By Ollie, 20 March 2007
It all started with some crazed muttering before the Tuesday night meeting
“Kate!!! What you up to Thursday? ropes, canyons, double brown, waterfalls….. bring wetsuit!! (and perhaps a head torch)” I don’t think Kate had any idea what I was talking about, but she looked excited/crazed, and that’s all that counts really…
After this rather intensive thirty seconds of planning, I forgot all about it until Thursday afternoon when I got a text containing something along the lines of “CANYONING!!!! Pick you up around 5.30ish, where are we going? Oh yeah, Craig Ryburns coming too.” I then went into overdrive dashing madly about the house grabbing various bits and pieces that could be essential to our survival in the depths of the Hutt Valley – rubber boots, ropes, novelty hats, first aid kit, 12 copies of a Czech to Italian phrase book, beer and more climbing paraphernalia that you could shake a turkey at. Being such an organised person, pretty much everything was close to hand (well actually foot) as it all lives on my floor.
Next thing I know we are all piling into Kates new van and blasting off into the unknown. Now the unknown is actually really well named as none of us really knew where we were going. However a little thing like that would not stop us, especially after we stopped by a small supermarket to buy more beers. About half an hour later by some miracle we found ourselves half way up a 4wd track, parked beside a land rover and getting all kitted up in wetsuits, harnesses, helmets and head torches (still drinking the beers). We all looked decidedly odd, a cross between deep sea divers and VUWTC trampers. This is about when a hunter, equipped with a rather large knife and 3 dogs turned up, he just happened to be the owner of the land rover. He was surprisingly non judgemental, and did not seem that disturbed finding 3 neoprene clad punters miles from their natural habitat. He left us with the words of wisdom “wetsuits eh? That’s a bit keen… I see you have ropes…. Well good luck!!”
By now I was feeling slightly less than sober and was thinking we would need quite a lot of this luck thing to find a entry point into the canyon. This luck(or something that smells the same) came in the form of a Craig who insisted on following every little track that he could pretend to find until he found one that ended in a river. Once we found the entrance point, our navigational worries were over, all we had to do was follow the water down! Even a monkey could do that. For the next hour or so we bashed, jumped, slip, abseiled and swum our way down this wetness, braving the glow worms and killer frogs. For such a small river it really did get quite deep in places, with plenty of opportunity to do killer whale impersonations. We found out that Canyoning is really something different, a cross between climbing, tramping in a wet suit, swimming and falling over lots. We also learnt Kates dry bag is not so dry with her camera getting slightly wet and that her mum would be so embarresed If kate died wearing several different colours of stripy polypro and a wetsuit..
But it is ok, no one died, no one even had lasting damage done to them! Due to this rather low death toll, I deem the dry creek quarry canyon punterworthy.
So are there any keen punters out there to give it a go?
(photos to follow sometime soonish!!)