May 25, 1996
Location S 13° 45’ 12” W 68° 58’ 35”
Only two of us left now.….We have negotiated numerous small waterfalls but today came to an impasse. This one poured into a deep pool 60 feet across. Sheer walls rose from the water to 200 feet on both sides like a massive barricade, slick and vertical surrounding us. There was no way around. We dove in the pool, but the current was strong and repeatedly pushed us down river. After a few attempts, we discovered by kicking hard and grasping tiny fissures in the wall, we were able to drag ourselves through the current into an eddy beside the falls. The smooth walls were impossible to climb. To avoid them we would have to backtrack half a mile, cut vertically through the jungle, and then return cutting through the bush above the falls. It would take at least another day, maybe two, out of the question. We are half starved and have no food to get us back to our base camp. Miraculously, we found hidden holds behind the falling water and with great effort holding our breath we were able to climb up the face of the waterfall, plunging hands and feet through the cascade, until we found a ledge which permitted us to advance. Many times we have come to apparently impassable obstructions, where we assumed the exploration was over, only to find some hidden key which enabled us to continue.” (from Barron’s Heath River Exploration journal)
Barron Pickard Heath River Exploration Team
Bruce Barron - USA -Expedition leader, navigator
Worldwide expedition and climbing guide, photographer, writer. Organized the exploration, expert on Fawcett.
Marshall Pickard - USA -Expedition financier
Entrepreneur CEO international companies, mountaineer. Peruvian title “Hulcito” (Little Hulk).
Alejandro Gonzales - Peru - Whitewater expert
Introduced whitewater rafting in Peru, adventure travel guide, several first river descents in Peru.
Carlos Valdez - Peru - Filmmaker
Cameraman and correspondent for Reuters International in Lima, fearless cameraman, "Larva".
David Creech - USA –Filmmaker
Filmmaker, cameraman and scriptwriter.
Juan Rodriguez "Juanjo" - Peru - Biologist
Bat specialist and researching biologist for Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Conservation International, Manu research expeditions
Martin Ponte "Cucho" - Peru - Botanist
Botanist at the Museo de Historia Natural “Javier Prado” in Lima, discovers several new plants species on the Heath River.
Antonio Pezegra - Bolivia - “trochero”
Native backwoodsman, hunter and trail cutter, living on Madre di Dios River, reformed jaguar hunter.
Eddy “Daapis"(Little Bird) Tucha Melgar - Peru – Interpreter
Ese’eja tribal elder from Sonene Village, the last native community to survive on the Heath.
Expedition Support Team
Mendel Wilson Muniz - Peru - Rafting guide
Expert rafter, lawyer turned rafter, offers to spirit Apus
Christien Morice - Chile - Rafting guide
Expert rafter, "You no go the chicken way!”
Ursula Behr - Peru - Rafting guide
Peruvian model turned rafting guide
Drea Hoffman - USA - Raft support
Filmmaker and screenwriter, works for Warner Brothers
Edith Rotchas - Israel - Raft Support
Just finished her mandatory stint in the Israeli Army
Ronen Avigdor - Israel - Raft Support
On vacation from Israel, he decided to join the expedition two days before.
"I want to do something big - once in my life".
left to right: Christien Morice, Juan Rodriguez, Mendel Muniz, Eddi Little Bird, Martin Ponte, Antonio Pezegra, Bruce Barron, Chando Gonzales, Ursula Behr, David Creech,
Drea Hoffman, Marshall Pickard, Edith Rotchas, Ronan Avigdor