Saturday, October 21, 2006

Big Thursday - The Nevis River

What do you do after having a Big Wednesday? Our answer - Have a Big Thursday.

7:30am on thursday morning I was lying in bed wondering what to do with the day.
BEEP BEEP new text message received "Pack your gear we're heading to the Nevis see you in 30 minutes" Quite a late time I thought but hey what else am I going to do. A quick text back to Dylan "nuff said".

I rushed around collecting my gear from the back of the car, the basement, the washing line, in the wardrobe and several other locations. A small pile of gear, a paddle & a kayak sat on the footpath waiting for Dylan & Olly to arrive.

Amazingly they arrived to the minute & we were on our way to the Citreon take-out to meet Pete Simpson & Kent Huxford who were making the mission from Hawea.

We arrived at the Citreon take-out at about 11:40 about 40minutes later Pete & Kent arrived. He quickly loaded the kayaks on Pete's truck & headed off for diesel & the big shuttle to the Nevis Crossing.

Pete's truck loaded to go... Photo Antz Longman

Despite ominous looking weather & gusting Nor-westers we made it to the put-in & got on the water at 2:15. Quite a late start really. Luckily Pete, Dylan & Olly had all run the Nevis before. Wouldn't have been possible to start so late if you didn't know the river.

Dylan braves the wind for a photo op. Photo Antz Longman

At the Put In (Nevis Crossing). Photo Antz Longman

Central Otago schist walls started to grow in height as we progressed further down the river. After about 15 minutes of class 2 Dylan wave-wheeled his scud over a little wave only to land on a rock & snap his paddle in half. A few minutes trying to figure out which boat we could fit the larger of the two halves into. Finally we were moving again (Dylan now using our only split paddle).

The gradient picked up & we soon made it to the mandatory portage with a spectacular yet dodgy seal launch. Horizon lines everywhere we read & ran heaps of class 3-4 water. Occasionally having a short scout or jumping out for photo opportunities.

Freight Train was a sweet two stage drop which made for some awesome photos & video.

Olly Yeoman catches the Freight Train. Photo Antz Longman

Pete Simpson hitting the bottom drop of Freight Train. Photo Antz Longman

Time was still ticking so we kept moving finally breaking for tea at about 5pm midway through a big portage.

Dinner time. Photo Antz Longman

Finally we made it down to the big ones! Little Brother & Big Brother.
We all hit little brother, but I was feeling the effects of a long day & not enough food so opted out of Big Brother.

Kent & Pete running Little Brother. Photo Antz Longman

Dylan bottom drop of Big Brother. Photo Antz Longman

Olly boofing the bottom drop of Big Brother. Photo Antz Longman

After big brother the gradient stays consistent & you have fast moving grade 3 for about 4kms until a short flat water until the confluence with the Kawarau.

By this stage we were all well & truly tired. We just had the matter of dealing with a big water finish. Citreon flowing at about 300cm3. Pete went 1st as we opted for the "bomb it strategy" no scouting. Pete went left, hit the buffer really high and got launched skyward. We all quickly changed lines and hit the right of Citreon Rock.
I was 3rd through, came through to see pete still upside down on the left, infront Dylan was upside down amongst some huge crashing waves.
Had to keep focus for a few more minutes paddling through the crashing waves I made it to the bottom without flipping (so did Kent). Not so for the other boys, Pete was upside down for most of the rapid, Dylan contemplated pulling as he became disorientated from waves & having no indicator on the paddle shaft. Olly got back looped coming into the top of the right line.

Huge smiles & a massive stoke factor as we floated the final kilometre down to the takeout.

Was a massive day, absolutely stunning & will be hard to top. Although was an expensive day:
Snapped Paddle - Dylan
Cracked Boat - Olly
Possibly Cracked Boat - Antz
Lost Memory Card - Antz (it belonged to Pete)
plus petrol & food.

But really money can't buy the satisfaction that you get from having an awesome adventure with some good fella's.

Cheers boys still stoked on the good times.


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