Video: The Acobamba Abyss

Earlier today I posted a story about paddler West Hansen’s attempt to make a solo-speed run of the Amazon River, which he is calling the Amazon Express. In that story I mentioned that he would have to run the Acobamba Abyss, a notoriously treacherous stretch of white water that is amongst the toughest in the world.

What exactly will that entail? The Abyss is roughly 40 miles (64km) in length and features Class V+ rapids nearly the entire way. It also runs through steep slot canyons that don’t allow for any kind of retreat once paddlers enter the section. The water is too fast to paddle upstream and the walls are too difficult to climb, which means there is only one way to go – down!

For a better idea of what it’s like, check out the video below that shows some rafters running through the Abyss a few years back. Looks like a wild ride!

Kraig Becker