Dienstag, 27. März 2012

South Island

Our first stop on South Island of New Zealand was famous Maruia falls. After few runs down the waterfall we tried some rivers around Murchison but everything was dry. We continued down to south along the West coast to Hokitika. This small town is usually full of kayakers because there are the best rivers in New Zealand. But we realized that the rivers are totally dry and there aren’t kayakers in town at all. So we moved more south to Queenstown. Not far from here flows one of the few NZ big water rivers – Kawarau river. It was also quite dry but at least there was some water there. We spent here few days just enjoying the river, we paddled all sections including all big rapids like Citroen, Nevis Bluff and Retrospect. We had not much time left but still lots of things to do. Our next stopovers were Chritchurch destroyed by many earthquakes and the Rangitata river with beautiful lower gorge. Then we decided to try our luck in Hokitika again. This time we met lots of kayakers here and the weather forecast promised raining for next few days. In next days we paddled almost all rivers around Hokitika accessible by car or hiking: Crooked, Kakapotahi, Styx, Arahura and Totara. Just few days left till end of our trip and we were still looking forward to do some more serious run, but all helitrips were too high. Fortunately rain stopped and water levels dropped quite fast so our wish come true and we flew to Perth. Upper part of this river was continuous and really steep so we had lots of fun for whole two days. Than followed long drive to north and even longer fly back home.

Sonntag, 18. März 2012

Roadtrip NZ!

The first two weeks of January, the Kaituna was at open gates due to the heavy rain storm that hit the North Island around New Year's. The van I picked up in Auckland had a leaking roof and life was pretty miserable for a few days, but luckily the locals in Okere Falls opened their homes and I had a sweet couple of weeks paddling a high water Kaituna and a few of the local flood runs. 

Racing the Kaituna at open gates!
Photo Erik Hemstad
On my way to the South Island I stopped for a week at the Bliss Stick Factory to work. The Factory is pretty much located at the take out of the Rangitiki River, a nice warm up run for the West Coast. It seems to always be a few paddlers around the factory, and I spent the first few days of work 'testing' the Tuna and the Mystic. I totally fell in love with the Mystic, and after five days of moulding seats and backbends, drinking coffee, listening to Charles crazy stories and paddling the Rangitiki, I had a shiny black Mystic with a pink seat on the roof of my van. Time to hit the South Island!

A nice flood run on the North Island (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Paula Volkmer
Rangitiki Gorge

Lunch huck at the Bliss Stick Factory (Nini Bondhus)

I teamed up with Erika Sprunck and Alison Homer and headed south. The first stop was Murchison, a little town with a good selection of easy rivers, a really nice coffee shop and an interesting museum. The Buller is a big volume grade III-IV depending on the water level. Murchison is also the home of the famous park'n huck Mauria Falls, and being the girls that we are, we showed a group of guys how it's done. Chick huck fest!

Erika Sprunck showing the line, Mauria Falls
Photo Erik Hemstad

The next stop was Hokitika, a sweet little coastal town with the legendary Mahinapuna pub, amazing fish and chips and some of the steepest and most technical whitewater on the southern hemisphere. The Torahora River is probably the easiest little creek around Hokitika, and we did the 45 minute long hike to the put in a few times the first week. In Norway, pretty much all the classic rivers are roadsides, so hiking in with a kayak, safety gear and splits was a new and sometimes exhausting experience. You definitely gotta earn your turns on the West Coast, and hiking in to rivers like the Styx and the Arahura soon became everyday routine! Luckily the Totara and The Upper and Lower Kakapotahi are roadsides, but you need rain to make them come up. 

Flying up the Hokitia/Whitcomb

Arahura Gorge (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Chris

Arahura Gorge (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Chris

Hokitika is a great place to meet other kayakers, and me and Erika teamed up with a kiwi crew from Murchison on our first helicopter trip. On a dark and rainy day, we flew in to the Hokitika. It might sound like a cliché, but it is definitely a pretty intense feeling to see the helicopter take off for the last time and to know that the only way back to civilization is down the river, no matter what the river brings you The commitment factor at the Coast  is way higher than what I am used to, and it definitely makes kayaking at the Coast more serious than other places I've been. The helicopter dropped us off a little bit higher on the Hokitika than we expected, but the kiwi-crew safely guided us down and we finished a perfect day with fish and chips on the beach. 

Hokitika Gorge (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Erika Sprunck

Hokitika Beach

On our way further south, we paddled the Fox River, a glacier fed river with a water temperature around 6 Celsius. Believe it or not, floating ice bergs actually make good eddies! 

The Fox River
Photo Mike Moxon

The Landsborough River, one of the most remote multi day trips on the South Island, was the next river on the list. Unfortunately the water was pretty low, but we were still rewarded with an epic helicopter flight, a stunning view of the snow peaked mountains, a great wilderness feeling and loads of sand flies. 

The Landsborough River

After a month on the road, we really enjoyed the facilities of a city. Sushi, coffee bars and some shopping was high on the list. The guys fired up the Nevis Bluff, one of NZs biggest rapids. I got a practice run on the Citroen rapid, a great big volume rapid which is also where the Citroen Race is to be held. 

Citroen Rapid, Kawaru Gorge (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Lukas Strobl

Citroen Rapid, Kawaru Gorge (Nini Bondhus)
Photo Lukas Strobl

On the way back to Hokitika, we stopped in Peel Forest to paddle the Rangitata Gorge for a few days, an awesome grade IV big volume section you can walk into in half an hour.

