Extreme Sports: Cyclone kayaking
Taking it to the extreme
When Cyclone Lusi lashed our shores on March 16, most people battened down the hatches and sheltered in their homes... but a few of us ventured out to take advantage of the impending rain.
A small contingent of white water kayakers embarked on the Grey River, just west of Mt Grey near Amberley.
This is very rarely kayaked due to its small catchment and usually insufficient water levels in the river.
Cyclone Lusi was destined to change that.
Our adventure on the Grey River consisted of ferry-gliding across the top of a weir so we could reach a trail on the opposite side, then a 1.5 hour hike up the valley carrying our kayaks in whichever way we could best manage: either on our back, shoulder or head.
The river itself is committing; fast-flowing waters down a narrow, constricting gorge with multiple drops and rapids to negotiate. This is why we had come, to discover a new white water run in our back yard.
This photo shows Paul Siratovich launching off the lip of a drop after negotiating a long, winding rapid we aptly referred to as Double S-bend.
The rapids below this become more constricting and challenging, but this river has now been successfully navigated by kayak and is rated the closest grade V white water run to Christchurch.
There is high risk in this sport, but managed properly and working as a team to get through our obstacles, we were able to complete the task and open up a new river for adventure kayakers to enjoy.
The first complete descent, by kayak, of the Grey River (Loburn) was made on Sunday March 16th, 2014.
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