Mexico has great whitewater, well known would be Chiapas. Ben Stookesberry was one of the main pioneers of that area, but most famously is the Santa Domingo. This trip was my first trip to the Santa Domingo, and the Lower Agua Azul… and also my first trip with the adidas team.
The whole trip was for a film project called “Searching for the River God” which plays all over Europe, including in the McDonalds – how cool is that. I was so fired up to paddle in Chiapas, but also just to get to paddle with Olaf, Jerad, Sam, Philip, Matze, Matthieu, Jens, and Tomass. It was awesome paddling with these guys and learning how they put together a film project with cranes and zip lines.
The trip started with four crazy bus rides having 8 kayaks, kayakers, and a whole bunch of camera gear on board. We met up with one of my best friends and our little Mexican guide, Rafael Ortiz.
We started on the Agua Azul, doing the upper, then the lower part and then doing the Don Agua Azul running everything.
After a couple days paddling and filming on the Agua Azul we packed up and headed to the famous Santa Domingo. After one scouting day, we headed in for the steepest river I have ever seen. As a group we ran everything except the “Angle Wings” the first 60 footer that lands with a 10 foot pool before the next double stage 80 footer. Matze and Rafa ran the “Dome” drop, (double stage 80 footer).
After a couple interesting lines, I decided to walk like a champ. The steepness continues with another double stage 60 footer and double stage 50 footer. Finishing with a strong and still steep run out. But the kayaking wasn’t the whole adventure of this trip…
All in all it was a crazy trip, with a couple first descents, including the top 70 foot falls on the Lower Agua Azul and the last big drop on the Santa Domingo. We broke four paddles through out the trip and had several injuries, luckily none too serious. We also had one sketchy line, where Philip was kicked left into a crack but came out only with a couple scratches.
We had the craziest and most unreliable driver for the entire trip. We met the rebel Zapatistas wearing balaclavas and wielding machetes. We filmed from the governor’s helicopter for four days, which was very sweet and we also had to have an emergency landing in the middle of a soccer game in nowhere of Mexico because of thunder storms. We spent the night there and flew back while sunrise the next day.
I think I can speak for the whole group saying that everyone had a blast… and it was a sick trip.
Enjoy the pictures!