Thursday, April 15, 2010

So me, Greg, Pete, Nigel, Brenton and Scotty hit up FNQ for 10 days around Easter. It was much more successful than last years attempt where it didn't rain enough! We generally hung around Cairns staying at various locals' houses (thanks Dave and Kristian) and managed to get on Crystal Cascades (awesome class III-IV run 15 min from the centre of town), the lower part of Behana (it was too high to run the classic slides section), Josephine Creek (fun class III-IV with a manky runout), Coachables Creek (a fun little creek with a massive slide on it), the Russell in highish flow (fun and bouncy), the Barron in massive flow (massive and bouncy ?fun). The highlight was definitely Broadwater Creek though.

Broadwater began with the most sketch helicopter flight ever contempated (think stepping out of a chopper hovering 1m above rocks next to a rapid then untying boats from the skids while said helicopter continues to hover....). We had two big days (10 or so hrs per day) on the river with impatient Pete at the helm and and Scotty and Nige variously shitting themselves and enjoying it. Highlights included the numerous 3-4m drops, awesome rapids, local prawns supplementing our rations and scotty and nige surviving. Nige in particular had a horrendous second day - the first hiccup was getting sucked back in to 'Ian's weir', swimming, getting suck back in again before flushing and getting bagged to the side somewhat traumatised - I ran this drop before Nige and I don't think I've ever gone so deep!

Nige's second traumatic episode was even higher up on the horrendo-scale - lets just say it's bad to be stuck on the upstream side of a boulder in the manky seived out part of a decent sized rapid....when i saw him stuck on the rock, then disappear, it seemed overwhealmingly sub-optimal.

above: Greg attempting to push over a tree blocking the 'new track' in to the lower part of Broadwater creek

Above: Brenton runs the big slide (?"cheesgrater") on Coachables Creek

Above: gumby on Crystal Cascades

Above: Greg on Crystal Cascades

Above: some numpty on ?The Russell