Monday, August 18, 2008

The Yukon Wild

So I am out of the backcoutnry of the Yukon, and I have to say that place is magical. I flew to Whitehorse without a camera - so I manage to scrounge a few from my first course.

I started off on a 22 day hiking contract in the Coast mountains which is SW of Whitehorse. This contract was just one section of a semester expedition, they continued moutineering for a further 27 days after I flew out on a float plane, and then they canoed for another 20 days... anyway the photos I have are of this trip, the students were awesome and so was the scenery. It started out with open tundra and rolling hills and as we walked further South (across to BC) we ended up in some magical moutains surrounded by icefields and glaciers...

Myelf and TJ (anothe instructor)

A moose antler

Kusawa Lake

Our ressupplies cam in by float plane

Just a normal day in the Yukon, paking up our campsite.

So it snowed on us a bit - even though this was suppose to be summer

Kusawa river, a magical spot! we actually attempted to cross this river about 5 times, but failed.

Duff Lake, the end of the hiking section

cookin up a storm with what little food we had left.

The Float plane bringing in new food, mountaineering gear and new instructors for the next section of their journey.

Me peace-ing out on the plane

So my next course was to start about 4 days after I got back to Whitehorse. I was then off on a 30day self sufficient (no resupplies) canoe and hike expedition. Yet another magical spot just West of Whitehorse canoeing from Qiet lake through the big salmon river and out onto the all might Yukon River, stooping twice to go hiking. We hiked for 12 days and canoed for 15. Saw a bunch of wildlife on this trip; moose, caribou (reindeer), bald eagles, heard the wolves howling, and even got bluff charged by a grizzly with 2 cubs. If I get my hands on some photos from this course I will try and post them. So now I am hangin out with Shaun on the Fraser river, they have already put me to work - boy not even a day off! I am enjoying the warm weather and some darkness at night - I didnt see the stars for 2 months!

I have another adventure planned in a week or so - so i will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Raft Life

Haven't had an update in a while so I figured it was high time I wrote something. The rafting has been going super sweet. I'm now certified to drive both the motor boats (above) and paddle boats (below). A few weeks ago I was lucky enogh to guide a 3 day trip down river, camping along the riverbanks as we went and eating some damn fine gormet food cooked over the fire.

Day 1 - Black Canyon

Black Canyon again

Day 2 - Thompson River

Day 2 - Black Bear

Also recently I had a day off so decided to spend it going for a day hike with a friend Amanda who is working at a nearby rafting resort. We opted to climb a hill named "The Nipple".

Amanda at the top. It took us about 1 & 1/2 hours of 4wd driving then 2 hours of walking to reach the top through some really nice forest and open medows before popping out above tree line and reaching the top.

The views from the top were amazing and now all we had to do was find the van on our way down. Seems easy you might think...

We ended up "slightly misjudging" our exact position and turned a 1 hour hike down into a 4 & 1/2 hour mission. See if you can spot Amanda amongst the massive logs.
A close up of a tired face.

However, all was not lost. We now got to watch the sun set over the mountains from a brilliant vantage point before making it back to the van shortly after. Happy days!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Northland Getaway

With the other members of Team Xtreme doing an exceptional job of sampling the delights of the rest of the world and New Zealand's very own winter wonderland I decided on a random mission that I could publish to lose my blogging virginity.

The destination - Northland. I figured if its good enough to produce my main man Nevdog then it must be good.

The primary objective - saltwater fly fishing and sightseeing. So armed with a camera, rod, reel and of course fishing hat I made my way north. After landing in Auckland and borrowing a car from a friend I made a beeline for Parengarenga harbour, New Zealand's northernmost harbour around 100 km north of Kaitaia. With crystal clear water flanked by stunningly white sand, it could easily be mistaken for part of a tropical lagoon. Torrential rain in the area meant the rivers were all swollen and I also got a glimpse of Northlands paddling potential.
Unfortunately the changable, wet weather continued for most of my 5 day roadtrip however I still enjoyed some amazing fishing and checked out some of the popular sights in the area wich was great as I had never been north of Auckland before. These included Cape Reinga, Spirits bay, Te Paki sand dunes, giant Kauri forests and the birthplace of modern NZ - Waitangi. The trip was completed with a couple of great nights out in Auckland with my old flatmates including the Native Noise concert featuring Tiki, Kora, Katchafire and Ladi6. Enjoy the photos and always remember the ancient proverb: "A shy ho is a broke ho" (think about it). Kia kaha