Wednesday, December 20, 2006

helicopters are farking cool

left - a seppo on the whitcombe

Today being a rest day I thought I might get on the internet thingi and see whats happening in the world. Yesterday was also a bit of a rest day - I went paddling on the Buller with the girlies for a bit, but other than that not much happened. Charlie has gone on his way to the Nth Island - he's planning to hitch so that should be fun for him. The other day however, we did something way cool. After driving to the coast we eventually worked out that Robin and his pommy friends were planning to fly in to the upper Hokitika. Being one of the hardest runs around we (charlie & me) wern't particularly keen on this....unportageable must make class V is not exactly what I'm looking for at this precise moment. So we formulated an alternative plan. After dismissing the idea that we could walk in to a fly in (ie. walk along a bushwalking track for perhaps 15km carrying our boats) we found some seppos who also wanted to fly in somewhere.

So we did. From the reports of the poms it sounded like the Whitcombe was good fun, and because you fly out of the same place as the hoki it shouldn't be too explensive. I was a bit....errr...nervous, you could say. Its reasoably committing flying in to a remote valley with the only way out being by paddling, but it turned out the river was about exactly what we were looking for - the seppos were slightly concerned about the prospect of paddling their scuds (scud = small high volume boat - has a tendency to get stuck in large holes, of which there were many on the whitcombe). After the farking awesome fly in, we got on the river. I explained to the others that "the rapids always look small from the chopper" - i dont think this concept set in until we go in to the meat....anyway, the river took on a gentle character initally. The first bit of excitement was a little number that was probably hardish IV - and surprised everyone with the power in the water. I guess we had forgotten what happens when you squeeze a large amount of water (50 - 60 cumecs) through a narrow gap. Luckily noone got nailed, but there were some tense moments. A swingbridge heralded the entrance to Colliers gorge - basically the meat of the run. There were about 7 or 8 rapids here of IV or harder and some continuous III-IV read and run linking it together. Charlie showed just how smooth and operator he was by styling the solitary class V rapid (except for one of the seppos the rest of us walked it). I probed one of the harder rapids quite successfully - it was basically a channel wide (very sticky) hole then a drop with a lot of the water trucking in to a big boulder. Owing to the 'missile' like nature of the Embudo (my boat) i styled it through the hole and boofed off rock in the middle - the same could not be said for the others who ran it - the most interesting line being Justin (one of the seppos) who punched the hole then got send under/into the pillow/seam where the water was hitting the rock. He kind of subbed out and reappered perhaps 10 sec later a reasonable distance downstream which was fun for him. I could go on all day about it, but it was fun ay! Eventually we made it to the takeout, whereupon me and charlie drove back to murch.

below - this is the rapid where the 'missile' was useful...its reasonably chunky. As you can see a seppo in a scud is always going to be amusing in this kind of water....

below - charlie showing the seppos how its done (this rapid doesnt look too nasty but its definitley a step up from class IV...)... He's a smooth operator....fing slalom boaters....


Post a Comment

<< Home