Saturday, December 03, 2005

winter 2005

I had the opportunity to spend most of last year on the South Island of New Zealand, which was an incredible experience. I arrived in June with the intent of spending the ski season in the Southern Alps. We eventually landed in Wanaka, and immediatly decided this was the spot. Lance Parker and i rented a caravan, and set up shop in Glendhu Bay on Lake Wanaka. Glendhu Bay is located half way between Treble Cone Ski resort and the town of Wanaka, so its a pretty cruisy location. the season was great, and we enjoyed lots deep days! We spent most of our time exploring around Treble Cone, and hunting trout in the valley. But also had a chance to spend an incrediable week snowed in at two different club field's that are located within Arthurs' Pass. These clubs are incrediable, and essentially are series of small backcountry lodges that have rope tow access. 30 people snowed in and the lifts are running. what else is there to say.....

Fresh Air_Treble Cone

As the snow season came to a close, i began
a series of seasonal jobs in anticipation of the
summer on the horizon. Two friends of mine
were coming down from North Carolina, and
we were all eager to experience the wonderful
whitewater that New Zealand is infamous for.
I Picked Andrew Wilmot up after the new year,
and we began a six week creek boating odysey of the South Island of New Zealand. Two days after Andrew arrived we flew into the Taipo, with an overnight stay at the lower hut. We then traveled down to Hokotika, where we based for a week or so. the Kokopathai, and the Arahura were certainly highlights. Great water levels allowed us to fly into the Upper Perth, for an absolutely spectacular two days of whitewater. After emerging from the Perth, we traveled to the Fijordlands which is located in the southwestern corner of the island. The dramatic landscape of this region is often veiled by clouds and rain. So, when the sun comes out the scenery can be a bit overwhelming. we camped at Murry Gunn's camp for a week, which is located at the takeout of the Hollyford. After a few days of lite rain, the hollyford dropped to a managable level, and the unimaginable happended.....The sun came out. Sunshine along with the crystal blue water of the Hollyford is truely a remarkable combination. The next day, a little more rain brought the hollyford back up. And tim, rob, and myself attempted the uppper section of the hollyford, known as the monkey creek section. not as classy as the lower section. but one of the regions steepest creeks, and still a lot of fun. Leaving the Fijordlands we headed to the southland in a second attempt to paddle the Waikaia river. The river had a very alluring description: big clean drops, set in a series of pristine gorges. Though there were some great rapids. there were also a lot of large rocks that had fallen into several of the gorges, essentially blocking the exits. a good long day, and certainly not in line with the character that we were hoping for. so much for assumptions. leaving the Waikaia we headed to Queenstown to dry out...well, kind of. TO BE CONTINUED.........

Jason Aytes-Perth River

Tim Johnson_Amongt it_Hollyford River

Jesse Sears @ Dent Falls, Arahura River

Jay, somewhere in the Arahura

Setting the sling @ Perth River

Nolan's Hutt. Perth River

Jay, unknown rapid. Perth River

1 comment:

mollie ward said...

jay...i hope the trip is great! i can't wait to hear more about it...take care and have a really great time!!

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