Thump thump thumpthe approaching helicopter made its notable entrance, arcing through the amazing New Zealand backdrop of dense jungle and snow-caped peaks.
|Sophia Mulder, with a solid boof to finish a rather sieve infested rapid|
Helicopter shuttles are way more challenging than I would have imagined. Each helicopter has its own load capacity, think about it like running shuttle with either a Geo Metro, a single cab pickup, or a minivan; all of the vehicles can make the shuttle happen but they all have wildly different limitations. The helicopter we had at our disposal was a McDonnell Douglas 500 D, it seats 5 including the pilot, and has a payload of roughly 1,500 pounds. To get boats and other necessary gear to the top, a sling (glorified cargo net) is used. Packing the gear into the sling is a bit of an art form. The theory is to load the gear in a tight aerodynamic shape and weave the net snugly to minimize wind drag and the chance of the entire payload spinning below the helicopter.
|wrangling the massive sling load, notice the snow capped peaks, and the jet fuel tanker in the back ground|
|the gorgeous, glacial, Perth valley|
|Phil Palzer, on day one|
|the crew prepping to put in|
|Mark Basso, enjoying the emerald blue water|
|Jess Matheson, leading a charge of ladies|
The evening allowed everyone time to share stories, jokes, and dinner.
|breakfast time in the DOC hut|
|another complicated, multiple route rapid on the Upper Perth|
|Daan Jimmink, putting together an acceptable line in the sieve laden Upper Perth|
|Dag Sandvik, checking out the peaks, or maybe getting some wheelie action?|
|adventure brought to you by Chris Baer|