22 December 2010

A verry merry Christmas to us!

After two trips walk/working up at Lake Waikaremoana I had some friends join me in the office on trip number three to show them what I do for some coin... Not bad. They even made the sacrifice of missing Christmas at Kaituna which is always a good weekend of boating, swimming, bending, etc.. But with impeccable timing, we hustled the crew from the lake and made it back from the trip to not even make it into the door before throwing gear into the car to go creeking.
Nick, Sanga, Flick, me, Louise, and Harmony at the Lake

For me it was my first Kaimai experience, a crew of 12, putting on at 6pm, super clean and classic (even if it was on the low side of good) Tuakopae bomb sesh! It would be hard not to have an ear to ear smile on your face after that!

With not to much more rain the next morning we headed back north for another gem up there, the Waipapa. Beautiful little creek with mist and rain giving it a real jungle feel, a few nice 20footers tucked away in there amongst some boulder gardens and slides. Not bad for Christmas time in the North island!
B on Gism falls

Me in some so called Mank

Sanga lining up the entrance to Mojo Gorge, about to give the slut some rock in the face. Injury one

Berno enjoying his firs Kaimai run, on the exit of Mojo Gorge.

After another fast food stop we started to make plans for day three of our Christmas tour, tossing up whether to head east or south or maybe even back north... After watching gauges, forecasts and just getting fevered up we decided to head south for the Turakino... fail! We were a day late for that one, but it wasn't a bad reccy and we did find a pretty sweet drop just up the road from Waikato Gorge. So we scouted, and while everyone else got dressed, Berno and I decided whether or not it was worth it, and after some sweet beats, we made a split decision.

Not a bad sign when your looking for waterfalls! Just needed a 'pissing down with rain' sign right next to it.

We got fully geared up, Willz, Tyler, and I put on and made our way through the little entrance gorge and off a sweet 25-30ft spout! It had a bit of a tight lead in, not hard, just tight, and a couple of trees just left of the landing so the plan was to be right and pretty flat. The result being right and dead flat and I was giving the slut boat a go and i blew her to pieces on landing.. may she finally rest in peace! Thanks slut for being there when we were all too tinny to buy our own boat and to Josh for sharing her. She sure did get around!

Manfox on the Slut fucker... we aren't actually sure on the name for this one but it's responsible for the final blow.

Happy Christmas!

30 July 2010

End of the tour with Upper Cherry

What better way to end the season than a chill run on Upper Cherry with a massive crew of mates! We had been waiting down in Three Rivers getting some good runs on the Kaweahs while the flow for Upper Cherry was coming down, then we get to Groveland and get some beta that it was still too high to be going in and that there were 40 other people in there... all we had to say to that is, "Nup your fucked" and because we were sort of on a time limit we headed to the trail head any way, packed up our boats with the plan of leaving first thing in the morning.
The plan was to rally at some ridiculous hour but we ended up leaving a little later at the more respectable hour of 5.30am, 10 miles of hiking, and then 1.5 hours of sleeping at the put in while everyone trickled in. We also arrived to find the flow on the low side of good, but that's ok because it is perfect for Cherry Bomb!
Once we had all tried to recover from our epic hike in we slid our way all the way down to Cherry bomb. The scenery is just mind blowing up there, it's actually like the moon! I would know because I have seen photos and nothing grows there either. And because the level was a bit on the low side the slides were low stress and you had heaps of time to take in the awesomeness of the place.
Once we made it into Upper Cherry Bomb gorge we were all pretty tired but figured that is would still be easier to just run it than to walk our ass' to camp so we all rallied in with Evan and B leading the charge. Turns out that this truly is one of the sickest sections of white water anywhere and has the best campsite that I have ever stayed.
We stayed at Flintstones for two nights so that we could do more laps than we could count and run Cherry Bomb a few times and also get some choice photos.
Then before we ran out of water, on the third day we paddled on down stream and out. It was choice to see B, Brad, and Evan fire up kiwi in a pocket with no Kiwi's or American's for that matter going near any pockets! From there out it was relaxing times, a couple of rapids to keep you on your toes, but from the confluence the level was dramatically lower and again which equaled super low stress and heaps of fun all the way to Cherry Lake!
The money shot of Cherry Bomb. Pic - Rach Tombleson

