Friday, June 22, 2012

Up in Norway without a boat, paddle, lifejacket and helmet...

With Norway in our sights Toni and I packed up and headed off to San Francisco airport around midnight to catch our 6am flight! When busy studying I had read the departure time wrong and thought we were flying out at midday!! Lucky Toni checked! I’ve never missed a flight before but this time was close! We were cruising along the midnight around 1am when we heard a massive bang! The roofrack, kayaks and paddles had all come loose and were flying down the road and under the approaching trucks. The first truck pulled over with my kayak wedged beneath it. This was followed by Toni’s being dragged along by another truck and our paddles being split in the middle. Gutted. I was in shock and the sight was very sobering. In my kayak was a few dry bags of gear along with my Sweet helmet and lifejacket which were now quite destroyed! I was sooo gutted. Ready to fly to one of the World’s most renowned places for beautiful waterfalls and amazing kayaking and 4 of my 5 key items were missing! Kayak, BV, Paddles and helmet! Toni’s boat was also demolished and gone! We managed to make out flight on to Norway and were blessed to travel without the hassle of kayaks- amazing to go through the checkout in less than 20mintutes and have no arguements or massive charges for overweight definitely felt like something was missing.
Hopefully we can figure something out when we get to Norway!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reno Fest and Yosemete!

Last weekend Christy, Toni, Jordy, Josh N, Ben J, Shilo, Pernille and I went on a roady to the city of Reno! The Reno River Festival was an all weekend event that included freestyle, slalom, Boatercross and Supping! Unfortunately we missed the Saturday slalom and freestyle events but we arrived just in time for the Sunday events- Supping and Boatercross! The festival was held on the river that runs through  the centre of Reno. This made for a great spectator event with a lot of people gathering around to check out the action. I took out the time SUP slalom event and placed 2nd after Toni George in the SUP Cross event. Josh Neilson took 3rd in the SUP Slalom and Jordy took out the SUP cross! This was followed by the Boatercross event which included 8 ballers! Toni ended up 2nd in this event well I was pushed out of contention by an 8baller at the end to finish in 4th. A super fun event that was well run, definitely keen to go back next year.
With only a few days left in the United States of America Toni, Jordy, Christy and I decided to head to Yosemeti to check out the beautiful sites. Yosemeti boosts as one of the United States most beautiful natural areas, and it was definitely very scenic. We did a small walk to a nice waterfall the first night and then tackled the large climb to Half Dome the next day- it took us around 3 and half hours to the top and then we cruised our way down to finish in around 10 hours! Stoked! A great way to end our time here in America.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

USA- Final week

This last week has been pretty chill with not much kayaking for once! Since our 5day epic I have been recovering alongside knuckling down into some University work. I have now finished my first exam and will be done with my 2nd before I fly to Norway on Thursday next week! In my study breaks I have been going skydiving and to University Falls for a swim. Its nice to relax a bit and be able to hang with friends for my final days here in America!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Upper Cherry Creek!

 What a Hike! Photo- Casper Van Kalmthout
 Camping out. Photo Josh Neilson
 Me on Cherry Bomb! Photo- Josh Neilson

 Me on Double Pot Hole. Photo- Josh Neilson
 Victory! Photo- Casper Van Kalmthout
 Hiking in. Photo- Casper Van Kalmthout

You never quite know what to expect when heading out on a new river in the wilderness. The Upper Cherry Creek that runs through one of America’s National Parks just out of Touloumne is renowned to be one of the best kayak runs in the world! So when Josh suggested we hit it up I was keener then ever! Little did I know what was ahead. We met up with our friend Casper from the Netherlands along with 2 other Dutch Dudes and Sven from Belgium. Thursday night we began the painful 4hour hike with our kayaks and all of our multi-day gear. After camping on a hill Thursday evening we were early to rise Friday and ready to finish off the hike (maybe 1hour 30min from put in). Josh left slightly early to get a headstart as his knees were sore. Next minute, Casper, Sven, Emule, Tim and I have veered off track and are lost! Yup, we lost the track and Josh! After 4hours of heavy bush bashing we made it down to the river (approx. 500m downstream of the put in, although we were unaware of this at the time). Anyway we were unsure if we were too far upstream so decided to jump on and paddle down in case we were above the put in. We were not. 1hour later we reached a campsite so set up camp and waited with hope that Josh would come floating down any second. He did not. The next day we headed off early and enjoyed the tight gorges and fun slides. Just above the portage at Cherry bomb I hit the nose of my kayak and it broke, F**K! We decided we needed to go find Josh. So we got off the river, left our kayaks and headed to the road end to thankfully find Josh. His boat however was at the put-in. That night we went back to Senora and stayed in a sweet hotel with a hot tub! We ate out at the local steak restaurant and it was amazing! The next day it was mission on once again. Casper, Josh and I hiked to the put-in to get Josh’s kayak and carry it back to the Flintstones campsite, it was 9miles from the car to the put in and we had a 8hour day of hiking!Intense! After a nice night by the fire with our full crew we headed back to paddle out finally from Cherry Bomb! The gorges were soooo sweet! Super nice granite gorges, big slides and drops and surrounded by granite rock that looked like the moon! The lower sections of the river were definitely too low, esp. Red granite gorge, but the rest was all good. What a mission. We saw rattle snakes along the way, hiked up massive hills and through pain and heat! But we persevered the whole way and it was totally worth it! Full respect to Josh and Casper and the boys for some incredible efforts. A 2day kayak mission turned into 5 due to several small mistakes...A 5day trip I will never forget!
Notes: Lesson learnt, never loose the Kiwi! Dutch carry Whiskey and pj’s but don’t bring carry-systems..
Photo Credit: Casper Van Kalmthout and Josh Neilson

California Creeking Vid!

Check out this sweet little video from Martina Wegman of our first couple of weeks of kayaking and travelling around California!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


 After the epic week in Colorado it was time to head back to the Sunshine capital of California! Shilo has just turned 21 so we bipassed Las Vegas which was definately a good night out! We also spent a day in the Moab National Park which was totally awesome!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

2012 Teva Mtn Games Over!

-->The Teva Mountain Games here in Vail, Colorado wrapped up today with the 8 ball kayak event! This event took place in the heart of Vail down the local river that runs through the centre of the village. It ran with several heats of 4-5 people that had to race down the river and negotiate there way around people (8balls). Much more of a gamble then the other kayak events! I was lucky enough to make it through to the finals along with Anne Hubner of Germany who ended up 1st, Toni George who came in 2nd and Lou Urwin who finished in 3rd in the end, I got pushed into 4th. But was very lucky to win a GoPro Hero 2 in the mass start event that followed! Super stoked!
Fellow Kiwis Christy Hammond and Toni George also finished 3rd in the raft race!!!NZ Represent. 
Off to Moab National Park tomorrow and then on to Las Vegas Baby! I will try not to gamble away my $1500 worth of prizemoney or loose my new Gopro!
Big Photo Credit to my good friend Shilo Gibson, she is amazing behind the camera- as you can see:)