Wave Sport

New Zealand's Tree Trunk Gorge and more

Tyler Fox enjoying some of New Zealands finest waterfall riding

The New Zealand summer is coming to an end, and once again its been a sweet season, filled with heaps of good times, good bros, and good boating!

A definite highlight of this season was setting aside some trepidation and re-opening up an amazing section of whitewater. Tree Trunk Gorge on the Tongariro River has long remained a section of whitewater rarely run. It had only been run by a small handfull of groups, the last group running it 3 seasons ago. The stories of its gnarlyness have managed to keep would-be groups from attempting it. At the start of this season a group of Okere Falls padddlers (Myself, Brendan Bayly, Josh Neilson, Sam Roil, Trent Garnham & Wilz Martin) took up the task of seeing if Tree Trunk was all that it was made up to be.

A twisting and turning mess, the enterance to Tree Trunk Gorge

The top drop looked extremely manky, twisting and turning its way through a narrow slot, until it abruptly slams into an undercut wall
with little room to by-pass. Trent fired it up, and as expected had a
less then average line. The rest opted for the easy seal launch into
the pool just below. From there you had a sweet view of an impressive
horizonline dropping into a very tight walled gorge.

Tyler dropping into the main drop of Tree Trunk Gorge

Paddling off the lip, making sure not to take too much momentum , you quickly reconnected 2/3 of the way down and instantly whiz past a rock wall jutting into the small landing pool. Finding yourself now 100%
committed and more or less on your own (safety is hard to set as the
walls are quite overhung) .

Lining up for a smooth reconnection at the bottom of the big one

From the safety of the eddy after the main drop, you just peel out into the current, line yourself up with the fast approaching lip, BOOF !, Land on a massive boil, and paddle hard out. At this point it is key to
look back up stream at the extremely tight gorge which you just paddled
through!!! It is now a beautiful float out of the remaining gorge to
the takeout.

Getting a solid boof in on the last drop.

Our group made it through with minimal casualties, a couple sore asses from hard impacts on the reconnect and a stiff neck from a close incounter with the wall at the bottom, but everyone was very stoked. With possitive news of our descent a couple other groups have now ventured in, with many more lining up to share the good times.

Tyler about to launch off the lip of Huka Falls - 90 cumecs

A beautiful thing about heading to Tree Trunk is you have to pass by Huka Falls on the way!

Getting the shots on the Kaituna River's Troutpool Falls.

And just as good as leaving Okere Falls to go paddle Tree Trunk, is returning to our back yard run the Kaituna River.

Tyler Fox
Team Wavesport

Photos: Brendan Bayly, Ryan Lucas, & Sam Roil

For more stories and Photos from Tyler's Adventures visit www.Bottomsupkayaking.com

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Comment by Mikkel St.Jean-Duncan on March 30, 2010 at 12:45am
Looks like a wicked canyon, I love those shots from above.

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