Monday, December 18, 2006

Shotover River; Cascade Rapid,NZ

The Shotover river ends with a bang. After exiting the Oxenbridge tunnel, which is 170m long and took the Oxenbridge family three years to build, you have a couple of seconds before you hit the pillow off the river right wall and and shoot down through the guts of the hole at the bottom. If you get it right you don't get to wet at the bottom. Heaps of fun for the safety kayakers.

Simon Moreland and myself setting up for Cascade after going through the tunnel.

Bracing off the pillow on river right.

Setting up in the middle.

Hitting the hole at the bottom.

Coming clean on the other side. Heading for the takeout and a good cup of coffee. All in a hard days work.

Photos care of

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Waikaia River, Take 2, NZ

Rob Murphy(Ireland) stylin his boof off the first drop.

This past week has been a good one. A trip on the Landsborough and also a trip on the Waikaia river.
I met up with these boys by leaving a note on their car in Queenstown. After calling, they showed up at my house later, after a bit had a plan sussed and all was looking good for Monday. The lads headed out there Sunday night and the next morning I loaded up my gear, and left QT at 7:30ish and started the 2.5hr drive. I drove down to Lumsden, turning off to Gore and finally Waikaia. Some small car problems slowed me down a bit, but what kayaking trip doesn't have a bit of that.
Leaving my car at the take out at Piano Flats and the river at 29cms,we were looking into a fun day. The log that was blocking the road last time was cut, so with only a twenty minute walk made it to the river in good time.
We got to the first major drop fairly quickly, this is a small hole in the rocks used by the gold miners of old. After the hole you flatten out for a short bit before dropping off a sweet 4.5m boof.
After a bit of flat water the river picks up and carries you along with drop after drop some big and some small. We had a few portages, and there is a bit of new wood since the last time I was here. 2 of the portages we ran last time, one drop we ran this time and walked the time before.
Noticed a bit more of the gold mining history. Saw some old campsites and was made aware of the sluice channels and mining spots. This whole area was pretty active in the gold scene. The main areas of course being the Shotover and Arrow rivers near Queenstown. Lots of exploring was done else where. The Shotover was thought to one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Mining went on there from 1862 till 1992. Cool to see the history of the place.
After making it out of the river in 5 and half hours it was back off to Queenstown and work the next day. Enjoy the photos.

The boys checking gear before the walk in, notice case of SPEIGHTS.

Heading down to the river, with hillsides of broom in the background.

Robin Scott(UK) plugging the first drop.

Hugh Thomas(UK) running the main line on Spears Falls, with Robin looking on.

Jimmy Evans(Ireland) hitting up one of the fun boofs below a portage.

Hugh on the run out of the above drop.

Robin on the 2nd boof of this sweet two boof drop, as the boys get shots from above.

Rob about to get launched.

Jimmy about to come in for a dry landing.