Friday, August 13, 2010

Thailand-Part 2... Mae Sa Upper, Middle and escorted out from the lower!!!

- Nice rice field heading to Doi Intanon National Park - Photo Toni George

-Temple on a hill - Amazing - Photo Toni George

After a fun park and huck session on Si Dit we were ready for more! With the drops in Si Satchinlai National Park Un-Runnable we decided to high tail it to Doi Intanon National Park to what I thought would be a sure thing... Turned out that there had been no rain in the area and we were looking at a half dry river bed.

- Mae Pan with not enough water- Photo Josh Neilson

With high hopes for the next stop we headed for Mae Pan Waterfall but that too was very low. Even though it is a low volume waterfall and creek run it would have made for a very hard hit at this flow so we opted for some sight seeing and headed toward Chiang Mai. On the way we decided to head up to Mae Wang and find the waterfall run in 2006 by Steve Fisher and Ben Brown resulting in Ben's broken back. When we finally got to it we found it was kinda high and looked soooooo good! There is no visible sign of a rick in there but we were not going to go totally against ben's word and run it. Instead we decided to do a bit of underwater recon and did some bamboo probing, and came to the conclusion that in fact that yes there is a rock shelf in there that we could hit with the bamboo 50% of the times we jumped in. This was reason enough for us to head back to the car and go eat fried rice. This drop is super sick and at raging flow would be runnable without going near the shelf. It is about 1 or more Meters under the water on the left half of the drop.

- Josh, Bamboo probe in hand - Photo Toni George

So from there we enjoyed our fried rice and woke the next morning to head into the Mae Sa River. One of my favorites from the last trip. To avoid park fees we decided to run the upper first and see where we got to. The flow was good and we were set for some good kayaking finally. We made our way into the jungle to the first drop where some dudes waved us down and warned us of the Nam Tok (waterfall) just down stream. I gave them the broken Thai/english version of its ok and we were going to run it anyway. They excitedly moved aside and watched as we dropped in.

- Tyler on the first boof of the day - Photo Josh Neilson

- Tyler on one of the mini gorges - Photo Toni George

A bit further on we got to the one that pinned Will last time and with a bit of probing decided its not worth it! Not much further in we got to the best section... The first is a double boof drop right next to some huts which leads into a 6foot boof into a bouncy slide into the big slide at the bottom. One by one we ran each part and it was great. This section could even have more water to make the slides a bit nicer but good at this flow too.

- One of the funnest drops only 20 mins from down town Chiang Mai - Photo Toni George

Drop 2 clean boof - Photo Toni George

- Entering the middle slides - Photo Tyler Fox

-Tyler in the middle slide - Photo Toni George

- Toni, right after getting her paddle caught in a Bamboo tree - Photo Tyler Fox

- Toni on the bottom slide - Photo Josh Neilson

- Tyler getting his slide on - Photo Toni George

After these drops the river mellows as it makes its way through Mae Sa Elephant Camp and then drops into the middle and lower sections. Last time we ran the lower but the middle was still un run.

- Big Elephant casually washing on the side of the river - Photo Josh Neilson

- Me on the first part of the Middle run - Photo Tyler Fox

- Tyler on the middle slide - Photo Toni George

- Toni running a crack drop - Boof into the undercut is the line almost - Photo Tyler Fox

- Tyler dropping in too - Photo Toni George

- Me on the first runnable drop in the lower section - Photo Toni George

- Lou on the line - Photo Toni George

- Me from Below - Photo Tyler Fox

The next morning we headed in with a good amount of daylight and found some goods in the middle section. It was much longer than i expected with some portages in there too. We just made it into the lower section and ran 2 of the drops until we made it to number 7.

- Slightly dark shot as Toni sneakily shoots us getting caught by park rangers - Photo Toni George

Right below this was a ranger post and the ranger on duty swiftly rounded us up and told us to walk back to the top.... Not possible sorry its a jungle up there... He then made some phone calls and then told us he was escorting us to the gate where we would have to pay a fine and leave. We picked up our boats and followed him all the while plotting a plan to escape. At the gate we kept walking and they yelled and followed us. On the main road we flagged down a car and jumped on the back to our car. The dude waited for us and we just loaded out boats and drove off. I hope we dont get stopped at the boarder and taken to jail!!!!
All up a good mission and good to see whats in the middle there.. If you go in there be prepared to get shut down or made to pay a fee.
Next up was a high water run on the Mae Taeng. EPIC... Coming soon