Jedi race! Pic - Rach Tombleson

Sanga the gangsta. Pic - Rach Tombleson

Tea cups at Flintstones. Pic - Rach Tombleson

Double pothole. Pic - Toni george

15 July 2010

West Cherry Creek ness

Back to West Cherry, a little later than normal and I swear it was way hotter this time around but just as cool! Team Kiwi adopted in a couple of extras this trip, or maybe it was the other way around, but somehow Evan and Gringo got stuck with us for a road trip. After much mucking around in the Coloma eddy, we made our way to the put in for West Cherry, the same one as last year because there was talk of a few of the boys running Graceland... exciting as! And it wouldn't be normal without Mum throwing a tanty, this time the issue wasn't as serious as a hole in the oil pan, just low levels of the old petrol.. lucky for us we have a team mechanic, recommended for these trips that take you out into the middle of nowhere although they aren't really good for much else, they just grizzle....
Brads makeshift petrol pump. Photo - Toni George

So we ended up arriving a little later than planned so we camped at the trail head and introduced ourselves to the mongrel mozzies.

After about 5 miles of hiking, no one was feeling to fresh anymore. But what an amazing view! Photo - Josh Neilson

True to their word with Evan leading the charge a few of the boys fired up the monster of a put in slide!
Evan hitting mach ten! Photo - Toni George

Brad catching saweeeet air! Photo - Toni George

Last but not least, Brendon firing up the monster! Photo - Toni George

There were some cool slides and drops from there down to the standard put in but a couple of us (me and Sanga) were just too ruined to carry our boats up if we weren't running the big dog but Toni sure knows how to show the boys what's up.

Toni showing us how its done after 6 or 7 miles of torturous hiking with out boats.
Photo - Jamie Garrod

From there down to camp was a little disappointing with the semi lowish flow the mank was really manky and we didn't get any photos until we reached our much awaited camp where we met up with our photographers Josh and Rach, and our mascot Gringo!

Everyone jealous of Brad with his mozzie net. Photo - Josh Neilson

After one of the most disrupted sleeps from bugs, we awoke only to run a choice section of white water for breakfast.

Me scoring between the goalposts. Photo - Toni George

Brendon making it look nice and easy.. again. Photo - Toni George

Evan on Charlie Beavers Mega Rapid. Photo - Toni George

The contingent of walkers.. Photo - Toni George

Another successful trip with Gringo as happy as ever ready for the next adventure!
Photo - Toni George

On the way to Three Rivers we did the whole tourist thing and had a look around at more granite in Yosemite. Photo - Toni George

Mum looking good and heading off into the sunset. Photo - Josh Neilson

Kaweah goodness on the good side of good.. high

The last week has been action packed. After Dinkey we rallied down to Sequoia National Park and to the Kaweahs! Turns out they were a little high but we thought we would give them a nudge any way and the results were awesome! We put in a little lower from the normal put in for the East fork of the Kaweah because none of us had been there before, we had spent too much time at the bakery, and the beta that we had made this sound like the better option. So with a blazing hot day and the flow of around 1200cfs, we put on just below "sky hook".

Me on the first drop of the day.."double drop". Photo - Jared Mitchel (or Boonga, plum bob, samoan, jerrad....)

From here it wasn't far to "tripple drop" which, because of the flow and lack of knowledge, this turned into the mother of all portages. Toni found a rattle snake, the rest of us encountering poison oak, and me getting furious at stupid biddi bidds... thanks dad for the hairy ass legs... never been so angry in my life!
Me on a sick little 10 footer. Photo - Boonga

Me on Sams friend.... Photo - The toakin Samoan

Not to sure what happened to him on this one but the drop lands on a slide, slide runs into ledge hole, Sam ends up all twisted, swims, gets thrown a rope, rope wraps around his neck luckily so he got pulled out quick as! Now it's his haha

Then from here we didn't really take many more photos but there was plenty more fun drops and slides and because of the high flow the last two miles of "manky" boulder gardens turned into choice as boulder gardens!

