Navigation Menu+

Valley runs and tea-trees

Posted on 26 Jul 2009 | 0 comments

Jude’s first valley run on a ski…

We meet at Bells early in the morning for the usual car shuffle. Paul, Erin and Paul are joining us on this valley run. Beautiful day! We stop for a picnic somewhere on the river, trying to find some sunshine to sit in and warm up.

After a fun run (only 4 swims for me, 3 because of tea-trees and one on the main drop at Bells) I wait with the skis at Bells whilst the others collect the cars. I watch the competency test of Nathalie and Andrew and chat with them afterwards until the others come back.

start of Jude's first valley run on a ski

start of Jude’s first valley run on a ski

Jude and Jon at the start of the valley run - the first for Jude on a ski

Jude and Jon at the start of the valley run – the first for Jude on a ski

Jude having survived one of the main rapids

Jude having survived one of the main rapids

shakes after one of the bigger rapids

shakes after one of the bigger rapids

lunch time, trying to warm up

lunch time, trying to warm up

Syd's rapids - survived this time (read the Avon Descent 2009 story to see what happens here then)

Syd’s rapids – survived this time (read the Avon Descent 2009 story to see what happens here then)

Jude beneath Bells Rapids

Jude beneath Bells Rapids

Erin surviving the rapids

Erin surviving the rapids

Paul coming down one of the smaller rapids beneath Bells Rapids

Paul coming down one of the smaller rapids beneath Bells Rapids

Paul and Erin

Paul and Erin

sun setting over the valley whilst we do the car shuffle after a long day

sun setting over the valley whilst we do the car shuffle after a long day

well and truly dark by the time they come back with the carss

well and truly dark by the time they come back with the carss

Practising the tea-trees was high on our list of priorities for practising for the Avon Descent as I had never paddled through these things before (nor had Nathalie, Andrew and Erin). What can I say, they’re trees and they grow in the most awkward spots in the river, have many, many branches that block your way and the nasty bit of those branches is that they are low, too low to duck underneath and too many to go through. So there is only one way which is to go around them, not easy when the flow of the water goes straight through those branches…

Oh and of course Jon’s famous last words: There is no wrong way, no dead end in the tea-trees. As long as you make a decision you’ll be alright… We had a good laugh about that one after having to hike back out over what seemed to be a mountain with our skis back to some more navigable waters… It took us (Andrew, Jon and I) so long to catch up with Nathalie, Erin and Paul that Nathalie thought we had deserted her because she was too slow…!

It turned out these trees aren’t as bad as people say. But they are very capable of making your life very, very hard and wet. And not to forget cold… We all survived and learned a lot of valuable lessons like stay right most of the way after that big tree apart from that one corner where you should stay left, or was that left first followed by two rights before you MUST go left otherwise you get stuck? Hmmm.

Jude at the start of the paddle

Jude at the start of the paddle

Jude heading off into the tea-trees

Jude heading off into the tea-trees

we got well and truly stuck and had to hike out

we got well and truly stuck and had to hike out

some little rapids in the tea-trees

some little rapids in the tea-trees

Jude having survived some more

Jude having survived some more

This valley run is only done by Jon, Muz and Clayton. Paul and Erin are not keen to break any more gear with the levels so high (1.8m at Walyunga) and I am not allowed to get wet from the river yet – risk of infection of my wound from my hip surgery on Friday…

This means we (Paul, Erin and I) can do the car shuffle for the guys whilst they are out kayaking. We drop them off at Posselts Ford and quickly drive to Super Shute to see them all (!) fall in. We then move to Avon Valley NP to walk to Emus, but unfortunately we just missed them. We don’t even see Troye and his group who left about half an hour after Jon, Muz and Clayton.

Muz, Jon and Clayton ready for their valley run

Muz, Jon and Clayton ready for their valley run

Muz coming down the shute

Muz coming down the shute

and Muz goes for a swim

and Muz goes for a swim

Jon coming towards the shute

Jon coming towards the shute

Jon going into the shute - looking good

Jon going into the shute – looking good

and Jon also goes for a swim

and Jon also goes for a swim

Clayton going into the shute

Clayton going into the shute

and Clayton also goes for a swim!

and Clayton also goes for a swim!

they all hop back on and they're off again

they all hop back on and they’re off again

the Avon River

the Avon River

The next time we see them is at Bells. Troye arrives first and a bit later Jon, Muz and Clayton. We had a picnic lunch on the bridge – watching all kayakers have fun.

Jon survives Bells, Muz survives the main drop, but manages to fall out further down and Clayton falls out before the main drop 😉

the approach towards Bells Rapids as seen from the bridge - Troye coming down first

the approach towards Bells Rapids as seen from the bridge – Troye coming down first

Troye after Bells

Troye after Bells

Jon approaching Bells Rapids

Jon approaching Bells Rapids

Jon seen from the bridge

Jon seen from the bridge

Jon just below Bells Rapids, the water is high this year

Jon just below Bells Rapids, the water is high this year

Jon going down the smaller rapids after the main drop at Bells

Jon going down the smaller rapids after the main drop at Bells

Muz just past Bells Rapids

Muz just past Bells Rapids

Clayton going for a swim before Bells

Clayton going for a swim before Bells

and going down one of the smaller drops on Bells

and going down one of the smaller drops on Bells

They had a great time, Clayton is pretty much dead, but survived… Next week the real thing!

 

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *