Hail to the Rio Baker


Kyle SmithDTD special correspondent Kyle “Smitty” Smith checks in with his latest film edit, a tribute to the Patagonia region’s exotic and endangered Rio Baker. Read the write-up, enjoy the video, and vote for Smitty in the Kayak Session Short Film of the Year Awards.

In the far reaches of Southern Patagonia, the conditions can be harsh and beautiful. Every panoramic view holds crystalline glaciers and mind-blowing clear waters. If you can get there, you’ll understand what has made this region a pilgrimage for climbers, mountaineers, explorers, wanderers and, now, whitewater kayakers.

As a sad side note, this region is under threat of being dammed and exploited by large industries that have never touched or seen the beauty of Patagonia. They cannot quantify the simple value of a place, left untouched, unplugged and unscathed. This knowledge, and an impending fear of losing one of the world’s magical places, has flowed through the outdoor-adventure community for decades. It leaves one with an urge to travel south, far south, to what seems like the end of the earth for some, to feel the power of this place before it’s gone.

In late spring of 2014, a group of friends from all over the world including Idaho, Oregon, California, Arkansas, Texas, Peru and Argentina, scrounged together what finances they could muster to fund an ambitious journey. A journey to experience some of our most precious rivers in the world before they are gone and, hopefully, bring home passionate stories of these incredible places in order to instill a love for that which is wild and untamed.
Here is a short video of their time at the Rio Baker.