Friday, 26 October 2007

Upper Mae Klang. First descent number 9.

Our last first descent for the trip and an amazing long, long day of truly classic whitewater.

We put-in at the Siritan Waterfall, way upstream from the slides we paddled the day before. Sam found a line below the top drop, which itself was only a hundred yards from the lip of an un-runnable 70 footer.

-Sam lines it up at the top-

We put back on below the Siritan Falls and paddled around 4km of awesome read-and-run slides, drops and continuous rapids. With a decent flow we were stoked to be paddling with such a fast style and with a long way to go we didn't stop for too many photos. We already knew which shots we wanted.

At the first bridge we took out for an obligatory portage. The river goes down 500m of 30 degree slides and then straight off the Wachiratharn Waterfall (below).

-Me running the rapid below Wachiratharn Waterfall-

Immediately below this is an awesome rapid - which apart from the snakes we encountered on the river bank went super smooth. So we all nailed this one then continued downstream for more and more fun!!

-Josh below Wachiratharn Waterfall-

-Sam mid-boof-

Below the big falls we found heaps of drops, literally running into each other. It was tiring work scouting everything and still having to portage the odd drop, but watching the river continuously drop off the horizon for hours on end was an amazing experience and enough to keep our energy high.

-Josh boofs the same drop-

We had put on up at Siritan falls at around 11am. By the afternoon we had pretty much given up on filming and photos and were on a mission. The thing was, that even when we reached the take out, one of us faced a 11km run uphill to fetch the car- and probably in the dark! Not a fun thought. So we pressed on and after probably the best all-round run of our trip - in terms of class whitewater - some hefty drops and such a spectacular setting, we eventually reached the get-out point. As we got out our boats we met a family hanging out by the river.

We gave them a go in our kayaks...
And they gave us a go in their truck...

So luckily for us a few smiles and some friendly banter meant we didn't have to run for hours to get the car. Josh took a ride to the car and we were soon on our way back to Chaing Mai once more...

This river has been paddled before, but the upper section - above Wachiratharn Waterfall - is a first descent. Our last for our journey to Thailand.



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