Friday, May 22, 2009

First Decent of Red Granite Creek

On Sunday, 17th of May, 2009 I was lucky enough to be on the first decent of Red Granite Creek, a creek discovered and drooled over by Keith Riley for the past few months. Keith had scouted the creek many times, at various flows but to no avail. On Saturday the 16th of May Justin Venable gave me a txt with this vague description, "huge waterfalls & slides, difficult access, first decent, big day"... Obviously I was in. Kev England and Justin arrived at Keiths where Skux, Titz and myself were eagerly waiting. Driving up the Totara Valley things were tense... would the flow be right, would we have enough day light, what was in there! After about 1km on the Mikonui River, Red Granite Creek crashes down on river left in a series of amazing and possibly runnable waterfalls. Keith had mentioned the walk-in was similar to the portage on the Waitaha... this would turn out to be an understatement.

LONG way up... long way to go (p. Kev England)

Justin stoked to be done with the walk (p. Kev England)

After a testing walk through bush, up a big slip and then smashing uphill through a lot more dense bush we reached a summit, followed it for about 200m then dropped down into Red Granite Creek. Keith advised that we would be putting in just above a 4metre drop and some boogie water, after we ran the 8metre entrance drop and a good drop below that Keith acknowledged that sometimes time distorts the memory. From here, the river dropped over some amazing waterfalls, sweet drops leading into the finale of a huge slide. Here is some pictures of the action, it was hard to get good quality photos with little light and overcast skies but this what Kev and Myself got.

Kev boofing the first 8metre drop (p. Jordan Searle)

Justin at the lip of the first drop (p. Keith Riley)

Me below 'De Juice' which Kev fired first (p. Kev England)

Kev looking at the goods (p. Jordan Searle)

Keith pitching off 'De Juice' (p. Kev England)

Justin left to get into his boat on a small, slippery ledge alone... if he fell in plan B would of been fun to watch (p. Keith Riley)

Amazing little drops (p. Keith Riley)

Keith at the bottom of a tight 7metre drop, SICK! (p. Kev England)

Justin and I discussing the goods we just had (p. Kev England)

Kev, Keith, Justin and I moving towards the next drop (p. Jordan Searle)

Kev said down the middle... I obliged (p. Kev England)

Sweet little rock slide got Kev smiling (p. Jordan Searle)

Justin getting left where he needed to (p. Jordan Searle)

One... Two... that's how we do it (p. Jordan Searle)

Justin surfacing from yet another amazing drop (p. Kev England)

What can I say... I love my life (p. Kev England)

The last drop that was run on the day was a huge slide ending in a big kicker. I was not feeling it and with the knowledge of two huge unrunnable waterfalls only 30metres downstream of the big slide, I portaged. Since Keith was the one who found the run he was first to fire the monster, styling it. Next to fire was Justin, running it super clean! Kev fired next, unfortunately landing on a fuck you rock and rolling at the top, then half way down losing his paddle. Kev was ok though so no problem.
Keith firing his big slide (p. Kev England)

Justin running the stout (p. Kev England)

After this we had to hike our boats through some terribly dense bush back onto the slip, it was dark now, down through the bush back to the Mokinui River, ferry glided, then walked back up to our cars. This is an amazing trip that I was stoked to be apart of. The walk in is BRUTAL, Skux and Titz ditched their boats and just walked in to watch the action, scout and do safety. But, this run is definitley worth the walk and I for one will be going back as soon as I can. Get some.

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