Valley runs and tea-trees
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
They had a great time, Clayton is pretty much dead, but survived… Next week the real thing!