Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 11 - Above Salt Creek Camp to Hotauta Camp

Breakfast was available early. We had a long day planned with thirteen named rapids over sixteen miles including three rated class 8.

We were loaded by 8:15 so I took the opportunity to get a picture of Squeak before his day of whitewater.

Stef was going to row Susie for the day with Cece in the back seat.

We stopped to scout Granite and set up to take photos while the rest of the group ran first.  Lots of boulders on the left side and a couple large holes in the center. The idea is to run the right side of the river (downriver is to the left) avoiding the holes on one side and the rock wall on the other.

As was often the case, Robb ran first to set up safety. Leif and Natalie have the view seats.

Tony decided to add some challenge. He started out with a reasonable line but got spun and ended up running most of the rapid backwards.

Stef and Cece had a good run in Susie, clearing the holes and the wall.

Greg did just what the guide suggested - ride the wave train of lateral waves all the way down.

Craig had a clean looking start to his run. Somehow, he ended up with the boat heading upstream before the bottom of the rapid. Everyone had a successful, if occasionally very wet, ride through Granite.

A mile and one half later, we ran Hermit (also class 8) without scouting.  Hermit has a huge, long wave train - sort of like a very wet roller coaster. Squeak needed a squeeze after our run.

Others set up to shoot video and photos at Crystal, the third class 8 rapid of the day, but Izzy and I decided to run it and get it over with after a quick scout, avoiding all the big holes. Thanks to Helen for the photo.

In the afternoon we ran all the gems - Agate, Sapphire, Turquoise, Emerald, and Ruby (classes 3 to 6) before finishing the day with the class 7 Serpentine rapid. With all the splashing going on, the camera stayed tucked away in its Pelican case.

Home for the evening after fighting a stiff headwind the last mile was the Hotauta camp. I had dish duty with Dave and Izzy, and then headed to the boat for a good night's sleep.

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