The next day we tried to rally a little faster, but it didn't really happen. It was ok though, rocking the power ballads we headed into the park and put on the Hospital Rock section of the Middle fork of the Kaweah. It doesn't get it's name hospital rock from some rock sending some fella to hospital, it's actually from a indian person helping a white person get healthy by this rock... therefore, hospital rock. Anyway, there was more poison oak on the trail down to the river so Toni and I decided a clean was in order...
Toni and I jumping, me landing on a rock... lucky for elbow pads. Photo - Plum bob

B running little Niagara. Photo - Boonga

Toni looking sharp.. way sharper than me anyway, I ended up in that little cave but managed to paddle my way out. Photo - Jerrad

Hospital rock goodness. Me at the end of something cool. Photo - Boonga just before he nearly tore himself a new one on a piece of re-bar...

8 July 2010

Dinkey Creekness

Dinkey Creek has to be the best trip of the season thus far. We had perfect flow, perfect crew, and the white water is mind blowing in so many different ways. We made the drive down from Coloma and found a random road to sleep on the side of not far from the put in... and then took the long way through the confusing forestry roads luckily popping out at a sign only a few miles from the put in. The next mission was to find the track down to the river was made super easy because of the 3 other crews there at the same time as us. After the one and a half hour slog to the river, we washed off the poison oak, and put on with the first rapid being a 40 ft slide to get things started and it didn't ease from there to the camp. It was just awesome drop followed by choice slide for the whole day!
Here are some pictures to try and show what an amazing place this gorge is!

Sanga running Willies Drop. A choice wee 12ft entry followed by a blind 40ft drop!

Jamie on a nice drop straight after Willies

Jared having some fun on the portage. We had heard sketchy things about this one because I think that people usually get lowered down onto some rock and then seal launch in but we just hucked our boasts off then followed them with a wicked plunge.

I shall call this one the glory slide! Toni sliding to Glory and putting a fat crack in her boat.

Fred the frog at camp

Man love! Gotta love it. If there was a competition as to who was having the most fun at camp out of the 26 people jammed into the area we definitely creamed it. Playing in pot holes, sliding down rapids on our bums, chasing rattle snakes, hell yea!

The rapid just before camp. Everyone had mixed results on this one, Jamie and Sam had a surf, Bradley made it look easy once again, another dude broke his boat, and some people didn't even try it... lame!

Our fire pit

Jamie probing the line and flying like there's no tomorrow!

Toni nailing the Nicky Kelly slide

Jamie catching more air on Nicky's slide

Jared getting his wings out for a beautiful 20 footer near the end of day two

Toni boofty boof boof Mc Booferson!

Chur to Toni for taking her camera and getting some mean as photos of us and Jared for taking some goodies to!

And that pretty much sums it up. If you like big, Dinkey has it for you!

2 July 2010

south silver beatdown

Soooo where to start? South Silver, a little on the juicy side, got beaten to within seconds of my life to put it one way.

Nick, 'Cobba', Sanga and I all put on in the wicked sun, excited and ready for the fun that is South Silver. We started out awesomely with some super fun laps on auto barn, Sanga wasn't having a great time and got stuck in the hole at the bottom of auto barn in the middle of a freight train, and surfed the crap out of it... being narrowly missed by Nick and Cobba flying through. It was pretty fun with our camera/ support crew running down the side getting some sweet shots of the day. We had to video cameras and Jordy was taking snaps.

The freight train down auto barn

Cobba on rapid two

me on boof boof slide

Nick in the tea cups

Nose job.. 5 min before beat down time.

Not for from here is the take out and there is just some wee slides so usually pretty chill, but this certain sunday, I got owned. There is a cool wee rapid called triple bypass because you skirt round 3 holes, they are just super uniform, and sticky at our particular flow. I was at the back and was looking good for the first two, and then on the last hole I stopped and there was no way I was surfing out, and I wasn't going to get pulled out because our support crew had at this stage abandoned us, so I pulled tab! That didn't work either, I tried everything, Nick and Cobba had both gotten out of their boats and Nick had thrown 3 ropes to me and I wasn't at the surface long enough for him to hit me or to get a breath. By this stage I had totally given up and thats when I flushed luckily enough and Cobba pulled me to the side moaning, spewing, and coughing in fetal for about half an hour before I could stand up and get ferried to the other side and go home... not too fun at all. Other then that it was a fun day though!

Since then I have given it a pretty good shot at getting back on the horse getting a run on Golden gate with a crew of 10 kiwi's and just got off a South Merced trip but unfortunately passing up a trip on Royal Gorge because I just was to scared.

Let the good times roll!