Friday, January 14, 2011

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. 

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