19 November 2007

Lower Ngaruroro - Longest Day Ever

Hey crew, it has been flat out for us up in the Bay (and yes it is THE Bay RJ). The first weekend we arrived everyone was fevered to get on the water and so with Jamie and Butters having been here a grand total of eight hours we were off to rock the Ruakituri (a casual three hour drive). Alas it was not to be as there was a key element missing - namely water, and the river was mostly one big death sieve;
Three hours and a dozen Tuis later a disgruntled team got back to Havelock and decided to do the lower Ngaruroro on the Sunday. The Guidebook said eight hours but because we were under the influence we talked ourselves into the idea that it would only take six.......

Jamie having a shower
(The shower head was a bit high)
We made it onto the water by lunchtime and were in high spirits (except for Butters cos he was being punished by the alcohol gods), five hours, some fun grade two, and some sweet chicken sammies later we were still in high spirits and had reached the start of the lower gorge or barricade section.

J Dog on his rock

There were some cool Grade three - three plus rapids which with more water would nudge four. We had heaps of fun on them and were out of the gorge by six at night - Has anyone guessed whats next yet?

Sanga in the midst

J Dog gettin his boof on

Butters on the crux - ish bit (the Barricade rapid)

... Eight hours and 39kms later

Yup we should have listened to Graham, turns out there was still a two and a half hour flat, braided paddle out. After a slight episode of going mental (why would anyone do longboating) we finally made the take out just before our ride left us to find our own way home.

15 November 2007

Mt Rolleston, Rome Ridge, 14-11-07

Arthurs Pass: Patchy cloud cover clearing, SouWesterly winds easing and freezing level at to 1600 metres predicted before an afternoon NorWesterly change bringing cloud, low visibility and high winds.
This defines the small break in the weather creating a possibity for a early crack at the rome ridge said Flynn. Josh said yep im keen, unfortunately Rob and Crusher had more pressing commitments. So there were two who readied gear and cruised up to the pass tues evening, saluting the kayak crew at sheffield who were on the way home. YeaBoi. The descision was made to bunker down at goldneys shelter (?), 10 minutes this side of the pass. Bad idea. The Boys didd'nt realise there'd be so many excessively loud trucks and trains passing through in the night, determining how well they slept (very poor).
Walking by 6am had us out of the bush by 7 and axes out. Unfortunately there wasn't near as hard a freeze as hoped so we were plugging instead of cramponing through 15cm of fresh snow and a wind crust that would often break through to knee-high snow. Poor conditions!
The SW was continually blowing cloud over keeping visiblity low at times, and pressing on up the ridge found still more wind-blown fresh, and instability in areas of the snowpack (as the boys expected). Climbing a few steep sections and feeling a bit of exposure on the ridge was an enjoyment, even the cold gusty wind and cloud was a contributing factor to the fun that was had. Being in the hills is mint!
The descicion was made to turn for home at about 10am (so early!). The weather was going to become very crusty when it changed NW, and plugging had become tiresome and seemingly pointless. The boys decided that they were close enough to the gap anyway and didnt want to commit to the ropework required, due to the poor weather.
Back at the car by lunchtime after cruising down at a leisurely pace (the fastest plastics would allow) and rolling some rocks down a steep gully. Saw the fattest kea weve ever seen too.
Looking foward to better conditions in the future 'cos the ridge is a goodie. Peace!

14 November 2007

End of Year Kayak Trip - West Coast

Half way through the year we got this great idea to apply for a grant from the CPSA (Christchurch Polytech Students Association) to go and explore more of the areas that the South Island has to offer for kayakers on an intermediate level. The trip that we had planned to do was down to Queenstown in July... whose idea was that?! We had to postpone the trip to later on in the year because of the difficulties of travel both on roads and river due to snow and ice! We ended up having to keep shifting it further and further back because of study and eventually we ran out of time leaving us with half of the original group.
Even this trip that ended up shrinking from 10 days to 2 and moved from Queenstown to Hokitika which was still a mission to plan. Because of weather, money, etc our plans changed every day dramatically. We went from plans to fly to the reality of walking because of the trusty West Coast rain. Luckily we had an excess of water, we are all so tough, and we are all well conditioned athletes (yeah right!) this didn't really bother us.
We got on the Styx on Monday, waited around on Tuesday for the weather to make a plan to fly, walk, or drive, before finally organising the chopper, arriving at the river (which at this stage is big and brown), and then having to send Dando home (which he was really good about), and finally walking in through the mud and rain to the put in. This is what the West Coast is all about!

Angus on the Styx - image Chee Joe
Jamie and Butters walking into the Toaroha - image Sophia Mulder

Gus battling the mud of the Toaroha - image Soph Mulder

still walking - image Soph Mulder

Gus avoiding Jake being worked - image Soph Mulder

Jesse on the final rapid of the day - image Chee joe

Camping at Mahinapua!- Jamie Garrod

7 November 2007

Te Oka Bay

On Monday the 5th of November we had our last class trip for the year. We went to Te Oka bay on the southern side of Banks Peninsula for three days for our environmental values paper. Basically we just hung out at a cool hut and did some presentations about what we thought the world will be like in 2020.

Beach art (Yeah Boi!)

Interspersed between presentations were spells of mafia (a mean game) eeling (caught one - saw heaps), surfing (by the kayak crew) and bouldering (by Grafton st hooligans). Te Oka bay is only a couple over from Magnets so we were in a prime location for surfing and full advantage was taken with a couple of cheeky surf sessions.

The things you do when there is no Tv/phone reception/bebo (Dave)

We had a sweet pot luck dinner on tuesday night and most people ended up with a very eclectic mix on their plates (curry and eel anyone?).

Pot luck

Surfing at Magnets

More pot luck

J dog throwing an airscrew - yeah!

Butters in the thick of it

All in all it was a cool way to round up (almost) our year, court session anyone?.....