Well...It's that time of year again when it snows quite often, heavy frosts are not a rarity, and we decide to go kayaking! The plans were delayed a day because of the closure of Arther's pass but this didn't stop us from having our winter adventures in the mountain valleys behind Hokitika.
It all started with Jarred bowling into my room Sunday morning, driving through snow and ice, losing a boat off the roof at 110, and some very to quality white water to be kayaked with not a moment to spare.
On Sunday we started walking at quite a fast pace into the Styx at 3 for an hour to get the trip started. With a good flow we continued to move just as fast down the river to get to the car with not a second of light to spare.
With not much else running we decided to check out a new run, gave Dando a call, and before we knew it (or the sun knew it) we were waiting on a frosty morning for the humm of the helicopter. For a not so cheap fare we were picked up by Dando, flown as high as we could get to the bottom of Toaroha canyon, dropped of with our kayaks going even higher to a small beach somewhere, in search of the biggest drop thus far in Jarred's kayaking career.
After an hour of exploration we found what we were looking for. A sweet 25footer that flowed out of the bottom of the canyon. After a few descents of this and a swim we were off down the river in search of that illusive winter sunshine. The river was awesome with some cool pool drop moves and a couple of fun boulder gardens to boot.
The next day it was time for a sleep in to see if it would be any warmer if we let that sun have a crack at melting some of that frost... the only problem was the sun doesn't really penetrate very deep into the steep valleys of the west coast, especially not the Styx valley.
After a later than usual start we hiked on in to the Styx, a little higher this time, unfortunately with less water. It really is true, the higher you go the steeper it gets. With this in mind we started as high as we could force ourselves to walk giving us awesome, continuous, steep, creeking which was just what we want! With Jarred giving me some inside local info we traveled down some of the most fun white water I have ever done back to the car just in time to catch the sunset. Choice!