Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Last Heli for the Summer

With one day up his sleeve Jamie was keen to hit the coast before heading back to welly so after a big weekend in chch we headed to the coast for a day mission into the Arahura. But we had one small problem getting there so after hunting around until 11pm that night we found a super keen Simon, this was to be his first coast mission and what a good introduction to coast boating.

Upper Waiau

Here is a trip me and a few boys did a at the end of last year

Pre-expedition planning, or lack of it, showed as boats were packed and boat-carrying systems fitted for the two hour walk( cos we were so fast) to the put-in. After labouring up Maling Pass with a hail-beating norwesterly in our faces and nearly 30kg loads on our backs the sight of the river 6km away and 400m below us was surprisingly refreshing. Down in the valley, two hours of scraping down the humble beginnings of the Waiau saw us cold and tired as we pulled in to first gorge. From here class III+ boulder gardens provided plenty of entertainment up untill our camp for the night, which there just so happed to be a hut not to far up in the bush,
Day two: Still more bouncy wave-trains and boulder gardens brought us into the 'Narrows'. The guidebook offers the advice 'don't swim in the Narrows' and the reason became obvious as we scouted the first 500m of narrow bedrock gorge with some sizeable hydraulics and no opportunities for bank rescue. The crux move, called The Weir, was successfully run,. The next section was the narrowest on the river, the whole river moving through a slot less than 6m wide pushing off both sides for probably over 20m.
From here unique bush-clad gorges with fun rapids, it was with great reluctance that we paddled out of the mountains to the open valley and the Hope River confluence.