Thursday, April 30, 2009

California dreaming

I'm not jealous of everyone who's going to California this/next week to go creeking at all.

Why would I be when I've got cold wet Rotorua to stay home for.


Of course I'm jealous, I've even had sadistic thoughts of hoping people get savage beatdowns to remind them that back to back summers and clean granite 20 footers aren't all they're cracked up to be.

More lies.

I'd happily take beatdown every day to be getting on a plane for LA tomorrow bound for 30 degree days and endless slides.

But anyway, enough of the ranting, last weekend there was a massive crew in Vegas and after the mandatory party on Friday night, we succumbed to the peer pressure from B and rallied to do a run of the entire Kaituna. As always, there was a token hungover person (Berno), and it just so happened that he was also the only one who hadn't paddled trout pool, awesome gorge, gnarly gorge or smokey gorge - ideal.
So we put on and did the normal run, and then awesome, and then all of a sudden people had stopped talking and joking (and breathing fo some of us) because now we were in the last eddy before you drop into Gnarly gorge. For those out there who aren't kayakers (and for those who are), the best way to describe this gorge is like the biggest set of stairs in a house with the highest walls you've ever seen in your life - it literally just drops away in a non stop twisting, turning white rollercoaster. At one point I was back paddling flat out to stop from crashing into Jamie and Berno who were checking out the bottom of the river side by side.
The lines all turned out to be super cool and easier than I thought they would be but its still definitely the most committing place I've ever been into. After gnarly we busted down through smokey and were met with hot chips by Soph and Hess, Chur!!! It was a mean day and a cool feeling to paddle all the sections of the tuna in one go.

On Sunday we drove down to the central plateau to hit up the upper Waihohonu which is a walk in trip that is spring fed and flows off the side of Mt Ngaruhoe. This means it flows all year and you get some sweet, super tight, super low volume creeking for the easiest 1 hour walk in ever.
The river keeps dropping into these crazy little mini canyons which mostly have a big(ish) entrance drop and then tight little rollercoaster sections to exit. It's all pretty easy to scout but hard to portage and the gorges all look real scary because you cant see around the corner, (then it turns out to be flat) so there were a few nervous faces at some of the entrances to the gorges.
About halfway is the crux of the run, it has several names, none of which are super inspiring - touching dicks with the devil, the drain plug and the death sieve being the worst of these. As these names imply there is a terrible sieve on one side, and a slot on the other side and the catch is that you want to run as close to the sieve as possible. But not too close. Then its a slide over a rock into a 20 footer. It's one of those situations where the portage is worse than the rapid though so we all ran it.
The rest of the run was sweet except for butters and soph logging some out of boat time and Butters folding his brand new Mystic. Guts.
Then it was back to Taupo for a roast and a spa courtesy of Anna - she's amazing, and a general shit talking session about the last two days.
I didn't manage to get any photos of these days so you'll just have to take my word for it but on Monday we went to a little park and huck out of Turangi to cap it all off.

Soph styling Poutu falls

Jamie lining her up

Berno off the lip.

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