Hiking up the Rangitata Gorge

Citroen Extreme Race in Queenstown was my last stop before I went back to Norway. I swam in the seeding round but managed to recover and got 3th place out of 8 girls. What a sweet way to finish 3 months on NZ!

Citroen Race Swim Team!

The Citroen Extreme Race on 3News, NZ:


The Citroen Extreme Race on Otago News:



Freitag, 9. März 2012

New Zealand

I spent last tree moths in New Zealand, most of the time on North island around famous Kaituna river. I had lots of fun just doing laps on this short section of whitewater, and when I get bored I borrowed freestyle boat and I did some cartwheels and mcnastys at bottom hole. I also took part on Kaituna Christmas day what was very fun competition including freestyle, time trial, downriver freestyle. The biggest fun was competition in swimming down all the rapids including waterfall. I had good luck in freestyle ending 1st followed by my mate from Slovakia Miro Sukany. In time trial I ended 3rd after Sam and Jamie Suttons.
Thanks to rainy weather Kaituna was very high all the time what meant more fun, and I had also opportunity to run same creeks in Kaimais. My favorite was Tauakopai with endless slides and drops, it looks like a playpark for creekboats. Next good thing about this creek is that you can continue paddling down this river from takeout to confluence with Mangakrengornego and paddle down also Mangakarengorengo and than continue down the Wairoa.
When the Kaimais had no water we went to Tongariro national park to huck some nice waterfalls and to enjoy beautiful sceneries with volcanoes. After Tongariro we went back to Okere falls to spend few more days on Kaituna and than heading south.

Palo Andrassy

Montag, 5. März 2012

Hiking Weekend

Hiking Weekend

Am 03.03.2012 trafen Robert, Peter, Georg und ich uns am Rindbach im Salzkammergut. Der Wasserstand war ideal und Schnee war auch nicht zu viel. Wir wussten alle das, dass ein anstrengender Tag werden wird. Deshalb kauften wir noch ein bar Riegel und Obst ein.

Dann so gegen halb 11 gingen wir los denn alle wussten dass es eine lange Wanderung werden wird. Wir gingen ca. 1,5 Stunden das Tal hinein, zu unser Glück lag weiter oben doch ein wenig Schnee denn das ermöglichte uns das ziehen der Boote. Vom Weg aus sahen wir schon das eine Riesige Lawine im Bachbett liegt, aber dazu später.

Wir starteten um halb eins und dann ging es auch schon richtig los. Die ersten bar stellen fuhren wir so dass jeweils einer ausstieg und ansagte damit wir uns ein wenig zeit sparen konnten. Das ging dann alles super weiter und dann waren wir auch schon bei de Lawine. Da ging gar nix mehr weiter, der ganze Bach verschwand unterm Schnee. Wir versuchten über die Lawine zu gehen aber das gaben wir dann auch schnell wieder auf.

Wir mussten uns am Linken Fluss Ufer aufseilen und 200 Meter wieder Runter seilen. Es war eine ziemlich anstrengende Sache die uns alle ziemlich abkühlen lies. Die ganze zeit im Schnee stehen war dann für Georg auch zu viel und er trug sein Boot wieder hinaus.

Für Robert, Peter und mich ging es dann auch erst Richtig los, der Bach wurde jetzt etwas Schwerer als oben. Es kamen zahlreiche stellen die wir uns genau ansehen mussten denn da wollte keiner etwas versauen.

Dann um 17 Uhr waren wir endlich beim ausstieg und jeder war völlig fertig. Wir freuten uns alle auf eine warme Suppe und a Bier.

Für mich ist der Rindbach einer der Top Bäche im SKG. Mann fühlt sich wie auf einer kleinen Expertition und man weiß am Abend was man getan hat. :)

Da das SKG gerade so gutes Wasser hatte machten wir uns gleich aus dass wir uns am nächsten Tag wieder alle Trafen.

Es ging als erstes zum Offenseebach wo die Wasserfall Kombination auf dem Plan Stand. Es war ein Super Wasserstand und wir fuhren gleich alle hintereinander. Es entstanden auch gute Bilder die Fahrt noch etwas versüßten.

Um 1 Uhr mussten wir am Zinkenbach sein denn Stocki wartete auf uns. Gesagt getan wir trafen uns am Parkplatz beim Ausstieg. Robert sagte noch „ist e nit so weit zum gehen, ca. so wie am Gimbach“.

Als wir dann eine ¾ Stunde unterwegs waren sagte ich zu Robert dass wir am Gimbach schon da wären, aber hier ging es dann noch weiter. Als wir endlich am Einstieg waren vergaßen wir alles übers raufgehen denn wir sahen einen Super 10 Meter Wasserfall. Wir wussten er wurde schon befahren aber von uns hatte ihn noch keiner auf dem Konto. Nach der Besichtigung beschloss ich ihn zu fahren. Danach Peter, Robert und Stocki. Alle wussten wir dürften denn Boof nicht versauen denn der Pool war nur ca. Knietief.

Danach ging es im WW 3-4 bis zum Ausstieg weiter. Es war ein sehr cooler Bach wo sich dass Rauftrage zu 100% ausgezahlt hat.

Es war ein ziemlich cooles Wochenende und ich hoffe es werde noch einige dieses Jahr kommen.

Mfg Daniel Egger