Saturday, December 23, 2006

Up North Part 4 : The Wairoa

I had 1 date fixed in my mind for the north island. Sunday the 17th of December, it was the only Wairoa release while we were up North. I had organised for a crew of mates to make the mission over and was keen to get on the river I'd heard quite a lot about.

An early morning drive from Rotorua we made it to the Wairoa at about 11am. Early morning being an 0830 get up! haha
For the top section Shanan & Jimmy were our "guides" and Gordy and myself were new to the Wairoa. The action was short and quick through the entry rapids and we made our way downstream quite quickly.
Time flyed and before I realised we were at Roller Coaster (site of the Wairoa Extreme Race) I got out for a look & grabbed the camera, Jimmy & Shanan went down to show us the lines but Gordy & I were both amused as they both went through the bottom of the rapid upside down. Then Sam Sutton & Coyo came through showing us some sweeter lines & then we were up.
No carnage stories unfourtanetly and we continued down to the slalom course and met up with Megan & Tully who had walked up the track.
The last few rapids were short boulder gardens before the final 2m waterfall and paddle to the take out.

Everyone had nice lines off the falls & we had break for lunch. After driving back to the put in we geared up for a 2nd run. While getting ready we watched a nameless paddler (maybe Mark Robertson) run McLaren Falls. Then the 4 boys had another run down the river, we were joined at the bottom of Roller Coaster by Louise Urwin, who was making a solo mission down in her new rad 175. She ended up having a bit of fun in the back wash of the bottom waterfall. Good clean fun for the whole family.

That was it for the Wairoa & everyone went their seperate ways. Gordy & Tully the long drive back to Masteron, Shanan to Waitomo, Sheree & Jimmy to National Park (Jimmy had a couple of days left before his shoulder operation). Megan & I headed south and checked into a campground in Papamoa to finally do some much needed washing of clothes & selves....

Shanan Miles run the Chicken Chute while Jimmy & Gordy watch on.
Photo - Antz Longman

Is it Mark Robertson? Mc Laren Falls
Photo: Shanan Miles

Sam Sutton goes through the center (Roller Coaster Rapid)
Photo - Antz Longman

Up North Part 3 : The Kaituna

From National Park we made our way north to Rotorua, hoping that the NZ Kayak Buyers Guide & Cumec Magazine would be finished printing. After discovering that it was still at least 4 days away, we quickly made our way to do the 1st of many runs down the Kaituna River.

Megan had never paddled the Kaituna before so she followed me down. Tracing my lines through the 1st few rapids and then over Okere Falls (about a 2m drop). The river thens drops into a weir created by the old power station with the safest line being a boof hard right into the eddy.
Just down stream lies Tutea Falls 7m after briefing Megan on the line, I set off paddling left to right and boofed off the falls, landing on the pillow and being pushed out in to the pool. I turned to see Megan boof out from the drop land nicely and flip off the boil, she rolled up and had a big smile. Her 1st big waterfall. Although she had her eyes closed the whole time to keep her contacts in place.

The next few days were spent with multiple runs of the Kaituna, and as the weekend came around our crew of buddies started to roll in to town (Gordy, Tully, Jimmy, Sheree, Shanan)

We managed four runs on Saturday, including a couple of decent play sessions at bottom hole. Also tried out the new Bliss-Stick Mystic for 1 run down the river.

We were then ready to head to Taurangu for the Wairoa Release....


Antz about to run Tutea Falls
Photo - Megan Foster

Shanan Miles, Antz Longman & Gordy Bulford on Okere Falls & the Weir
Photo - Megan Foster

Local Rotorua boy Sam Sutton going big in his Mystic
Photo - Antz Longman

Up North Part 2 : Manganui a Te Au?

After staying a few days in Palmerston north we headed north to National Park, catching up on Sheree & Jimmy and hoping for some Central Plateau action. All the rivers were low so we headed to the Manganui which according to the guidebook was paddlable at any flow.

We managed to rock dodge our way down through a scenic gorge and watch a couple of Whio (Blue Ducks) negotiate the same rapids as us.

The run was interesting but with some more water would be a great trip. Short Class 2-3 rapids lead into large walls as the river turns sharp corners.

Thats it for the Manganui a Te Au


Megan at the put-in
Photo - Antz Longman

Up North Part 1 : Mangahao

Once again it has taken ages to get an update on here. Megan & I have been rolling around the north island for almost two weeks.

Part 1:

Mangahao Slalom Course & Whitewater Park.

First stop on the way north was Mangahao, NZ's 1st man made whitewater course based around 30 minutes south of Palmerston North near the town of Shannon. When we were there the course was running at 16 cumecs. Both Megan & I wished we had slalom boats but still enjoyed multiple runs down the course.
Megan spent the time adjusting to her new Prijon Creeker & I played around in a couple of the holes down the course.

A couple of local paddlers showed up while we there. Don't remember their names but they ended up sneaking their way into my photos.

Local paddler (who remains nameless) playing in a small hole mid course.
Photo - Antz Longman

Looking down the 2nd half of the slalom course.
Photo - Antz Longman

Saturday, December 02, 2006

12 Mile Creek & big rain

After a week of driving for queenstown rafting my rat was starving. A huge low had just passed over the lower south island bringing the Shotover river upto 220cumecs & washing out parts of the road, the Kawarau rose to over 600 cumecs and Lake Wakitipu was edging closer to flood level.
Thursday morning Megan & I headed out to check out Nevis Bluff at high flow, we were stopped by road workers blasting rock from above the road. We caught a glimpse of some big brown crashing waves from over a km upstream. On the way back to town we stopped and check out the few of the DogLeg Rapid, quite washed out with the high flow.

After some lunch we loaded the creek boats and headed out to 12 Mile Delta, a 40 minute walk up a well looked after walking track you come to San Somers Hut.

The Walk In - Paddler: Megan Foster Photo: Antz Longman

Just behind the hut lies a sweet 6-7metre drop. After some humming & harring I decided that the drop was good to go, we planned some safety and set up some cameras.

Scouting - Paddler: Antz Longman Photo: Megan Foster

I ran the falls twice with varying levels of success, a large boil pushes you into a small cave on river right, which isn't too bad & you can paddle out of successfully.

About to hit the lip - Paddler: Antz Longman Photo: Megan Foster

A little bit of a crazy shot - Paddler: Antz Longman Photo: Megan Foster

I then climbed out just below the drop and walked downstream with Megan, as we didnt like the idea of paddling the tight wood filled canyon at this high flow. We put in halfway down & ran some small & tight rapids. With a few sizable portages around wood infested sections.

12 Mile was sick, and can't wait to have another opportunity to explore the rest of the river & possibly the section below the Glenorchy Road (Altough this section traps even more wood.


Upper Shotover (Megs 21st)

It's been a few random weeks so I'm finally getting some updates on here. I've been in queenstown since about the 16th of november, had Megan's 21st party on the 18th of November up at Ben Lomond Lodge then on the sunday headed into the Upper Shotty, I've attached a few photos from that trip, mixed with a few more from a trip in a few days later.

Paddlers: Megan, Jonny, Kim & Hamish Location: Upper Shotover Put In Photo:Antz

Paddler: Antz Longman Location: Bottom Hole, Upper Shotover Photo: Megan Foster

Paddler: Megan Foster Location: Bottom Hole, Upper Shotover Photo: Antz Longman

Paddler: Antz Longman Location: Bottom Hole, Upper Shotover Photo: Megan Foster

Paddler: Antz Longman Location: Bottom Hole, Upper Shotover Photo: Megan Foster

Paddler: Antz Longman Location: Bottom Hole, Upper Shotover Photo: Megan Foster