6th November 2016: Rangitata River

Date: 6/11/16
River: Rangitata River, South Canterbury, NZ
River Conditions: 56 cumecs at Klondyke, water cold and slightly discoloured. Grade 2.
Weather Conditions: Sunny, warm with strong nor westerly winds.
Number on Trip: 14
Time on River: 3 hours
Comments: I was running a bit late by the time I pulled into the car park at Caltex Hornby as I had been a bit slow getting out of the house. The loading of vehicles was well underway but I managed to find a space in Doug’s car. While I was filling in the trip sign in sheet, my phone rang, a pretty unusual occurrence for early on a Sunday morning.

It was Lauri, apparently Peridot (our cat) had leapt in through the bedroom window with a sparrow in her mouth, which she then proceeded to chase around the room until Lauri managed to shut Peri out of the room, at which point Lauri decided to ring me. Luckily for Mr Jack Sparrow, he was unharmed except for a few missing feathers and after a rest and some cat food (instead of being cat food), he escaped from the cat cage he had been placed in and flew around the garage until Lauri got him to fly outside.

After getting off the phone and completing the loading, we were off, heading south. We got changed at the put in and as we didn’t have a group running the grade 4 section, we needed to run a shuttle.

Discussing lines above the put in at the Klondike weir.

Discussing lines above the put in at the Klondike weir.

Once the shuttle was run, we wandered down to the put in, with many of the group deciding to put in below the weir, missing out on bigger rapids (though it can look a little daunting to start off with, it is pretty straight forward and rarely results in swims).

Most of the group chose to portage the weir and put in below it.

Most of the group chose to portage the weir and put in below it.

Below the weir, their are plenty of little boulder gardens to play around in and this is one of the fun things about this trip, catching eddies, surfing holes, working your way through the rapids and making the most of what they have to offer.

Sarah runs a rapid.

Sarah runs a rapid.

There were plenty of rapids to play on and it was nice to be out on the river.

Ernest carving it up.

Ernest carving it up.

It was good to catch up with Ernest, who I hadn’t seen for a while. He had a good day out and seemed to feature in a lot of my photos from the trip.

Our trip leader, Doug, having a surf.

Our trip leader, Doug, having a surf.

We stopped to play a number of features, with the waves around the man made groins being particularly popular.

Some group play on the river.

Some group play on the river.

There was the occasional swim by some of the newer paddlers and Ross managed to get slightly stuck whilst playing on a small feature and ended up having to exit his boat after failing to roll, which was a little embarrassing.

The last boulder garden rapid was a lot of fun and a great way to end the trip, with some great, bouncy wave trains, plenty of rocks and holes to surf. We had a raft catch up with us near the end of this rapid and they gave us a bit of a wave before paddling on.

Shuttle was run and then back to town, after a enjoyable day on the river with a good bunch of people.