Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two Day Whitcombe

Got a phone call on Saturday asking if I was keen for an Upper Whitcombe. After thinking about it for a few seconds, re-living peoples' recent adventures up there, I was keen to give it a go. The weather forecast looked good for a Monday/Tuesday mission. Sunday night was going to see me rally with Jess and Soph down to the Coast.

After a dinner cooking accident and a visit to the hospital, I was left quite uncommitted. I chopped the top of my finger off with a mandolin, blood went everywhere and my finger went into dinner.  The thing stopping me from pulling out of the trip was Mick Hopkinson's words in the back of my mind; "When I was in India I had a dysentery the entire Dudh Kosi trip." I would have felt soft if I let a bit of blood stop me from going. So after a quick lie about the currency of my tetanus and a couple of waterproof dressings we were off.

We meet up with Barny, Jordy and Krissy and rallied to the heli pad. 

Dando (the chopper pilot) was a bit F*#ked off. His oil cap got lost and he had a sling break on him when taking some rafters up the Hoki. When the sling broke, the load dropped onto rocks from about 20 metres up, breaking three raft paddles, three Peli cases and one satellite phone.

We finally got to the put-in at 12.30pm. From there Barny, Jordy and I made good progress and got to Price Flat Hut at 3pm. Some awesome whitewater and beautiful scenery in a very amazing place. Lots of slips and a couple of mank rapids but mostly clean read and run whitewater.

The second day saw Matt Coles and Ari Walker dropped off around 10am, with Krissy flying back out on Dando's return journey with all our overnight gear. The arrival of the two guys took the total up to 7 for on the water.

Some great lines and bit of extra water ment for a fast trip through the Lower Prices Gorge.    

 Jordy checking out an early gorge on Day One

Jordy deep in the heart of Prices Gorge

 Jordy Searle 

 Barny getting his nose up in one that has produced some big beat downs

 Jess charging on Day Two

Very clean (photo by Barny)

Loving the Whitcombe (photo by Barny)

 Soph finding the line

Getting ready to get some air time... (photo by Barny)

 Barny on the Leap of Faith... Clean 20 footer

Jess, loving air under her boat

 Stomp it, Jordy

Barny, finding a line

Thanks team for an awesome trip. Two Day Perth... Here I come.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Glenroy. A Kayaking Gem

Third try luck. Glenroy a Murchison classic. Hope you enjoy.

Mungo/Upper Hokitika two day mission

The Upper Hokitika... Well, actually the Mungo. After a couple of hours a small but impressive river joins, and takes over the naming rights of this river. The Hokitika hasn't been on my radar, but when Zak Shaw asked if I would be keen, it didn't take much to jump at the chance. We rallied from Murch to Hoki the night before, leaving us with a short drive to do in the morning. In the morning we caught up with the other three team members... JV, Barny and Jordy. 

 A view of the put in: there are a couple of boats in there somewhere

After what felt like 15 minutes of flying and a lot of whitewater, we arrived at the confluence of the Mungo and the Park. A couple of minutes getting ready and we set off at a steady pace. 

Zak Shaw putting his boat where it needs to be

JV looking fanfuckingtastic for his second day in a kayak in 6 months

Nose Up! Photo by Barny Young

After some basic errors in communication, we dropped into Gateway Gorge blind (well not quite).

Me lining up the entrance to Gateway
Photo by Barny Young

Zak and I did a bit of bush bashing to see if Gateway Gorge was clean. 20 minutes later we managed to see an eddy at the bottom of 4 consecutive must-run rapids. We decide to fully commit to Gateway Gorge. Barny probed the line and made it look easy. The next three drops were awesome. We caught an eddy above a portage (which I think would go depending on how the two sieves below the last drop look).

A committing ferry glide put us safely on left side of the river. Ready for a small hike.

 Making the ferry above a big one

The short hike put us at the top of an awesome must run 15 footer followed by a couple of holes. My spray skirt imploded through the second hole, I managed to paddle into a cave and get the water out of my kayak.

Loving getting some air under my boat
Photo by Barny Young

 Barny taking on the entrance to Frisco Canyon

Barny recovering after a couple of awesome cartwheels

 Zak Shaw looking deep into Frisco

 Jordy loving the look of breakfast and the view from the hut

After five and a half hours we arrived at the hut. With the big flood the hut is now three metres closer to Serpentine Creek. With a night of food including devilled sausages, cheese and crackers, tortellini and a few cups of tea, a good sleep was in order (and a sleep in).

 Barny on the waterfall early on day 2

 Barny totally stoked 

 Jordy loving it

The Gates of Argonath... Not much room to get through!

Gates of Argonath from below
Photo by Barny Young

After making good time through the gorge we got to the start of the Lower Hoki run. With a quick run down the Lower Hoki, we made it to the confluence with the Whitcombe in two and a half hours. 

An awesome two days out, with big commitment factor and amazing scenery. Will have to go back in here.

I was surprised at how clean it was considering the recent big flood.