If I could package up the Upper Misahualli (Mish for short) river near Tena, Ecuador and bring it home in my duffle I would. The run just puts a smile on the face of anyone who paddles it.
Technical and continuous is how I would describe the Mish but you would also be amazed at how “doable” it is for a variety of skill levels. It’s the perfect training ground for developing and improving your creeking skills and a playground for those that want to keep those skills sharp.
There are access points sprinkled all along it’s length allowing you to pick and choose how hard and how long a run you want to do.
On Tuesday our two group drove over the Guacamayo mtns. from the Quijos river valley to find sunny skies and user friendly flows on the Mish. Putting in at Cotundo it wasn’t long before we started into the many fun slides and boofs linked by small read-and-run rock gardens. It is easy to forget that you are essentially roadside because the rapids hold your attention so well.
From Contundo to the little town of Retén the run is class IV and takes around an hour for your first time through. Below Retén it is closer to IV- with take-outs at the footbridge at Calmita Yacu or further down at Archidona. If you get an early start and the team is keen it’s not unheard to fit in more than one run in a day.
There’s only one thing to do after a good day of paddling one the Mish- cold beers at Manuel’s.
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