Monday, October 23, 2006

Shotover River, Gorge run, NZ

Well having been in NZ for a couple of weeks, I have been busy. I have managed a few runs down the Shotover, in a raft and kayak. Thought I would get some shots of the river with my sister's point and shoot nikon. I am hoping to get my 20D back soon as it was getting fixed in Canada.
Have been working for the past week or so, yeah. Back to taking rafts down the river. Almost my first trip down the river exciting going through toilet rapid sideways, but stayed upright. Fun river, lots of history and a 170m tunnel to go through always keeps you on your toes. Enjoy the photos.

Clients getting the safety briefing at Deep creek.

Iain leading the way through the Rock Garden rapid.

The next three photos are of the Mother section, which combines Miners revenge, Squeeze, Anvil, Toilet, Oh Shit, and Pinball. Makes for some fun and exciting rafting. Especially when there are 15 plus rafts going through.

Truck and Trailer rafting through Anvil rapid.

Heading through Toilet.

Down into Oh Shit.

After cruising through the 170m Oxenbridge tunnel, you have about 10 seconds till you run the guts of Cascade, where you will get wet for sure.

Photos by David Prothero

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Nevis River, NZ

The other day I had the opportunity to join up with the lads and do the Nevis river. What an amazing river. This is one of the steeper creeks in NZ according to the guide book. After finishing up rafting on the shotover, drove out to meet with the boys, leaving my car at the takeout. We then proceeded up to drive up to Ben Nevis Station where we were able to stay in the shearers quarters.
Had some amazing views looking down toward Cromwell and out toward Mt. Cook. Waking up in the morning to a freezing cold day, frost on the ground, blue skys and a good flow of about 15cms. A quick breakfast and thanks to our hosts at the station we were off and on the river at 9am.
Ran the first 2.5kms before coming to a nasty looking drop which we portaged on the right with use of throwbags and were hoping that the whole river wasn't going to be like that. Turned out it wasn't. Lots of chutes, cascades and drops led the way as we made it down to a massive drop where we had lunch. Then we continued down through a steeper section as we ran down to the Kawarua. Beautiful stuff. Ran through Citroen rapid to make the day complete. Enjoy the photos.

Looking out to Cromwell and Mt. Cook.

The Team left to right: Graham Dawson, Danny Noblett,
Colin Hamilton and David Prothero.

The first portage around a nasty place.

Colin coming through a fun one.

David trying to stay dry.

Dawson charging on down the Nevis river.

Scouting Freight Train, looks good.

Colin in the midst of it.

Colin coming off the end of Freight Train.

David heading downstream on the Nevis.

Danny boofing another drop.

David running down a narrow slot.

The boys stopped for lunch above a big one.

Danny at the top of triple drop.

In the middle.

Exiting out of triple drop, before heading down to little and big brother.

All photos copyright of Fat Cats Productions, 2006

Touring down the Inland highway, Christchurch to Queenstown.

After arriving in New Zealand, I spent a couple of days in Christchurch sorting out a car. After getting that done, I headed off to the Rangitata river and through the Inland highway to Queenstown. Had a great drive with a mixture of clear blue sky's to freezing weather and snow. Spent the night at Lake Tekapo and woke up to find all the mountains covered in snow, also the car. It still started well, from there drove off to have a look at Mt. Cook. Arriving at mid-afternoon to get sorted with work at Queenstown rafting. Have been busy for the past couple of weeks finding a place to live, doing trips on the Shotover and Kawarua rivers, as well as hitting up some sweet creeks in the area. Enjoy the photos from this trip.

Inquisitive cows and sheep at a roadside station.

Lake Tekapo after a night of light snowfall.

Crossing over a pass on the way toward Mt. Cook.

The Honda Shuttle, fresh snowfall, kayak loaded, ready to head off.

Looking out toward Mt. Cook(just right of centre).

The Shuttle somewhere on the Inland highway.

