11 May 2008


On the weekend we decided to roll to Rangitata to alleviate the withdrawl symptoms from not paddling for a while. J-dog made the weather call and we got a stunner of a day sandwiched between two rubbish ones. Unfortunately for maggie his helmet got left behind so we found ourselves with a shuttle driver which was mean for us but not so good for him.
With about 70 cumecs in the river it was a bit higher than anyone had done it before so we were looking forward to some new features and less rocks!
Our expectations were lived up to with some cleaner lines and bigger water on the entry to the gorge and everyone was feeling good as we reached the crux of the run, rooster tail. After a lot of talking the call was made and J-dog and butters stepped up. Jamie was on line right from the start and styled it, butters went a bit far right, got rolled on the buffer and lost his paddle - gulp..... Luckily the polo training kicked in and he made the quickest hand roll any of us had ever seen. After watching the boys Chee and Sanga decided to step up as well and both came through unscathed.
A few more rapids and we came to the other main rapid, the pinch. Everyone got through alright and Leela showed us her Africa training with a roll in the big wave at the bottom. Everyone was buzzing after the run and we're definately making the drive to brave the cold water more often after this.

Leela really small




Rooster tail

Jamie on Rooster tail

Yea Boi! Jamie on the home straight

But but on Rooster tail just before his super quick hand roll at the buffer

1 May 2008


Well this one was a trip to be remembered...
Arriving in Queenstown in the nick of time to squeeze in a run we decided to jump on the Roaring Meg section of the Kawarau since it was closest. We arrived at the put in only to realize that none of us would qualify as mountain bikers, the front tyre of our shuttle vehicle (Soph's bike) had blown out from the exhaust, but this was o.k because this run was roadside!

We had planned on camping at the put-in for the upper Shotover.....Pfft faaark that. This plan was dismissed after talking to the lovely checkout lady at the supermarket and we quickly got pointed to a much closer and easier to access DOC campsite by the lake. After setting up camp and lighting a magnificent fire we were approached by a young German woman who thought we were pretty cool (and good looking) with a fire so she hung with us. She noticed the kayaks on the roof and somehow we offered to take this woman down the upper Shotover the next day. This plan was quick to change the next day when it was raining cats and dogs and none of us knew what to expect so we tried to give her the biff but she wanted to come anyway. So Sophia, Jarred and I did the gorge run instead whilst Angus gave the German girl (Katrina we think) a day never to forget and they did our shuttle (which turns out is the biggest shuttle I have ever seen and screw riding that!!).

Getting ready at the put in

The Shotover gorge was amazing with heaps of trash around left from the gold mining days that started over 100 years ago. For the remoteness of the river it has had a lot of use, from gold miners to tourism operators and people like us! The boating was superb and the river rose about 35 cummecs while we were on it.

Jarred and me just chillin

Soph and Jarred checking out the old mining junk and Jarred pndering over how he can make money from it..

Me on one of the many sweet drops

Jarred entering the tunnel

Me coming out of the tunnel

The next day was the same, rainy and freezing so it took ages to get moving and when we eventually did it was to a nice warm cafe for a coffee. This didn't leave us with very much day left so we decided to look at Nevis Bluff with high hopes of running it (cough!) and then we went and did the Citroen run. Turns out Citroen was way different than we expected with big fuck off holes and heaps less water than envisaged. Jarred, Soph and I having little to no experience on big water played the sookie card ad skipped out the crux and just ran the remainder 4/5ths of the rapid/rapids? To meet our shuttle bunny Angus at the take out.
Happy as larry at the bottlm of Citroen

Then it was off to Wanaka (via Alexandra) where we had a nice warm bed EACH to stay in courtesy of Soph's Grandparents. This even included a hot shower and a few games of pool.
Getting ready to leave Wanaka

Day four was glorious! Again we took our time waking up and sorting our lives out before heading up to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village where we braved the cold and got on the Hooker River at the Meuller Glacial lake (yes glacier=Freeze your nuts off). So we wrapped up warm in our "winter woolies" as Jarred would put it and walked our way past many miffed tourists to the Bottom lake. Within 30 seconds of putting on none of us could feel our hands (who needs them anyway right). This has got to be the fastest any of us had moved down the river just giving ourselves enough time to take in the amazing scenery and enjoy the rollercoaster like white water to meet shuttle bunny Gussy at the take out.

Us getting our first glimpse of the icy river

The rapids just below the swing bridge

Jarred and I on the swingbridge coming to the end of the easiest walk in we will ever do

Us three having a last second scout (we did actually paddle.. honest)

Then it was off home to Chch to prepare ourselves for our next mission!

The camera work on this next one is a little shaky...