Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jae Sawn Falls, Northern Thailand part 3

First Descent number 2

After consulting our trusty Thai national park website we decided that we would do a day trip out to Jae Sawn national park about 2 hours from Chiang mai. At times we did not know if we were even in the right place as our trusty suzuki chopped into 1st gear up very steep and windy roads. Finally we made it to the park entrance and were faced with the 200baht entry fee. With a quick scout of the river we found a series of 6 waterfalls stacked on top of each other. Number 1 was Jae sawn falls that we had seen on the net, 2 was a drop that could be run in higher water, 3 after much inspection was too shallow on the landing off a 45foot drop. 4 was cool but was in the entry to 3. 5 had a huge tree in it and 6 was runnable but also led into 5 so not possible unless higher flows.

-Josh running 'Jae Sawn Falls'

So we headed abck to the car and geared up and headed for a park and huck session on number 1 'Jae Sawn falls'.

We had a climbing rope and the boys lowered me and my boat down into the gorge and the pool above the falls. With closer inspection it was apparent that it would be tighter than expected. With cameras set up I padddled fore the lip. Tight entry and narrow shoot! In no time i was flying down the falls and into the pool at the bottom. It was a super fast descent and a good drop!

Next up was Will. He also stuck the line and was stoked to be at the bottom of this amazing waterfall.

-Will Running Jae sawn

For Sams descent I abseiled down off the bottom lip to the base of the falls to get a unique angle of the falls on film. This shot shows Sam tucked up for impact and Me hanging out over the base with the video camera. We got soem quality footage today and looking forward to editing up a storm on the thailand footage!

-Sam kayaking, Josh Filming from wall

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mae Sa River Northern Thailand

1st descent number 1

-Last night i was searching the net for possible waterfalls and rivers in the north here in thailand. I came across a web page that led me to a pic of Mae Sa falls about 30mins drive from our place. As we had a day off before our big trip today we decided to go check it out. At about 3am this morning i was awoken by a mighty crack followed by a flash of light! A storm was here and the water was falling from the sky finally!

-Sam below waterfall 'number 7'

Early this morning we loaded up the car to go check it out. Apon arival we were faced with a large entry fee into the park that the falls were in. being on a budget we headed back out the gate in search of another entry. After a big of off roading we found a track through a rice and banana field to the river.

To our amazment we found that there was a track up the river(thanks to the national park service) and not only 1 waterfall but a series of 10 waterfalls. We began the hike up scouting each drop! after about 700m of hiking we were at number 10! At this flow unrunnable but number nine was good!

-Me running 'number 9'

Will and I fired off this one and we were off.

-Will running 'number 9'

Drop after drop we made our way down the Mae Sa river ticking off new waterfalls and slides as we went. We came to the biggest drop on the river and after a view from a few angles i decided to fire it up! A cool double drop entry into a crazy bit of slide/waterfall! tight entry and a lot going on.

-Me running 'number 6'

From here we continued dropping and running some super clean drops! About half way down the word was out in the park that there were some crazy phalangs (white people) playing in the river. Soon after the ranger was on his bike with a big rescue ring(the red and white ones you would see on a sea ship) waving his arms as Will is about to pull out and run a 2ofooter. He is screaming dont do it in broken english as wil turns and carmly says "its cool, its cool, go watch" as he points to his eyes and pushes into the flow. They soon realised we knew what we were doing and we were off another horrizon line.

These Photos are from Will Clark our teams photographer! nice shots

Footage is coming in thick and fast so keep an eye out for some film updates soon and a new film coing out next march!

-Me running 'number 5'

-Sam running 'number 5'

As far as we know the Mae Sa river has never been paddled and we are stoked to have a first descent under our belts this early on in the trip. tomorrow we will load the car up and head for a region called Nan which will hopefully bring us some more of this quality whitewater!

-Sam running 'number 3'

-Will running 'number 1'

-The night life in Chiang mai

-Traditional Thai Dancing

All photos in this post are (c) Will Clark

Monday, September 24, 2007

Northern Thailand Update 1

Hey everyone!

I am sitting in a small coffee shop in chiang mai in northern thailand right now and enjoying the air con! outside the weather is hot and about 100% humidity!
We have a nice appartment to base ourselves in and a 4x4 to get us to where we need to go!

-Visiting a temple in chiang mai

On the 20th of this month I met up with sam ward and will clark from the UK to explore the rivers of northern thailand.

From Bankok airport we caught a 14hr train to chiang mai where we met up with Pete buick who has been based in chiang mai who had sorted our accomodation and would be our support crew and part of the exploring team for the next 6 weeks.

-Bankok train station

After a few days of logistics and things we had our suzuki loaded up and we were off to check out a river called the mae taeng about an hour away.
With a bit of 4x4ing and 1 broken roof rack we were at the put in above a bridge in a small village.

-Road to the put in, mind the elephants

-Sam on one of the boulder garden drops

With a little over an hour of paddling we made it to a take out where pete had the car. An amazing experience to see elephants bathing in the river as we paddled past and over hanging lush jungle!

-Local transport

The river was a nice class 3 to 3+ and a good way to warm up and get used to the new team. On our way back we headed toward Sri lanna national park to check out some creeks and waterfalls. After finding 1 unpaddlable waterfall we found ourselves on a dirt road putting our little 4x4 to the test. We were in search of the Mae hon lae waterfall now known as the 'Invisible and really far away in the bush waterfall'. Needless to say, we never found the Mae hon lae after about 45 minutes of driving in the dense bush.

-Trying to find Mae hon lae falls

We made it out and drove back to Chiang mai in time for dinner.

-Buffalo cars

Over the next 2 days we are sorting logistics for a trip where we will head for a provence called nan in search for a bunch of cool creeks and waterfalls that we have some local info on, as well as a multi day run on the nam wa river hopefully.

-Thai Boy racers

Keep an eye out for more updates to come as we head for nan and then doi intanon national park.


Josh Neilson
Will Clark
Sam Ward