Friday, May 28, 2010


Apparantly it is summer here. Could've fooled me.
This last week has also been raining and cold all week but we've still managed to paddle most days despite spending large amounts of time playing Tony Hawk 3 (damn you Ben Jackson)
The run of the week has been the Upper Middle Consumnes. We did it on Monday with six of us and then went in yesterday with more water and ten of us. It turned into a bit of an epic with five swims, a broken paddle and a cracked boat.
I wont get too carried away with this post because Jamie and Jordy have got it pretty much covered on their blogs so check the links from here.
We're checking options just now and have a few things on the go so keep an eye out for our weekend antics.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Pauley creek was another little mission which people were saying was worthwhile - nice grade 4 in a super cool gorge. We rallied up through Downieville which is probably my favourite town so far in the states (think Arrowtown but way cooler and bigger) and met up with Leela and Toni and some other dudes. On the way in we saw a super cool looking gorge on the North Yuba which looked fun so we set shuttle below this (Pauley creek flows into the N Yuba).
Pauley turned out to be a little low but it was still fun with some cool boofs in a little mini gorge.

J dog running a little sloper to kick things off for the day

This right here children is a classic example of how to execute 'the burning man' Note the high arm position with weight as far back as possible - these are key features if you hope to finish the move in the classic, 'imploded deck to swim in hole' manner.

The last drop on Pauley - no it wasn't sweet, the camera managed to capture the moment just before my tail clipped and I found myself staring straight at the ledge at the bottom. awesome.

Feeling a wee bit despondent with the levels in Pauley we found redemption in some big water action in the gorge on the North Yuba - with big waves, big boils and big holes we had the time of our lives rallying down this section. Apparantly it has a name but I've forgotten it, but we had grins from ear to ear by the time we all popped out the bottom.


We haven't really been experiencing the textbook Californian summer of clear skies and super hot days - rain, hail and snow have pretty much been the go for the last week. As a result the water is still locked up in the snowpack for all of the big runs. Last week we got on a couple of small creeks along with the ever present South Yuba runs. We got on the Purdons section of the South Yuba (directly above the 49 run) with ten people and proceeded to blue angel four miles of grade 5 with ten people - needless to say I have no memories of any rapids (except where three of us got punished in a hole together) and no photos either.
One of the creeks we did get on was called canyon creek, it was flowing due to a release further upriver as part of a flow study (to see what sort of recreational use it gets). It started off pretty manky so the west coast part of our team (Jared) was off like a shot ("It's just like the Styx bro!!!") We followed at a somewhat slower pace not being quite so skilled at bouncing down tight boulder gardens blind.

When it did clean up there were some cool drops on bedrock - Skux getting it done.

Jared on the runout

Me on another little boof

After the bedrock there were some mini gorge rapids which proved to be quite punishing and we all took a few hits in some steep, tight rapids.
All in all it was a cool little mission - more NZ than California but it sounds like not many people have been in there so it was cool to get on something which doesn't go very often.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We've had a bit of a slow week here, we pretty much spent it waiting around for a chance to fix our car which had a terrible shudder (think massage chair) and so we were pretty limited in where we could go. We confined ourselves to the 49 to bridgeport section of the South Yuba which is only an hour away - and about the limit of what we could take from our van which felt like it was falling apart...
The 49 section is super cool, two hours of pool drop with some boulder gardens thrown in. There are so many awesome classic moves and no mank - and the best part... portages - 0
This run has become our afternoon/evening run when we've got nothing to do and we've had some mean runs down with lots of different crews. Here's a few pics.

Americans are funny

J dog on crack team/ten (we're unsure about the name because we can't understand Justin's accent when he's excited)

Jared landing the same

Me on another choice little boof

Me on the crux of the run - corner pocket, it has a tricky entrance down to a sticky hole and just to add to the experience, a terrible undercut which you are pretty much guaranteed to go into if you swim. Ask Jared - he came up blue, fun times.

Jamie boofing for the money

The mothership waiting patiently at the takeout.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Insert Cliche Here ............

Alright kids, here we go...
We've been in California for five days now and its been pretty eventful so far. After the mandatory savage flight to LA, we were met by Paige and her mum in their car (I'm using the term loosely here - it was an F250 with duals on the back) for the 8 hour drive up to Auburn which is our base for the next three months.
That evening we were acquainted? with our sweet new pad - The trouse (or trouser) is like an old trailer which has kind of been added to to make a weird semi permanent dwelling, the water doesn't work so we have a hose in the window for dishes/cups of tea etc but we do have electricity so it's kind of like living in a tent with walls and power..

The sweet spew bag on the V-Australia flight. Obviously fully sick is now our new catch phrase.

Casual unnecessarily large ute. Note the extra wide fenders to accommodate extra unnecessary set of wheels.

Part of team dirtbag out the front of the trouse.

Anyway it basically goes without saying that our first night in the trouse turned into a bender, lots of choice dudes turned up to celebrate some random mexican holiday and we all know the best liquid to come from mexico...
One of said dudes was Justin Patt - Auburn local and paddler. Amidst much festivity a plan was hatched to do the 49 to bridgeport run on the South Yuba river.
The next day arrived at about 2pm and we rallied to do our first river in Cali - pretty good for our first day!! The run was a sweet grade 4-5 mission down a sick pool drop river with so many sick moves - just what the doctor ordered.
Friday was an organisation day. Mum - our trusty minivan, has a terrible shudder which renders her marginal for long missions on freeways so we're trying to sort that out and get her operational again.
The highlight so far though has been our Saturday mission though. The boys here are all fired up about the season because there is a heap of snow which hasn't even started melting yet. This means there will be heaps of sick runs coming in in the next few weeks.
One of these runs is one of the most iconic and photogenic of them all.. The south branch of the middle fork of the Feather river (yes I know its a mouthful but apparantly naming tributaries is not the go over here..) This thing is the business - everyone has seen the photos of endless ledge drops capped off with a perfect rolling 50 footer and it didn't disappoint. We rallied up there with Justin and Taylor Cavin and met a couple of others on the way. Here are some photos of the day.Me on the first 20 of the day - split falls

Taylor stomping all hell out of the same

The Tony Hawk drop - sickness

Justin flying off Tony Hawk

Jared doing the same

Taylor launching on high pressure 20 - this drop is named because it's right above 99 problems - a 40 footer which lands on a shelf and you have to make an eddy right above it..

China slide - because it takes you to China!! This slide was right above a huge portage and most of us didn't run it, we had to portage down and then do a super scary ferry across the top of a 100 foot death drop - going upside down was not an option.

Apparently we were in there at quite a high flow (like no one in our crew had been in there that high - ish awkward?) which made all the waterfalls nice and soft but brought in some sketchy moves like the China ferry which aren't usually there.

Jared running the last move of the day...

The take out is at the top of another huge set of unrun beasts (80 feet +)

The south branch is a sick run and pretty much the dream intro to California we were hoping for, some cool rapids, so many amazing drops and a nice big girl at the end to get the heart pumping!
Now we've got to fix our car and hopefully catch up with the rest of the kiwi crew here. We're off to do our new local run - 49 to bridgeport so we'll get some photos to throw up soon. Churrrrr