Thursday, January 28, 2010

"If it smells like Fish, its a tasty dish" (Barny Young, 2009)

Hidden away on the southern side of the Haast Pass is a river that has been seldom run since some early exploration in the area during 1990's, by Olli and others from what I gather, the Fish. Peering down from the road bridge you get a indication of the 'gorged' character of the run and the other road-side viewing opportunities begin to reveal the gradient the Fish has to offer. After a brief scout while heading south, Barny and I convinced Dylan Thompson that even though it would be low there was atleast one good drop in the 2-3km from the Fish River Bridge to the Makarora River confluence... there turned out to be much more than that. Here is some photos of the white-water and the absolutely amazing scenery of the Fish River.

Dylan bashing down to the river - down from the bridge on river right

Little fella and a big wall... Dylan feeling pretty small in there

Bit manky but still good for sure

The crux of the Fish River - hard to protect but clean at this flow

Barny on the lead in to the Crux rapid

... and pitching off the final drop

Me at the entrance to the Gorge - Dyl is taking this photo from the closest accessible point to the fnal drop.

Me boofing the isolated drop.

Dylan lining up a pretty stout 12 or so footer

... and lacing the line away from the very prominant undercut on the right.

Amazing scenery and steep white-water... check!

Dylan glad he left the comfort of the sweet Wanaka pad

Barny on the dark side

Dyl about to his his boof... to miss it would of been disasterous

Gradient and Water.

Even with low flows the Fish was a worthwhile trip with some good white-water, some mank and the scenery that can only be found on the West Coast of New Zealand. With more water things would definitly tidy up and depending on how much, turn up in term of difficulty. You can get down to the Crux rapid to check it out via a small creek opposite the pull-off about 100m south of the Fish River bridge. I hear of more goods upstream and this lower section definitely has sparked some personal interest... watch this space