Seven Days of Demshitz

The Demshitz crew, all but one of them in kayaking gear, was scouting a 40-foot waterfall they called the Dirty Toilet Bowl on the Rio Carhuello. The creek, a half-hour from the town of Pucon in southern Chile, was flooding. Wind whipped the trees and rain fell at an angle. Even the farmyard ducks by the put-in were huddled beneath the barn.

The team was debating whether it was better to punch the hole guarding the entrance on the left, or boof—”Mesa Falls-style”—onto the flake on the right that kicked water 30 feet out from the lip. Plug it or boof it. Satisfied with their choices, five of them hustled upstream with their boats. The sixth, Evan Garcia, was still in street clothes, using his jacket to shield his camera from the driving rain. Every few minutes he turned and dry heaved, attempting to purge the dozen or so pisco-colas he drank the night before.

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