About Mundaca Rapid
While intimidating from the top, Mundaca has relatively low consequences. Flipping and swimming is certainly possible, but at most flows there is a nice pool at the bottom. With good boat safety, nobody should be swimming past this pool into the following rapids. Scouting and portaging can be done from river right.
There is a long, Class III lead-in into the steep and powerful main drop of Mundaca. If you intend to sneak the rapid on the right, you can avoid much of the lead-in by remaining close to the right shore.
How to run Mundaca Rapid
Medium/High Water Lines: The main drop Mundaca is a series of massive, highly dynamic breaking waves. There are few holes to contend with, but the waves are capable of flipping anything. Most kayakers head right down the middle as it is by far the most fun. The raft line is to get right as quickly as possible below Cara Del Indio. From there you can slowly progress along the right shore and avoid the Class III lead-in that will certainly take a boat down the center. In the eddy above the main drop you are still above the largest waves, but have some choices on what line to take. Some boats elect to take a steep, creeky line along the right shore and try not to get bounced out into the middle. The more adventurous option is to start right and build momentum towards the center waves. If done correctly, boats will hit the right side of the waves and slide off without experiencing the full “fight club” atmosphere of the true center. If you feel confident in your kayak, consider the center line from top to bottom.
Low Water: At low water, a large, well defined hole forms at the the bottom of Mundaca. The hole is perfectly shaped, and will flip nearly everything it touches. With plenty of water flushing out of the hole, a short surf is possible, but recirculating is not. Kayakers can come down the center and cut hard to the left or the right of the hole. There is good eddy service if you are interested in a powerful surf. For rafts, the right sneak line starts to dry up but it is still possible. The right, to left, to right line is pretty common amongst the rafting companies when the hole is in play. Get all the way right after Cara Del Indio. From river right, push out into the center of the Class III lead-in. Continue progress almost all the way left and you will see the hole and some lateral waves coming off the left shore. Ferry left to right using these lateral waves to surf you in front of the hole. This is a hard line to visualize, but it works incredibly well.
Center Line Mundaca at high water. Photo by Steve Merrow.
Mundaca at high water. Photo by Steve Merrow.
Kayaker Harley Goedhart punches through the well defined hole in Mundaca rapid at low water during the FutaXL kayak race. Photo by Steve Merrow.
Mundaca Rapid is at 1:28