Here we go......... part two of the 'staff heli' trip and finally we get to fly.
After an evening of intense darts and Bbq (the barbe wasn't intense) a new plan was formulated to fly into a river called the Taipo (as we have done the previous two trips). With the weather clearing and the rivers dropping it was looking as though all stars were aligned and things were going to run smoothly... But... you guessed it, this was not to be an exception to our recent history.
To cut a longish story slightly shorter, pretty much everyone was pissed off before we even got in the helicopter.
The Taipo River flows from high up in the Southern Alp's northwards (ish) to its confluence with the Tauramakua River and on down to the Tasman Sea. If you've driven across Arthur's Pass then you've driven over the Taipo.
We had 12 people flying into Julia Hut (23km upstream) so decided to split into 3 groups of 4. This allowed us to move down river as the quick and efficient units we wanted to be. I jumped out front and was followed by Matt Shearer, Mick (the boss) and Leeann Leadbetter.
The big drop of the trip is known as 'Showcase' and rates a grade higher than anything else on the run. All the young guys and slightly older guns elected to walk. Mick (the oldest gun) gave it a nudge and managed to get through o.k. even if it was upside down.
From the hut its only about 14km of very cold paddling to the take out... This is where you kind of stick your head down a just paddle. Its known as 'getting out' and that's exactly what we did.
February 3, 2007
As usual I have been rushing around the south island (parts of) on my days off. The past three have been particularly busy...
True to current form this summer I have had my eye on a couple of new rivers that have yet to be paddled. Zak and I took to opportunity of a few days off to go and explore river xxxxx. With the weather packing in in we headed bush to see what we could see. After crashing, slipping and sliding through the bush we had enough beta (info) to warrant a further look. We'll keep you posted.....
The brutal front washed over the westcoast of the south island leaving all the rivers heaving meaning that we weren't going to fly. Much to Mick's (our Boss) delight the Blackball had enough water in it and so the call was made. After a logistical nightmare (true to form) we finally all made it to the river and managed to get on.