Saturday, August 16, 2008

Helmecken Falls Hucking

Adrian Kiernan, Dropping lower Mertel falls

On friday 1st AUG, 2 Months to the day since Ben Earle passed away. Mike and myself made plans to abseil into the base of helmeckan in the Wells Grey Park and run the falls directly below the base. Helmeckan falls is some 2 1/2 times the size of Niagra Falls in eastern Canada, resulting in some serious weather conditions at the base for our 2 man paddling crew.

With the assistance of 2 close friends we reppeled down into the basin with our kayaks and cameras in hand. On the right bank, we prepared all our gear before subjecting ourselves to the onslaught of the river left, more exposed bank. Leaving our crew in the shelter of the right for photo's we made the ferry accross the mertal river, above the first unrannable drop, directly below the falls we intended on running.

Climing the bank on the lefts steep, slippery and very exposed bank, we made progress towards the base of helmeckan falls and the basin in which we would launch from up high out of the mist into the sun covered lower canyon.

The progress was slow and at times we were required to crawl on all fours with kayakes to avoid slipping into the raging pool below. The wind at the base felt hurrican force as mike slipped into his kayak and waited patiently in the eddy above while i set up my camera lower down stream to capture the drop.

Helmeckan falls, was so large in the viewfinder of my sony HD camera, that it bairly fitted in the lower quarter of the falls, and with every second passed, my lense would be covered in horizontally blown spray.

Mike cleaned the drop, which was estimated at some 30+ft. Following behind him, i too launched, into the mist, a totally surreal feeling as i watched the lower george appear before my eyes into the glittering sunlight.

Pictures tell 1000 words...

PS. sorry mike, the pics of you are over exposed...I am photo-shop'ing them now....will post them soon!

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