Monday, April 11, 2016

Karangarua River - New Zealand

In 2015 Jordy Searle was awarded the North Face Expedition Adventure Grant - 2015, with the objective of paddling the Karangarua River, NZ. The expeditions goals were:

(i) to paddle the Karangarua from it's source, adding 12km to the lower Karangarua and being the first people to paddle the entire river. 

(ii) To highlight the importance and value of rivers on the West Coast, by illustrating the beauty, recreational value and fruitfulness of the Karangarua Wilderness Area.

(iii) To provide sufficient social media, through our blog, Facebook page, NZ Adventure Article and potentially a news article, to contribute to point (ii) and ultimately to inspire other young New Zealanders. In essence, to illustrate that people can achieve their goals if they’re willing to sacrifice and work hard towards them. 

In late November Jordy, Ari Walker and David Bain scouted the entire river, leaving with the impression that is was a possible and worthy adventure. 

 David scouting the section just below Christmas Hut

We used a drone to help with scouting, incredible scenery

 Jordy and Ari scouting the 'Serpent Gorge'

Trying to see as much as possible...

Less than two weeks later the team, this time with Barny Young, returned to the Karangarua and paddled it from it's source at Christmas Hut down to the confluence with the Copland River.

 James leaving us at Christmas Hut, the trip was all go.

 The team committing to the Upper Gorge
 David putting a lot of faith in 3 sapplings.

 Not the usual scene for a couple of kayakers

 About 1/4 of the way through the first cascade portage

 Working and being rewarded at the same time

 The drop below the First Cascade portage

Barny cashing in too

Barny and Ari stoked to link some moves

 Ari is a big guy, but is dwarfed by the Karangarua

Barny accepting his reward

 The 'Reward Falls', after the second cascade portage

 Paddling the section below Cassel Flat with the added water from
the Douglas River.

This definitely wasn't a classic but was a worthwhile adventure and would be worth doing again, for a crew with the right skill-set and mindset. Get after it!