Saturday, December 8, 2007

Visitors and NZ classic West coast

We headed to Christchurch to pick Ed up. Coincidentally, Rob and Tim decided on a last minute visit to make best use of number. Suddenly the team had grown from 2 to 5! With larger numbers, faff factor increased, but we still managed to paddle every day (well some of the team at least).

Rob "forgot" his boating shorts - Forever Known as "Speedo-man"

Ed "resting up" between runs

First stop after picking up the new team members was a day or twos warm up at Merchison. We ran a couple of the classic Buller sections, and the nearby Maruia falls, before we decided it was time for something a little more demanding, the West Coast heli runs.

Surfing the Lyell Creek wave on the Buller

Driving out to the West coast, it was apparent that levels had dropped siginficantly since our last trip through several weeks ago. Levels were low and weather was good and stable, perfect heli run weather. Over the course of a week, we ran many of the classic West coast runs, the Hokitika, Arahura, Whitcombe, Whataroa, and Perth. We even found time for a rest day on the Chilly Fox River. We also met up and paddled with our friend from Cali and BC Dave, and made some new friends.

The "Gates of Argonauth" on the Upper Hokitika - An absolutely stunning place

Steep Gorge boating on the Hokitika.

Low volume and very steep on the Arahura

Big volume on the Whitcombe

Ed Boofing his way down the Upper Whataroa

West coast Heli runs can't be beaten. Steep, technical and numerous. Some of the best boating anywhere!!! But, having spent the GDP of a small south american country on Helicopter flights, we reluctantly decided to head to Queenstown and beyond for runs that could be shuttle by road.

Cheryl about to run Shark Fin on the Shotover Gorge.


jadler said...

Wow. The Gates of Arogarth, or whatever it is. That looks amazing. I think underneath that overhanging rock is the entrance to Mortador.

I just got jealous, despite the 8 feet of snow we have gotten in the last 3 weeks...

jadler said...

just to clarify...did you say that Marua Falls was warm-up? Is that not a 35-footer? Interesting warm-up. I suppose you don't need to be that warm to huck yourself off a big deep drop.