Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kokatahi, West Coast, New Zealand

We have been having a very dry season so far here in Murch, so after finishing work we were looking for a trip to do that is a bit harder than the Lower Matakitaki. After some good information from Jordy Searle, we rallied a team to get to the Kokatahi on the West Coast. With Graham Charles, Zak Shaw, Shannon Mast, Keith Reily, Trent Garnham and myself.

We had a lowish flow but it seemed to be a great flow, still a little pushy in places.

I didn't take many photos on this trip after spending some time under a boulder... First swim in a long time. In terms of a swim it wasn't the worst which was good for me. I ended up with a broken grab loop on my boat, a huge bruise and a bit of a shake up.

I had my swim in the first 20 minutes, so had no choice but to carry on and paddle as well as I could.

The Kokatahi is an amazing river, lots of variation and stunning gorges.

 Zak: so strong that one hand will do



Trent on Cover Shot

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Glenroy, Murchison

The Glenroy is a local Murchison run, just 28km from town which makes it a great after-work run. The Glenroy is very different in style to the rest of the Murchison runs, more creeky than the rest. The Glenroy is a great way to break into grade 4. It's in an unlikely place, a native bush bubble surrounded by farmland. The run doesn't change that often, but it does collect a lot of wood. Keep your eyes out for wood around every corner. It has a great build up to the first grade 4, and is often peoples' first grade 4.

The rapids start off slow and gently build. There are lots of cool eddies and fun moves. The two harder rapids are very different in style - the first has multiple moves and ends in a small pool. The second has a cool move above a row of sieves, but also lots of eddies during the rapid. The two harder rapids are both easy to portage (with up to medium high flows).  The Glenroy flows after rain and also in spring with a bit of snow melt. People do go in super low but it becomes a bit of scenic boat abuse. Hope you enjoy the photos and there is a movie to come in the future.

Shannon Mast

 Soph Mulder

 Jess Matheson

 Soph's Brown Claw


Soph keeping her nose up on the second drop

 Jess lining it up

Jess going pro

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Paddle Rescue on the Whitcombe

This is a short movie I took while on the Whitcombe River, New Zealand. It's all shot off a GoPro HD camera (an awesome toy). As you will see, this hole was a bit sticky. Big thanks to Jess Matheson for her outstanding throw-bagging skill, Shannon Mast for putting all those years of playing cricket to good use and the crew from OB for a great day out.

A few more photos of the crew...

 Scotty and Hayden
 Ben White
 Shannon Mast
 Ben getting close and personal
Soph Mulder
Hayden, Dee and Scotty

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grand Canyon Baby

In August I got the opportunity to go on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in Arizona. It's something that I have heard about ever since I started kayaking back in school. I went with a cool group of people and learnt lots along the way. It is an amazingly beautiful place, fantastic geology and warm. During the trip there was only one day of rain and for the rest of the time, nice warm days. Sleeping under the stars every night. It's the place where I have slept the best and dreamt the most, a place with so much history and energy. 

I spent 15 days on the water... Next time I go, I hope to spend more time in the Grand Canyon and explore the side streams more. Hope the photos help to show the beauty of this magical place.

Rest of my time in Cali

Well, my time in the USA had its ups and downs. Got to do a lot of cool rivers, a few multi-day trips and every run was a first for me. Jess and I arrived into San Francisco Airport, and after a day we had our Ford Taurus Station Wagon. But this vehicle was only going to look after us for a month. On the eve of Jess' birthday the trusty Ford blew a head and that was the end of that. The next week was spent out of the water, chasing a new vehicle down. We managed to find a Toyota Pickup, just two seats in the front but plenty of room in the back.

Before changing vehicle we got the chance to do lots of kayaking in the Trinity area, we got all the runs on the Cal Salmon, East Fork of the Trinity, Canyon Creek, Scott Creek and the North Fork of the Trinity. Here are some photos of the North Fork.

Jess Matheson
Silas Beaver
 Jo Parsons

After our weeks in the Trinity and Marble Mountains, we made our way down into Cali proper... With a warm up day on Fordyce Creek.

                       Getting the truck unstuck               The new transport

                       Me on one of the first slides             Yan Wong

Yan again

With the Taurus refusing to work for us, we lost a week of really awesome flows. So by the time we got paddling we had to venture further south. From Fordyce it was time to head to Three Rivers. With multiple runs on the Kaweah Hospital Rock section, the Potwisha section, a day trip to the Forks of the Kern, and a trip down East Kaweah, Three Rivers is an awesome place to boat.

Rachel Curtis                    Sam Roil - Hospital Rock

Toni George Hospital Rock
 0 - 60                           Brendan Bayly - Hospital Rock
                                                         Me Little Niagara

Jess, Leela, and Yan Hanging around

West Cherry was next on the list. We caught up with Barny, Jordy and Leela then made our way to Groveland. We spent a day getting suplies from Groveland and the rest of the day getting lost looking for the put-in. We ended up waiting for Shannon Carroll to come down from Truckee, who knew a little more about how to get to the put-in. The flow was low and made for two dinged up boats, it was still an awesome time in there, a beautiful night out and some good swimming.

Jess Paddling to the put in      Shannon checking out her boat
                              Putting a patch on    
Chucks Super Slide
Jess hitching a ride to the take out

Can't wait till next year to go back to Cali, and get another crack at the rivers I missed out on. Thanks to everybody for a great time in the States.