than one or two rappels before so I was a bit afraid about it, feels great to rappel and it’s so safe!
I got in my kayak as soon as Rush sent it to me, warm-up in the mini-eddy, and focused on what I was going to do. The gorge was completely dark, you could see the light in the lip of the waterfall.
Rush gave me the signal to go, everything was ready, I was ready, there was only one thing on my mind, stomp that shit! Took some strokes, splashed some water in my face, and immediately after that I was facing the lip of the waterfall. It was an incredible moment that I will never forget, I have that image stuck in my mind, getting out of the darkness and getting in to the light, I got to see for a little moment the most beautiful landscape ever. Held, held, passed the auto-boofer without boof, connected with the big water line, took a big breath and threw my paddle away, grabbed my Lucky Charm skirt as hard as I could, with all my body straight forward to plug it instead of boof it, one, two, three, BOOOM! It was the longest freefall of my life, it felt so long!!! The impact was brutal but nothing hurt me at all, thankfully I had a great line and I was completely forward with all my body compact to absorb the impact.

Myself running BB falls, biggest drop ever in my life! 
As soon as I rolled up I got to see my friends Evan and Todd, I was completely excited and I couldn’t stop laughing and shouting around. It was a great feeling to realize that everything went smooth for both of us, we had such clean lines over the beast, luckily we where bringing IR spray decks so It didn't implode! I got to see Later that my buddy Rafa had some blood all over his eye, but anyway nothing could make us feel bad as we had already completed the second tallest waterfall ever run in a kayak with no injuries and swimmings!

Don Sánchez and cobra stoked! Sometimes dreams comes true!
BB falls down!
After chill a little bit in the pool, and measure the size of the waterfall (128.6 feet) we kept it going with Todd and Evan to the take-out of Tomata Falls I, Rafa took-out a little bit before because of his eye. This was my first time running the BB section, wich is amazing! Silencio was an incredible drop as well, a beautiful 40 ft. with an ugly undercut in the left, you can boof it, the landing is really soft!

Styling silencio,  softest  landing ever!
It was raining so hard and when we made it to the take-out the river was getting big really fast! That was the first descent from top of BB falls to tomata. Such an epic day of kayaking that I’ll remember all my life.

Storm in the Alsesseca, great run
with young stars EG and Todd!

Nothing of what me and Rafa did could have been possible without the help of all the group, I feel reallythankful to each one of them, Evan walked all the way down to Big Banana pool with a broken knee just to be there making safety for his friends, Lucas and Matt kicked their asses during all the trip to get all those sick shots. Todd became an idol for me after paddling to the take-out of Texolo falls after knocking himself on the mandatory. Rush was always there to run the shit, record, make safety and help the team even when he was sick as shit, Israel more of the same, taking care of us all the time! And to Rafa, thanks for being my brother on Big Banana showing me the line and letting me be part of your dream, - he has been looking at this waterfall for the last 4 years, it was his waterfall even before to run it, so I felt really lucky to run it with him. Thank you all guys for such an epic trip!

Todd the player and Cobra waiting
for a ride from Israel.
Since that day I came back to BB section many more times!
 But everytime I arrive to the put-in pool I do I remember that one
day we hucked this waterfall and lots of good memories go through my mind!
I am really thankful to Immersion Research for design the best spray-decks out there, it’s great to know that if you are using and IR spray-deck it’s not going to implode.

Check River Roots to see the teaser of the new movie, FRONTIER coming in march 2011!

-Photos by the famous extreme sports photographer Lucas Gilman  you can see the footage in SPN Magazine.

-Other pics by Todd wells and evan garcia, thank you ratas!! Missing Mexico and the good times!!

2 comentarios:

JBL dijo...

Eres un figura!! buena cronica de un buen salto. 40metros son muchisimos!!!!!!

SB Members dijo...

gracias!!! si nada mal 40 metrillos!