Who has the ‘Cajones’ for this river? These guys!

The First Descent: Michoacán crew has found a new river to run – and it's not going to be easy.
By Josh Sampiero

Upon their completion of the Rio Hoyo del Aire during the last episode, the Michoacán crew claimed it was one of the ‘best pieces of whitewater’ they’d ever run.

But they weren't through yet. The Cajones is a river directly parallel to the Hoya del Aire, and it was up next.

Things started simply.

“We were relaxed – joking about ditching the lifejackets,” said Rafa.

Then they found themselves at the top of the canyon – very much appreciative of the fact that they'd brought the rope.

What does a canyon mean in kayaking? In this instance, it means you're walled in, with no safe opportunity to get out of your kayak, or go back upstream.

As Rafa puts it, “the only way to go down is running something you've never seen and that's super dangerous.”

They’d seen enough to know they want to rappel the canyon.

Professional kayak athletes pose for a group shot on their 2013 Michoacan expedition
The Kayakers of First Descent: Michoacán © John Rathwell/Red Bull Content Pool

Taking five people and five boats was not an easy task. After the more experienced of the crew helped those with less rappel experience drop themselves and their boats into the canyon, the team got to shred.

Says Joel Kowalski: “It's an environment that's as committed, that's as tight, that's as crazy as you can get in a kayak, and that's awesome.”

And once they're done? It's not ‘are we having tacos tonight’, it's ‘which taco stand are we going tonight?’ A meal well deserved.

Up next – the series conclusion – and word is it includes a ‘tall waterfall with a healthy flow’. We suggest taking the boy’s cues from the tacos – and coming back for more.

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Rafael Ortiz
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