A month (or more) to raft and kayak a section of the Marañón River in Peru, while undertaking some worthy side missions.
The Marañón River is the source of the Amazon, the largest tributary to the greatest river system on earth. It is under threat from 20 hydroelectric dams and is in need to publicity, exploration and conservation. Named number 3 on 2015 list of Threatened Paddling classics, there is room for adventurous OXO’s to do something out of the ordinary here.
Right now this is just an idea. The level of difficulty depends entirely on the participants who are interested and what skills they have. It could be a beginner trip (we would hire some guides for rafts); or it could be a full blow advanced self support trip only. If you are interested, we can discuss this more.
Potential Side Missions:
Side missions can add enormous depth to an expedition that will be amazing in itself. Which side missions (if any) we decide to undertake will depend on the group, their expectations and level of committment.
- Explore, map and record as many of the tributary canyons as possible. This will require some first descents of canyons that have yet to be explored. There are dozens of slot & plateau canyons flowing into the Marañón; some of these have been partially explored by walking & climbing up from river level, and some have not even had that level of exploration; however nobody has come equipped with ropes and gear (and the time) needed to hike around then fully descend these canyons from the top.
- Write and Publish a guidebook for the Marañón River, or at least begin working towards this goal. Charting the canyons would be a part of this, other elements would be photographic projects and writing descriptions. Much of the information needed already exists, it simply needs to be coordinated and edited into a professional publication. This would require fundraising beforehand and committed publications team to see it to completion.
- Activism to save the river. The team could complete fundraising before and after the trip to help further conservation efforts to save the river. Money could be donated to the Marañón Waterkeeper and would be used to fund environmental and social litigation, or educational projects.
- Any kind of publications, publicity, film or scientific endeavor that we can fund and complete within the given timeframe.
Return Flight Aus-Lima: $2000
Expedition Expenses: $500 – $2000. Costs will depend on what kind of expedition it is. If we need to hire one or two guides to assist us, this will increase the price. Basically, living on the river is cheap, especially in a county where a bag of avocados costs the same as a single avocado here.
Equipment Hire: We will be able to hire any equipment that we need for this expedition including rafts, kayaks, kitchen and emergency equipment. The cost of this is included in the estimate above.
Overall Cost: $3000-$4000 is realistic. This adventure could be a good candidate for the MUMC Adventure Grant, this could subsidise the costs for everyone involved.
Primarily in the 2017 Winter break (24 June -23rd July 2017).
1 month would be the bare minimum amount of time required to float the full section with rafts, this would not afford much time for exploration however. To make time for exploring, we would either need to float a shorter section, or increase time available for the trip.
The trip could easily be lengthened to 1.5-2 months if people have time, this would allow for more exploration along the way.
In terms of costs, additional time on the river barely increases the overall cost, as most costs are in transport to and from the river.
About The Idea:
Ben Webb is a keen MUMC member, and also happens to be pretty involved in protection of this river. He is keen use his knowledge about this part of the world to help make this trip a reality!
We could do the upper section (class IV) http://sierrarios.org/GuidedTrips/RaftTripInfo_Maranon1.html
Or do the main section (class III), or both: http://sierrarios.org/GuidedTrips/RaftTripInfo_Maranon1.html
Further Reading on scientific aspects