Saturday, July 24, 2010

Something about Icebergs, Oxygen and kayaking???

- The Crew minus Keith, Jo and Gringo - Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park

- Whats a good tourist attraction and a sunset without some jumping around??

Imagine walking through the desert for 1 and a half months without water and then finding a cooled water machine, or climbing mount Everest and loosing all your oxygen then finding a fresh tank at the very top, or how about being stranded on an iceberg floating in the ocean and coming across a tropical island paradise with sun, surf and a poolside bar.... How good would it feel.... Well I can relate to that pretty well!!! Altough there were no poolside bars, oxygen tanks or cooled water tanks in my story there was something better. After 1 and a half months of driving shuttle in the hot Cali summer sun with my shoulder strapped in a sling my time finally came! With just 2 weeks Left here I filled my pack with extra food, sleeping gear and all the cameras I could carry and hiked back into 'Flinstone camp' on the Upper Cherry Creek run. The team consisted of about 9 kiwis, one American and a dog. But all logistics and bush bashing aside I feel I have digressed from my moment of glory. While Rach, Jo and I set up camp in the trees the rest of the crew made their way 12 miles to the put in and then kayaked the 'Moon Slides' down to below Cherry bomb gorge where we were set up. I was still unsure about the state of my shoulder so chilled for the evening and waited till the next day to try it out.

- Roasting Marshmellows in the coolest camp ever - Photo Brad Lauder

Early the next day the anticipation was killing me as I hiked up and filmed the crew on their second run down the gorge. Once at the bottom I threw together a mix of peoples kayaking gear and started running the Jedi Slides and the perfect tea cup drops down to camp.

- Hiking back up to run laps - Paradise - Photo Rachel Tombleson

- The Line up at the top - Photo Rachel Tombelson

- Running the 'Tea Cups' down to camp - Photo Rachel Tombleson

- Getting familiar with the boof again - Photo Rachel Tombelson

After about 5 laps I was feeling good and knew that i needed to hike into the upper gorge and run 'Cherry Bomb'. After a bit of lunch and a steep hike I got in behind B and started sliding into the gorge. All was good and although cautious I felt like a child on christmas day or like the people in the situations earlier stated... Well not quite... This was just the entry to the gorge. I still had to find this much needed oxygen bottle at the top...
Sitting on the rock looking down 'Cherry Bomb Falls' I spotted it. It was in the form of a 45degree ramp with a perfect kicker at the bottom into a pool 3oish feet below. I promptly got back in my boat and boofed out of the eddy into the flow!!! I was back. My shoulder felt great, i was back on the water with my boys and I was running arguably one of the best gorges of whitewater in the world.

- 'The Oxygen at the top, the Island from the Iceberg, Kayaking after a season long injury - Photo Rachel Tombelson

- Follow the leader - back with the crew running the 'Jedi Slides' - Photo Rachel Tombelson

Thanks to all the people who have put up with me/ helped me with my injury/ partied with me/ kept me sane for the past month and a half, you guys have been great! To Nick and Harmony for letting me crash on the best couch in the world while I recovered, to (good) Jordie and Nige for not having much work so we could hang out and swim lots, the boys for putting up with my excessive party motivation, Rach and Gringo for sharing the terror of hiking in Cali with mountain lions and bears, but most of all thanks to the iceberg for not completly melting before I made it to the tropical island!!!
Cali is now over and I'm ready to go. Next week I will join Tyler Fox, Lou Urwin and Toni George for an month in Thailand searching for new rivers. Keep an eye out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


- The boys sitting contemplating

There are a few places in the world that are really scary but draw you in and make you want to paddle despite their MASSIVENESS!!! Graceland is one of them! Unfortunalty yet fortunatly I am injured so I was not able to experience its greatness in person this year but I did get to hike in and shoot some sick footage of the boys for the next movie!!! Here are a few shots from Graceland slide on West Cherry Creek! One of those places.... Ill be back for sure...

- Photo Stitch of the area - Photo Evan Garcia

- Side on of the slide of Grace - Photo Evan Garcia

- My Hiking friend and mountain lion hunter, Gringo - Photo Evan Garcia

professional shuttle driver and river hiker!

Still on the injured list these days but to fill in my time I have taken to a serious regime of Facebook, airport shuttles and hiking food and cameras into multi-day sierra runs. Although seriously depressing watching everyone running super stout drops while im behind the camera at least i can still get out there and enjoy some of these amazing places!! beats being in NZ in the cold thats for sure!
Here are a few shots from the Gopro camera from some driving and life on the road! Been on the video camera for the kayaking part so limited in the Photos there but expect some sick stuff in the next film!!

-Toni trying to fit inside her kayak- not possible

- Mum driving away from the sunset on 99 - Photo Josh Neilson

- After 5 miles hike, Graceland slide is in sight - Photo Josh Neilson

- Go Mum Go! photo Josh Neilson

- Brad smart bringing a mozzy net! These fullas are brutal - Photo Josh Neilson

- Samoa aka Jared Mitchel getting limber before day 2 of west cherry - Photo Josh Neilson

- Practicing his Waka ama - Photo Josh Neilson

- Driving the 99 and missing the turn off to 3 rivers!! whoops! Photo Josh Neilson

- B getting ready to hike down into the slide in the background! MASSIVE!!! -Photo Josh Neilson

- The Greek Adonnis getting his drive on cali style!! no Air con so its HOT!! - Photo Josh Neilson