Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jordan Searle - My picks from 2011

It would be modest to say that 2011 was just a good year for us, having been fortunate enough to be awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Adventure Grant, through SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand), having spent three months in the granite paradise of California's Sierra Nevada's AND been in New Zealand for the end of Summer 2010/2011 and start of Summer 2011/2012. During this time we have seen some AMAZING vista's, paddled with some amazing people and taken photos right throughout. Here is my selection of 5 photos I have taken, sort of a top five but not specifically, that I think illustrates the beautiful year that I have seen my lens. Enjoy.

Perth River - West Coast, New Zealand
Paddler: Ari Walker - Details: (s) 1/1250; (a) f/4.5; (iso) 200

This photos illustrates to me one of two characteristics that define West Coast whitewater, that is steep boulder-gardens. And the Perth River has plenty! On this particular trip we were able to access further up the Perth River than Barny and I had ever before, and were blessed with two perfect days of weather. We usually run this one in mid to late summer and is one of the runs that usually kicks off my year, and oh what a year it was!

Mai River - Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Paddler: Shannon Mast - Details: (s) 1/320; (a) f/5.0; (iso) 200

I feel absolutely privileged to have been given the opportunity to have travelled to Papua New Guinea in April 2010. This would not of been possible without the support of SPARC, Barny Young and Shannon Mast and all the other sponsors and people that contributed. Almost everything I can remember from PNG is shown in this photo, the droves of people eagerly watching us, children willing to give us advice (sometimes misleading) and telling us things are 'all good', one of my boys routing another sick drop, the clouded but muggy environment and more and more and more. Great place, great people and great memories.

South Branch, Middle Feather - California, United States
Paddler: Barny Young - Details: (s) 1/1250; (a) f/5.6; (iso) 100

The paradise that California is. Going to Cali is becoming an annual pilgrimage, and I don't see any reason why it should stop. Beautiful weather, easy logistics (except big drives) and some very big and hard white-water. Barny is stomping out the Skate-Park (?) rapid on South Branch, but it could easily be on any river in Cali as there are so many amazing drops to be had. Cant wait to get back in June!

Dinkey Creek, Waterfalls Section - California, United States
(didnt do a post for 2011 for some season, but here is out 2010 post:
Paddler: Will Pruett - Details: (s) 800; (a) f/5.0; (iso) 200

The Jah-Charger Will Pruett, charging on one of the most classic runs that Cali has to offer. Granite up to the brim, that is Dinkey Creek. Granite hike-in, ledges, slides, camp spots, gorges from start to finish. The scale of the rivers and their setting is unbelievable in Cali, and I think this photo shows it. For me, it also tells of the expanding group of friends that Barny and I are making in Cali. Not only Will, but Smurf, Preacher, Mancheese, Boss Hogg, Hale, Ross Herr, Gareth Tate, Rok and many more.

Kokatahi River - West Coast, New Zealand
Paddler: Brian Urmson - Details: (s) 1/800; (a) f/5.6; (iso) 100

The Kokatahi is my favourite kayaking run that I have done, and fortunately it is only 20minutes drive from where I grew up. In the past it was notorious, mainly to do with the carnage Bruce Barnes and Graham Charles had in there on the first descent, but it is now the go to run on the coast. I've run it both high as high, and low as low, I can tell you then pretty much any flow goes. Having said that, when there is some juice in it you need to bring your big set and it really does help to know it. This was B-Rain's first trip down the Kokatahi and at a really juicy flow, stoked to see him having a good time and stoked to get this photo of him in one of the many spectacular gorges.

Well there you have it, my pick of 2011 and a brief explanation why. Hopefully this year I can improve and get some better snaps! Barny is going through his pictures at the moment and will put together his 5 and explanations in the next week or so.

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