Monday, December 15, 2008

Upper Hokitika - GORGEous

After a night out with the boys in Hokitika we got up early and headed out towards the Hokitika/Whitcombe Valley. As we were gearing up a maroon Toyota Surf came charging around the corner with Kev England and Keith Riley in it. I quietly thought to myself, "yes, we have a guide". However, this was a double edged sword as the first thing Kev said was, "this is a juicy flow'. Mike was pretty nervous in the helicopter, only because of the flying, but when we got dropped off it was me who was nervous. As soon as we put on the nerves subsided and the Upper Hoki experience began.

Kev showing the North Island boys

Sam styling it

Scouting the waterfall

Kev firing it up

Sam on the waterfall

Brad on the waterfall

Mikey Drop

Inside the second gorge

Below the tight corner drop - second gorge

Me watching Keith come down

Brad hucking into the new drop

Sam on the new drop

Kev doing it in style


The Gates of Argonath

The Upper Hokitika was an amazing run, with unbelievable scenery, stout whitewater and a real adventure feel to it. Cheers to the boys for giving me the invite and to Kev for saving us a lot of scouting. I cannot wait to get back on this run and plenty of other runs of this caliber.

Got to get some action - Upper Kakapotahi then what?

Over the last couple of weeks all I had been able to get on was a couple of runs down the Styx and even with good flows I was starting to feel the itch. Barny mentioned some of the boys were in town so I packed up my car and headed down to Hokitika to see what was up.

Classic class IV creeking.

Styx boulder gardens.

The afternoon I arrived there I met up with Mike Dawson, Dylan Thompson, Sam Sutton and Big Bad Brad Lauder. After a brief introduction we were en route to the Upper Kakapotahi for a lazy afternoon after creeking. Simon and Bill Shepperd were at the get out waiting for us and before soon we were on the water and squeezing down the narrow entrance slot. Here are some photos of the run courtesy of Mike.

Sam on Postmans Falls

Me on Postmans

Mike having fun in his plastic boat on Airmail

Bradley throwing down

Dylan stomping out Airmail

Loving my life at this moment.

The Upper Kakapotahi just added to my hunger for whitewater. The plan was for the Upper Hokitika the next day which had plenty of water and was going to be my first trip down it. Surely this would mean an early night... Yeah Right!!! Here is a couple of photos to illustrate how wild that night ended up.

Quiet post paddle drinks

This was less than two hours later (about 10pm) and we were out until about 4am...
not need to guess how things went