Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This seems to be the HOT run in California at the moment with lots of people looking to go big, and this is the place for it. After umming and arring for a day or so, Snarley finally got his way and convinced us to sack up and put on at just above 1300 (lows 1100), and we would be the first crew to go in for 2011. This time the crew was the usual culprits (Barny, Snarley and Myself) accompanied by Preacher, who was the only Royal Virgin in our crew. We enlisted the Canon for our drop off (thank-you), and the trip was on. Between Snarley and myself we remembered the first few miles of steep low-volume creeking down to Heath Springs Gorge.

Preacher! (p. Barny)

Barny the Carny, loving a good water leverl (p. Jordy)

This gorge is infamous for how is can hold up a teams progress... and this would be more then true for us, we had a mini-epic! Firstly, heath one... our lines were good but then Preacher lifted his knees at the lip, causing him to land SUPER flat and hurting his back. This would be the end of the trip for him, as he elected to hike out the following day...

Too flat! (p. Jordy)

Another angle (p. Barny)

Next, Snarley decided to fire up Heath Two. A 60 footer with a magnetic (for kayakers) cave on river left. Although he styled it, with his paddle intact, he was pushed left at the base of the falls and after numerous attempts accepted that he could not ferry across the base of the falls to freedom. So, as is with Heath Two, it was time to vertically extract him... twice! When we was almost at the top, after handing his paddle to barny, the bag his was attached to tore and he fell 30foot back into the watery prison of the cave. After he was finally extracted the next tragedy struck, literally. While Barny was trying to get around for a vector pull on the line to Snarley's boat he accidentally dislodged a soccer ball size rock, sending it careening down the crack that everyone was standing. The rock kicked up as Barny yelled and it struck Taylor Cavin, who along with Smurf and Chris K were now helping extract Charles and his boat, in the chin/should/chest knocking in to the ground in a daze. Fortunately Taylor had his full-facial helmet on and is tough as houses, and after an hour was smiling albeit in pain. This would be the end of this trip for Taylor, who elected to walk out the following day. So we decided to camp at Heath Gorge that night and then carry on the following day, with a new group of us three, smurf and Chris K.

Snarley firing (p. Jordy)

Chris K running Heath One after all the mess
(p. Jordy)

The next day was sick! We elected to portage the Crux Gorge, I felt the hole with the narrow exit looked dodgy so made the short portage and then it was all on. Lower Crux, Rattlesnake, Perfect 20, Split Falls and plenty more. We all elected to portage Scotts Drop, its burl, and just when I thought everyone was going to portage Wabena I heard a 'whoop-whoop' to see barny in the eddy right above the lip. Fire! Barny had a pretty good line, actually great considering some of the stories and footage I seen of other lines in the ensuing days, and then we were on the paddle out, pushing down almost as far a the Dream Gap section.

Chris in the hallway (p. Barny)

Barny routing into Rattlesnake... blind (p. Jordy)

Snarley watching me route the
rattler (p. Barny)

Smurf about to take a hit (p. Jordy)

The next morning, after waking up at a lifestyling 9am, I was startled to see three paddlers charging towards our camp. An older man and two younger fella's. The man introduced himself as Phylex, and his two sons, Sven and Lars, and then went to to pronounce that all three of the had paddled all the big ones. I would be lying if I didn't say I was dubious, but this would be my first of many encounters with...."The Swiss"!

South Merced

I was super stoked when Tera gave Barny and I the call with this to say, "You boys should think about the South Merced, it looks like it is dropping in"... music to my ears. Last year Keith Riley, Jared Mitchell, Barny and Myself has an awesome trip down this run, none of us knowing it and plenty of flow. So I held this run in high regard. This year the team was going to be Barny, Snarley and Myself, the old campaigners from last season. I think we put on around 1300-1400 at Wawona so it definitely had a bit of juice in it. We decided to take it slow, take plenty of photos and footage and keep it safe... but somehow we still managed to bang it out in about 9 hours, why did we bother taking all that food and over-night gear! Anyway, here are some pictures from one of my favourite multi-day runs in California!

Big moves on the Sth Merced (p. Barny)

Great moves, curlers, buffers, holes.. all
the stuff we love (p. Jordy)

Snarley on a class V sneak (p. Jordy)

Cali tongue with Juice (p. Jordy)

Barny about to plug this (p. Jordy)

The boys routing this (p. Jordy)

This run usually heralds the beginning of the High-Sierra season, meaning things like Royal Gorge, Fantasy, Dinkey and the likes should be coming in soon....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Since I first set foot in cali this season, all I had heard was the RUBICON was running, that some of the boys hiked out of the RUBICON, the RUBICON had not run in years, that the RUBICON was coming in again and its was $2.50 pint nights at the RUBICON bar. We took this as a sign and when the stars aligned Barny, Cheese and Myself decided that we needed to make it happen. In trying to find a fourth we contacted the Canon, who turned out to be putting on the same day with Rok and his band of Slovenian's. Inevitably we decided to combine and make it a multi-day mob. After setting shuttle, a gormet lunch at Rok's mansion and some pissing around we put on at 5.30pm and banged out the first few miles before the first ledge. Due to our late put in we took no photos... also the servere lack of eddies wasn't encouraging either. We camped on a nice sandy beach and got a nice shady sleep until late morning.