Looking out toward the Remarkables Mt. Range off the front porch of my house. Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu in the foreground.

Paul Button and myself drove out to Glenorchy to check it out. This is the view from the little Getty across Lake Wakatipu.

Waikaia River, NZ

The Waikaia river was a lucky one for me as, I went into the rafting base out on Arthurs point trying to go kayaking and the Shotover was above the rafting cut off. Just having a coffee and these three lads show up with kayaks loaded heading off to do it, so myself and Iain throw are gear in and off we go for the two and half hour drive to Piano Flats. After leaving the car we all cram into Colins van and drive up toward the locked gate. A little over halfway to the locked gate we were blocked by a tree. Normally a twenty minute walk to the put in point at the bridge now became a little bit over an hour. The tree looked fairly fresh and has probably now been removed.
The river was brown colored and had 25cms, which was a good medium flow. We met up with another group from Dunedin while on the river, I still remember the guy coming up and saying that the tunnel was all good. I was like, tunnel, what tunnel? Turned out to be a little hole in the rocks and then a 4.5m drop out the other side. What a way to start a river. Enjoy the photos.

Iain taking advantage of a slide on the way in to the Waikaia.

Graham and David arriving at the locked gate, 20mins still to go, all down hill. Notice small print.

Danny Noblett cruising through the tunnel at the start of the Waikaia.

David landing off the 4.5m drop on the other side of the Tunnel.

Looking upstream in the midst of the Waikaia.

Graham Dawson running one of the bigger drops of the Waikaia.

Danny having a sweet boof down one of the drops.

Colin Hamilton on the run out of the above drop.

Over all the Waikaia was a beautiful river full of moss covered boulders and some great drops, would recommend it if your in the area and it has some flow.

Photos copyright of Fat Cats Productions.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rangitata River, NZ

Having arrived in NZ, I gathered all my gear, threw it in my recently purchased 1985 Honda Shuttle and headed out to the Rangitata valley. As it was on the way to Queenstown, it made for a easy stop. This is the area where part of the second lord of the rings filming was done. It is situated in a beautiful valley before charging down a short gorge at the end of the rafting section.

I was able to get up to the top of valley with the rafting company, Ranigtata Rafts, I hit the river at a fairly good flow of 120cms, made for some nice hits in the kayak and we had a huge tail wind that day. Beautiful river for my first one on the South Island. Here's to many more.

Shane Hewitt and Steve Anderson heading down to the gorge.

Dave Prothero heading through Rooster Tail before the gorge.

Shane Hewitt dropping into Rooster Tail.

The crew about to get wet.

Steve Anderson heading through the middle of the gorge.

The always popular jump rock on the Rangitata river.

Steve Anderson and crew surfing it up, Rangitata river.

All Photos, Copyright of Jason Walker, October 2006.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rafting the Elaho - Squamish.

Looking down into the Elaho Canyon

Bottom of the Devils Elbow, Elaho river.

Here are a few photos of the Elaho - Squamish river taken by Damian Lustic. This was toward the end of the season of rafting and the shots are mostly from the Devils Elbow section of the Elaho river, which in coast salish this means the Fishbone, Also from the Constrictor rapid on the Squamish river and a few of the drifting spots in between .

Looking up to one of the Glaciers above the Elaho river.

Graz running the hole on the Deflectors rapid, Elaho River.

Dave cruising through the bottom end of the Elaho river.

Dave heading down through the top of Devils Elbow, Elaho river.
Paul heading toward the wall rapid, Elaho river.

Setting up for a picture, Squamish River.

Frenchie heading through Constrictor, Squamish River.

Raft making its way through 50/50, Squamish River.

Raft crashing through a wave, Squamish River.

The Boys from Payless Towing, Squamish River

Bob taking a 14fter through the Constrictor rapid, Squamish River.

Dave doing a back flip at the Jump Spot, Elaho River.