The run finished with some more cool rapids and a crazy cave with springs coming out of the walls.
We stayed in Kinloch on Saturday night (no pubs there) and this was where the much bigger and better plans kicked in. Josh Neilson, Sam Suttom and Dylan Thompson were coming to Taupo on Sunday morning (1 o'clock ferry anyone) and word was that an early morning run of Huka was on. Pretty big I hear you say; Not for these boys, turned out they were going to run Aratiatia instead and asked us to run safety for them. For those who aren't kayakers, the Aratiatia rapids are on the Waikato river about ten minutes out of taupo and are right below the Aratiatia dam. The dam gets released four times a day and the rapids fill up and turn into some of the hardest whitewater in the country and possibly the world. It's big and scary and serious. So for us to get to see them run and to run safety was a pretty cool opportunity. Chee changed his plans and came down to Taupo for the midday release which was when the run was planned for.
The rapids without water
and nearly full
For the run we were going to be at the weir which is the crux of the rapids and is basically just a massive river wide hole with a heinous drawback. Chee and Jdog abseiled down to just below it and Sanga was on the other side all with throwbags in case something went wrong (gulp)
The boys scouting the weir
Chee abseiling in
At 12:15 after the rapids were cranking, Josh pioneered the way down the top half of the rapids and came to the weir, he took a roll just at the bottom but luckily came out ok. Sam was next and got in a massive boof and skimmed straight through. Dylan was last, he bogged a bit but managed to paddle out safely. Whew!!! sighs of relief all round.
Josh on line and styling the top section
Sam on the weir with a sweet line
The boys got to the bottom section of the rapids and scouted it then paddled it ok with a couple of beatings apparantly but they all came out fine.
The team above the bottom drop
Dylan lining it up
It was awesome to see rapids like this being run and run cleanly and it was a rush just seeing it done. If anyone wants some lessons on manning the f**** up they should talk to these dudes!!
After getting out of the gorge we took off for Kaituna on our original mission and Ev had his first taste of waterfall central which he loved, so this ones for you bro... Show your mum.