Saturday, February 11, 2012

Barny Young - Picks for 2011

Barny has had a super solid 2011, getting all the West Coast Classics, First Descents in Papua New Guinea, getting on pretty much EVERYTHING in cali at good if not high-water and returning to New Zealand to bag some high-alpine First Descents. During this time he has been fortunate enough to see places very few will visit, but fortunately for you he had his camera in hand and captured some amazing scenes. Here are his pics for 2011 and an explanation why... enjoy!

Perth River - West Coast, New Zealand
Paddler: Ari Walker - Details: (s) 1/1250; (a) f/5.6; (iso) 200

This is home for me. Ari routing on the Upper Perth. I can't even really remember taking this shot but it is another of those classic shots that portray the amazing whitewater we are lucky enough to have on the West Coast. Steep boulder-gardens surrounded by rugged scenery with the mountains in the back ground. Awesome.

Mai River - Chimbu River, Papua New Guinea
Paddler: Shannon Mast - Details: (s) 1/800; (a) f/3.5; (iso) 200

Shannon Mast about to air it out in Papua New Guinea. This was one of my favourite drops I have ever run because we were the first to paddle this amazing river and although there was a clean line to be had, it definitely had some nasty consequences if you missed it. Finally after deciding to run this drop one of the local boys came up to me and said " I have followed you down the whole river, You are now my friend, Please don't die". We all ended up having sweet lines and I was stoked to get this shot of Shannon.

Dinkey Creek, Waterfalls Section - California, United States
(didn't do a post for 2011 for some season, but here is out 2010 post:
Paddler: Jordy Searle - Details: (s) 1/1250; (a) f/4.0; (iso) 100

Dinkey Creek. I like this shot of Jordy on Dinkey Creek because although not 100% crisp in all avenues it captures the colour of the rocks and shows us just how chunky a rapid Nikki Kelly's drop can be. It also reminds me how photography can be used to mislead the viewer, although Jordy looked to be online he was shot into the wall and ended up doing 3 ends are he cascaded down. In our crew we had 5 successful descents with us all firing out the bottom of this beast. The next crew consisting of Darren McQuoid et al were not so lucky, being treated to some of the best creek boat rodeo scenes I have seen in my life.

Middle Fork of the Kings - California, United States
Paddler: Will Pruett - Details: (s) 1/1250; (a) f/4.5; (iso) 200

This shot of Will Pruett is taken on one of my favourite runs in the world, The Middle Fork of the Kings. On this particular trip in 2011 we were lucky enough to come across this amazing snow bridge on our second day. The beams of light penetrating through the middle of this snow bridge, where side trickles came in, were unbelievable and i'm sure will likely always rate as one of the top 10 sites I will see in my life.

Nevis River - Central Otago, New Zealand
Paddler: Ari Walker - Details: (s) 1/1000; (a) f/7.1; (iso) 200

I like this shot of Jordy and Ari because it exemplifies the sweet style of continuous kayaking we have in New Zealand. This shot is of Jordy firing up big brother on the Nevis, as Ari in the foreground is about to cruise down the next drop on this sweet run. It also reminds me of the late Simon Davidson, our boy we used to mob down this with every spring. Each time we are on this river it is a tribute to Si, and we always ride with you.

That's Barny's picks for 2011. A big year by anyone's standard and we're continuing the charge here in 2012. More new runs, higher flows, new people... just generally getting amongst it. Hope you liked the picks, more coming soon.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Upper Perth River - West Coast, NZ

We got lucky AGAIN! Barny and I have been talking about how fortunate we have been this year with flows, weather, crew, time off and all the other logistical issues. This time we were pushing it but still got the result. Unsure of what we were going to paddle, Barny and I were throwing around ideas about T-Canyon, a bomb down the Kokatahi or even a sneaky Waitaha. Simon Rutherford was keen and ready to rally from Blenheim when he got the call... Barns consulted the oracle ( and got a weather prediction, things had a bit of water and we all had plenty of time off, so it made sense to can the rest and head for the best! The Upper Perth! Except it was 10pm, old Razz was still in Blenheim, I was now required to do the morning milking and Barny was Barny. All good though we'll just get a late flight...??!! So day one started early for me and Razz, I had to go to work at 4.45am and Razz started driving south at 6am. Razz picked me up at 10am, Barny booked a chopper and collected our new Tuna's from the freight company. Collecting barny just after 11am we rallied to Hokitika for the food-shop and then continued south, after visiting the Bakery of course. Making pretty good time I finally asked Barny what time we had the chopper booked for... 2pm, which is damn late if you are lucky enough to fly right to the top. With a lack of cell service and motivation we decided we'll just fly a little way up.... but thinking back, we were never going to do that!

Boys gearing up by the Lanny (p. Jordy)
And thats only day two (p. Barny)

2.20pm and way up the top! (p. Barny)

If you havent seen this, you havent been
to the top. (p. Jordy)

Me trying to hold back the Blue-Fin
Tuna!!! (p. Barny)

West is Best (p. Jordy)

Vista's (p. Jordy)

Just another day on the river with the boys'ies
(p. Jordy)

Barns and Razza floating towards Scone Hut
(p. Jordy)

After arriving at the hut in about 4 hours, which is really quick, we were ready for some food, rehydration and shit-talk until the fire burnt out. We were lucky enough to have the hut to ourselves and it was so hot we slept with the hut door open for a good part of the night!

As written (p. Barny)

Day two is a treat. Steep boulder-gardens that Barny and I remember, or just make up as we go, and a few biggies to keep you on your toes. Amazingly the run from top to bottom has hardly changed considering the amount of sediment that was deposited at the Perth - Scone confluence and is now gone. Both days were overcast which was probably the only downside of the trip.... and you know if must have been a good trip if cloud cover is the only complaint!

We stopped for a photo??!! (p. Barny)

Razza and me having a moment (p. Barny)

Razz holding on to the mob-express! (p. Jordy)

And it keeps going (p. Jordy)

One, two... for safety ay (p. Jordy)

Sweet way to skirt the Weir (p. Barny)

The new Tuna, sporting a bump on the nose from a
big manky one on day one (p. Barny)

Barny on the final drop... or is it, I couldn't
remember... (p. Jordy)

The trip was awesome and after a lazy day two start time of 11am, we were off the water around 3:30pm. With it being Saturday night and all we figured it would be a good chance to have a proper trip 'debrief', and although Barny advocated strongly for a us to return to Greymouth and head to the Razza... It was Razza himself that made the bold decision to turn left and head down to the infamous Franny J (Franz Joseph)... the rest is history!

Not the normal choice, but the price was right! (p. Jordy)