Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From PNG to CALI!!!

Well after a month of being back in New Zealand cashing up and re-setting we were ready to break out of the cold weather and get some sunshine... fortunately we already has some tickets booked for cali and on June 17th we were on our way. But not before we were interviewed by TV3 news for our PNG expedition... here is the link and we're on at about 38minutes...

After this we held a presentation at Bivouac Outdoor - Tower Junction, where a crowd of over a hundred people turned up to listen to us talk about our expedition, see our slide-show and see a short-film that I made. Backed up by a huge UCCC night out then an midday flight, we arrived in Cali ready to relax and enjoy the sun. We decided that we'd go on a weekend mission with good friends Tera Muir and Jimbob down to the Tuolumne area. Leaving logistics to them we just jumped in their car and went with the flow. We ended up paddling the South Tuolumne, which wasn't super classic but a sweet little creek ending at Rainbow Falls and the Lower T at about 12,000 cfs which was pretty awesome with big holes, waves and smiles all around.

South fork of the T (p. Jordy)

Single and looking, Tera Muir (p. Jordy)

Some of the harder stuff (p. Barny)

Jimbob (p. Jordy)

Me on Rainbow Falls (p. Barny)

Barny on Rainbow Falls (p. Jordy)

California (p. Jordy)

Warmed up and ready to go, we linked up with 10/10 Sean Manchester and are ready to find some of Cali's finest.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wara Mai - Chimbu Province

After having some success in the Morobe Province we couldn't ignore the temptation to go to the highlands. After speaking to some locals we established it was mainly the South Highlands that were the 'no go' zone, so we decided that we'd go and check out the Eastern Highlands, the Chimbu Province and if we felt boisterous... the Western Highlands. After a night in Goroka and then finding out the Asaro needed a lot more water than we had, we headed over Daulo Pass to find the amazing Wara Mai. We put in above the first class IV+ rapids you can see from the road and paddled about 10km to a road bridge, check it out!

Our boy Bonny, so you know he is newly single
and looking for love (p. Jordy)

Shan at our put in for the Mai (p. Jordy)

Coming to the Confluence of the Mai and the
Koningi (p. Barny)

First rapid after the confluence (p. Barny)

Barny in paradise (p. Jordy)

Shannon Mast (p. Barny)

Amazing kids following our progress (p. Barny)

The bulldog (p. Jordy)

Amazing limestone walls, and luckily one of
the few flat stretches of the Mai (p. Barny)

Barny in awe (p. Jordy)

FIrst Descent of Kick-Right Falls (p. Jordy)

Barny selvaging a precious tube from below
the falls (p. Jordy)

My turn (p. Barny)

Local kids watching the local-lover (p. Jordy)

Shan getting in for the last 400m (p. Barny)

After this falls was what I though and easy rapid, and I guess it was really but I just got subbed out and dragged into a sticky backed-up hole and swam. Then another 100m of quite pushy class IV-V and then we hiked up to meet our car. First Descent number four!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Papua New Guinea - Wara Busu

After have some success in the Middle and Upper Watut we made our way back to Lae for a couple of days. After some more than continually urging from our local contact Murray Fletcher and a discussion of whether we should do a recky of Wara Busu or just commit to the upper, we found ourselves on the back of a Landcruiser and on our way to put on the Upper Busu. All we knew was it was about 40km, there might be a substantial canyon and that no one had done it before (we were told and Murray would know). Here are some photos from the trip:

Sweet bridge (I was to scared to walk out - it felt dodgey)
(p. Jordy)

The Big Busu (p. Barny)

Barny amongst the Busu (p. Jordy)

Staying on top through some big water
class IV+ (p. Jordy)

Beautiful (p. Jordy)

Shan soaking it in (p. Jordy)

The Bull-Dog (p. Jordy)

Always posing (p. Jordy)

We had prepared for a 3 day trip and were ready for a serious canyon but it turns out this river sat at about 15m/km for its entire 40km. No pools, big and nice pushy rapids and nothing too serious. No of us had been on a river that maintained its gradient so well for its entire length and we all agreed that although the Busu was big, it would be very tempting to paddle it during the wet season... if you could make it up to Boana that is.

For a more detailed breakdown of this part of our expedition check out our expedition blog on

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mangke Gorge - Upper Watut

This was the first descent of the trip, a section between Society and Baiune on the Upper Watut River. Intially we thought we had been skunked as the river looked as if it was going to remain flat, but then some locals frantically waved us to the side and said that it was too rough and we were going to die... perfect!

Being told that I was going to die (p. Barny)

The lead in to Mangke Gorge (p. Jordy)

The first of the big rapids in Mangke Gorge (p. Barny)

Barny following suit (p. Jordy)

Shan peeling out above the secone one (p. Jordy)

Me on the second one (p. Barny)

Paddling infront of a live audience (p. Jordy)

Shannon the Canon? ... we'll see (p. Jordy)

Me entering the last steep section in the gorge (p. Barny)

After this run we rallied to the Snake River but it was to low. On our way back to Lae, however, we found a small creek called the Lopogo. The upper was to low, but would be sick with more water, so we paddled the class IV lower section that we were told was a first descent.

Shan with his make-up crew (p. Jordy)

The only photo we took... it was getting dark and FAST! (p. Jordy)

For a more detailed breakdown of this part of our expedition check out our expedition blog on

Watut River - Papua New Guinea

Recently Barny Young, Shannon Mast and Myself had a successful kayaking expedition to Papua New Guinea. During our 26 days there we visited 5 provinces, all on the deck of a landcruiser, and were able to tick off 8 class IV-V first descents. During our first couple of days we were invited to Middle Watut to paddle the infamous rapids that took the lives of an Isreali rafting group more than ten years ago. Here are some photos from that trip...

Barny coming into the first rapid (p. Jordy)

Shannon in the Brown (p. Jordy)

Middle Watut (p. Barny)

Barny dropping into the narrows (p. Jordy)

Myself and Shannon hiking up to Kapin (p. Barny)

For a more detailed breakdown of this part of our expedition check out our expedition blog on