Entrada

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Contents

Quick Facts

  • Class: IV+
  • Type: Composite: Ledges and Landslide Debris
  • Length: 1.0 kilometers (0.6 miles)
  • Alternate Names: Entrance, Zapata, Puente Colgante, Swinging Bridge
  • Previous Rapid: Himalayas
  • Next Rapid: Lower Entrada
  • Interactive Map: Futaleufu River Valley
  • River Section: Lower Futaleufu, Bridge-to-Bridge Section

Overview

A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Entrada
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A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Entrada

The first rapid of the Bridge-to-Bridge section of the Lower Futaleufu River is Entrada (or Entrance). The majority of the rapid can be seen from the Pasarela Zapata (Zapata Swinging Bridge) that is just upstream and serves as the put-in point for this section of the river. The features of Entrada are caused by a series of ledges and by extensive landslide debris that has come down along the river-right side. Landslide activity is a fairly regular occurrence at Entrada and can change the rapid significantly from season to season. The large Zapata Rock at river-center marks the beginning of the rapid and the kayakers entrance to it. The put-in for the Lower Futaleufu is on river-right, above the Pasarela Zapata, in a large eddy.

High and Low Water

At low water the rapid tends to become less pushy offering more time for maneuvering, but the features become more pronounced. At high water the rapid tends to washout but the main channel flows through the dangerous landslide debris area.

Scouting

High water covering the Entrada Rock. Pistola Wave breaking on river-right.
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High water covering the Entrada Rock. Pistola Wave breaking on river-right.

Scout from the Zapata Swinging Bridge.

Hazards

The two greatest hazards of Entrada are the landslide debris area on river-right and the enormous length of the rapid itself. The rapid is essentially continuous and at medium and high water levels a swimmer may not be rescued until the bottom of the following rapid, Lower Entrada. The landslide created boulder field on river-right is an extremely dangerous pinning area for both swimmers and errant kayakers who might venture there. The boulder field has claimed the life of one unfortunate swimmer and needs to command the greatest respect.

Play Opportunities

The Pistola Surf Wave below and river-right of Zapata Rock offers world class play.
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The Pistola Surf Wave below and river-right of Zapata Rock offers world class play.

The Pistola Surf-wave (also called Revolver or Pistol) offers one of the best “big-air” surfing spots on the Futaleufu and has an excellent service eddy. However, due its location in the middle of this dynamic rapid only very confident paddlers will want to make the effort. There are two sizeable and intimidating ledge holes behind Pistola should one miss a roll or two.

Where to Swim

A swimmer should try to get out of the main current as quickly as possible by heading to the river-left side if possible. Keeping the feet-up and in a defensive position for oncoming boulders is essential.

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Where to Rescue

Home free - heading through the middle section of Entrada. Large ledge holes on both sides.
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Home free - heading through the middle section of Entrada. Large ledge holes on both sides.

Due to the width of the river and the numerous boulders and ledges rescue is difficult. Most rescue attempts in Entrada occur at the bottom of the rapid. Sometimes a rescue can be manufactured on-the-fly, but rarely planned.

Where to Portage

This rapid is about one kilometer long. Instead of portaging put-in lower down in the canyon.

Running the Rapid

Like ducks in a row, kayakers showing the perfect line through Entrada.
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Like ducks in a row, kayakers showing the perfect line through Entrada.

There are a number of lines down Entrada, but for first-timers we recommend that the rapid be run from right-to-left. The object of this right-to-left line is the total avoidance of the Rock Garden and the Landslide Debris Field. Paddlers should enter the rapid to the river-right of the central Zapata Rock (passing the Zapata Rock on your left). Cut close to the rock and aim for the slack-water behind it. The eddy behind the Zapata Rock will provide sufficient slow water to continue the right-to-left transition. The next landmarks will be the Pistola Surf Wave and the two large ledge-holes behind it on river-right. Once these are successfully cleared the paddler will encounter an area of Whitecap Chop and a few small random offset holes (depending on water level). After clearing the Landslide Debris Field follow the flow that moves like a "conveyor" along the river-left canyon wall but be on the lookout for the last obstacle, a small wave-hole off the river-left wall. Meet your group in the eddy on river-right before the next series of rapids.


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Video

  • Kayakers at enter Entrada threading the needle between Zapata Rock on the left and Pistola Wave on the right. Video

Copyright & Terms of Use

  • Copyrights: (Copyright © 2006, Expediciones Chile) All photos, maps, diagrams, text and computer code is the copyrighted property of Expediciones Chile with all rights reserved.

  • Terms of Use: Any type of reproduction, republication, or re-transmission for commercial use is prohibited without the expressed, written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users of this Wiki guidebook may print copies of the text, images and diagrams for personal river running use only. Users may not alter the diagrams or text without expressed written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users must read and acknowledge the disclaimer before printing. Printing implies acknowledgment of the disclaimer.

Disclaimer

  • Disclaimer: Under no circumstances should paddlers substitute the information and diagrams in this guidebook for their own sound judgment on the river and their collective experience running rivers. This guidebook is based on Expediciones Chile's twenty years of experience running the Futaleufu River. However, the diagrams and descriptions found here are only approximations of what paddlers will find on the river once they get here. They are not to scale and nor are they completely accurate. Water levels change, rocks move around, landslide debris can enter the river at any time making the diagrams obsolete. Expediciones Chile also reserves the right to update these diagrams and descriptions at any time as we find better ways to illustrate and discuss the rapids. Use this guidebook at your own risk.

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