About Tequila Chute Rapid
Tequila Chute is a relatively straightforward rapid on the Upper Kern. What makes it interesting is the river splits and you ‘lose’ a significant amount of water to another channel called Pepsi Challenge, so this rapid is typically quite shallow compared to the rest of the Cables Run. Tequila Chute is the left, main channel around the rock island. Pepsi Challenge is the right channel around the island.
How to run Tequila Chute
As you approach the entrance keep your raft at an angle to allow you to navigate away from any trees coming off the shore. As the river begins its long bend to the right, you want to stick to the inside of the corner, so keep working your way right towards the right bank. At the end of the turn, there is a large rock with a lot of the current pushing you towards it. If you worked to stay to the inside, you shouldn’t have to do much here to avoid it. However, if you let your raft get slung to the center of the turn you need to work hard to avoid this rock, or worst case, call a get-down as it can be a big hit if you crash into it.
Once you clear the center rock, it’s a shallow ride with lots of small holes or barely submerged rocks. The clearest channel is on the right, which is good because you should already be over there. As the rapid finishes, it makes a sharp turn left, with a large eddy on river left. You want to hit this eddy or else you’ll end up in the overhanging trees on river right, which aren’t strainers but would be bad form.