Canon enjoying the fire (p. Jordy)

Our beach-side accommodation (p. Barny)

Day two was pretty sick, lots of class IV-V and boarderline read and run. Again we were lazy and didnt get out much to take photos, but sometimes you just have to go!

Barny routing through the first ledges (p. Jordy)

Me running a hole to hole (p. Barny)

The Canon firing! (p. Barny)

This is an amazing trip and a must do if it is flowing. Put on a little earlier and make it two shorter days, take a fishing pole and plenty of food. Inevitably we made our way to the Rubicon a week or so late for $2.50 pint night... I suggest the Monkey Knife Fight!

Big Kimshew and Secret Stash

What was one of Californias best single day's of kayaking has got even better! With no access to the usual Big Kimshew take out you have two options... hike up a hill for an hour or so OR paddle out through the secret stash, adding about 6 miles of goods to an already long day if you do know it. Fortunately for us we had the SE mob of Hale, Smurf, Adrien, Toby, Snarley, Will Pruett, Eric Chance, cali local's Drew Duvall and Sean Manchester and the ring in Kiwi's Barny and myself. Usually a group of this size means a slow pace and a fair bit of carnage but not this day... a mob-a-thon through Big Kimshew, only getting out for the trippler, frenchies and tay's and then through the stash being routed by Smurf. I feel that some of the hardest white-water is in the Stash, so think about this before you send some people in there instead of paddling Big Kimshew with you!

Obviously we didnt take much time to take photos, I actually didnt even take my camera, but here are a few snaps that Barny got of arguably the best single day in California.

Me running into frenchies (p. Barny)

Pruett earning his Frenchies (p. Barny)

It goes better than it looks from the top (p. Barny)

If I get some more photos from the other people on the trip I will throw them up, but we didnt really stop for photos. Its just so damn good to go!

Monday, July 25, 2011

South Fork of the Middle Feather

This river is like a skate-park. amazing waterfalls, slides and rapids. We were lucky enough to get on this gem twice, once putting on after 5pm. Beautiful water, the ever present cali sunshine and good times all around. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Barny showing everyone the line (p. Jordy)

Snarley reaching for it (p. Jordy)

Denise the Menice (p. Jordy)

Chance on the 30 (p. Jordy)

Tip-top Katie Scott, styling it as usual (p. Barny)

Its a play-ground! (p. Barny)

Cheese rolling the 50 (p. Jordy)

Barny about to fire.... yeah right! (p. Jordy)

The view from just down stream... amazing

Well we all know what comes around the time of South Branch.... Big Kimshew!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


On the 2010 Cali Tour we didnt manage to get on the Clavey but fortunately for us this year there is a heap of snow and that it didnt warm up until we arrived on June 17th. After trying to sort logistics, we enlisted the local expertise of Allen Speiring who pimped the shuttle and managed to get both our cars from the top and dropped to the dodgy take out the day we were getting off. The Clavey was kind of high, I am not going to say really high but it was well above Allen had ever done it, and although one of our team took off at the brigde I thought it was perfect!

Camp One.... A pull out just up from the put-in (p. Barny)

Gnarley Snarley (p. Jordy)

Big rapids on the Clavey (p. Jordy)

Allen... Life Styling

Jono ripping (p. Jordy)

Me on the last ledge before the confluence (p. Barny)

Snarley and I... One two (p. Barny)

Allen the Fallon! (p. Jordy)

Snarls on the final ledge (p. Jordy)

This is a sick overnighter with heaps of rapids in the class IV-V realm. With water is is no joke but also 100% manageable. Stoked we got it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American!!!

Well we knew nothing about this run before going in really, apart from it rarely flowed and that it was the goods. Although our crew blew out, as it does in cali, we had a sick trip! Here are a couple of snaps.

Me following Katie's clean line! (p. Barny)

Barny routing a typical 'Barny' drop (p. Jordy)

Me running the 15footer (p. Barny)

Barny roosting it (p. Jordy)

The Devils Throat of something... (p. Barny)

More cali goods, more goods times... more to come!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

PNG Video

Here is a short edit from our recent expedition to Papua New Guinea. Barny, Shannon and I were in PNG for 26 days, where we achieved 8 class IV-V descents and had an amazing experience. click the lick below the photo to see the clip. Enjoy


As everyone does in cali, we made our obligatory trip down the Upper Middle Consumes. And as it always happens, our group blew out to about 10 paddlers. After setting shuttle we ripped up to the put in and began what is always an amazing day out. Dont listen to anyone who bags this run it is sick, action packed and clean. Check it out.

Barny on the first 15 footer (p. Jordy)

Gordy following suit (p. Jordy)

Gordy again (p. Jordy)

Me on the double drop (p. Barny)

Thomas bringing 'er around (p. Barny)

Will routing the first 'portage' (p. Jordy)

Boys routing down (p. Barny)

Gareth... Boom (p. Jordy)

Cody greasing it (p. Jordy)

The Cess-Pit Drop (p. Barny)

Running UMC this late in the season shows just how late things are going this season. With a few options for the next days paddling we were ready to fire.