Friday, March 28, 2008

The Owyhee River

Our first adventure in the USA was to head to the Owyhee River in South East Oregon. We started the journey 2 days after arriving in the country with a massive 8 hour drive to the put in. As you can see from the photo below it was all plain sailing through the night...

The crew: Chris, Shaun, Emma, Jacqui, Richard and Jeff at the start of the run.

It took us 4 and a half days to do the trip at a pretty leisurely pace. The following two pictures are from our first camp site - in an awsome cave. It provided shelter from the weather and a good place to have a few drinks at the end of the day.

The river was mostly grade 3 whitewater with a few grade 4 rapids and a grade 5 rapid to keep things interesting.

Shaun and Chris scouting "Widowmaker" (Grade 5)

The entrance to the first canyon. Most of the river flowed below huge canyon walls
Chris paddling towards "the ledge" (grade 4)

Definitely a very good way to start off our time in the states. 4 days on a spectacular river with an awsome crew.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jacqui's kind of training...

So it has been a while since our last post, what has been happening? Well I flew back to NZ in the middle of Jan to do a training course with an american company called NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) This was a 35 day course 30 of which was hiking in the backcountry. We hiked from the West coast from Lake Brunner and ended up at Klondyke Courner east of Arthurs Pass. Heres some photos...
The first few days were spent organising our gear and food, This is how much food we had for the whole 30 days feeding 11 people...

Our accommodation was superb!

Our food was resupplied by Dando the helicopter pilot approximatly every 8 days

The crew on the main divide
Me strutting my stuff

Big hills, small people

Stopped by Otehake hot springs, found some fellas to wave fronds over us! hehehe

The calm before the storm, we got stuck here for 3 days waiting out the rain, a river had a few lakes had formed by the time we left.

Playing in the snow, crevasse rescue exercise.

Abseiling down onto the glacier

Contemplating what line to take

Cooking on Waimak col, great veiw of the glaciers

Walking out of the moutains
Taking a bath, the water was freezing!

There are so many photos its hard to choose what to show you, but anyway you get the picture, we had awsome weather until the end on our moutaineering section, where it rained and snowed. But an awesome trip.

Wel'l keep you posted on our next adventure we fly out to the States in 2 days time, watch this space...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Finally some Photos from Kashmir Damn it!

Well well well, a month after our return, I get into it and put a few photos from Hans, Jared, Jack and myself's skiing trip to Kashmir. The photos are not in order, but they do give an impression of what we got, which from a skiing point of view was totally satisfying. Lots and lots of snow: it had been snowing continuously for 7 days before our arrival and kept on snowing steadily most nights to provide ultimate conditions for about 20 days. Here, myself on the wide flat ridge at 4000m with a military camp in the background, cause you know.
Here the team minus Jdog after a skin up, about to go down one of the basins for a big smile session.
Jared in the middle of a run, shuffle the powder a bit. Since it's there, might as well shake it

Hans after a near miss on a rock, but styling as usual down a shoot.A dude, like many others, taking his AK47 for a wander. It's midday in the snow, by the stage 1 gondola station
Tangmarg, the village below to which we would quite often ski, all the way through the tree, in knee deep powder. From there, Tata Sumo taxis would pick us u for another ride. We sometimes spend the 13km up hanging at the back, skiing a rutted snowed road with no sight of what's coming up and our skis squeezed underneath the back bumper/exhaust of the jeep. Good times!Dogs here have brought fashion to kennels and developed an attractive, easy to use and versatile alternative to the out-of-date standard wooden box. Here pictured during a street performance.
The Tangmarg-Gulmarg Rd: always something happening over this steep windy icy snowy stretch of road. Never a stopless trip. You either wait for wood to be tied back on, military convoys to unstuck their 4wd chained vehicles (they are mainly south indian privates with fuck all experience in driving on the snow), or your own vehicle gets stck and you have to push. Either way it's fun and always entertaining.

The 12 monkeys army, plus family and friends, having a bit of a rumble in the snow on our way to the shop in Gulmarg.

More monkeys hanging in town, checking each others fur for fleas

Hans after an unfortunate landing. That's after him worming for a wee while to get his head out. 

When the skiing trned to sticky and crusty, and as our bodies claimed a bit of rest, we travelled light through some of the more sunny and colourful india: McLeod Ganj, where the Dalai Lama has found asylum, and Goa, where beach rave parties are supposed to crank all year and in  peticuliar at the full moon. We didn't quite catch that but had an incredibly chill out time on the beach, swimming with half naked german girls, smoking with guitar and percs playing hippies and holly men in the middle of the bush by some real cool tree at some ancient sacred place. We ate great sea food, and drunk fresh beer, swam in warm water, playing in the waves and got overwhelmed by more bikinis that we could handle: exactly what we needed after the black and white muslim and covered women dominated kashmir that we had left.

We ended coming back to Gulmarg to come to the conclusion that winter was over and made a slow move back to Dehli, where we separated. Hans to go to Thailand and vietnam (poor little broken bird he was) and us to go back to work (me and Jdog through a 3 day stop-over in Taiwan, which we spent attending our diarrhea in the close intimacy of whichever toilets we found.)