River Names: Weld River and Picton River
River Levels: Weld: High-ish
Picton Saturday: 1.2m at Tahune
Picton Sunday: 0.9m
Number of Participants: 13 (5 on Sunday)
As the sun rose on a chilly Saturday morning five cars were packed full of equipment, people and camping gear and headed for the Weld River. After a Banjos stop and over an hour of driving we arrived at the river and blew the rafts up. We prepared ourselves with a safety-gear check by Rowan and very good safety briefing from Tristan. After getting all the rafts + one kayak in the river, off we all went on an awesome rafting adventure.
We ended up coming to a stop when the river needed scouting, and a group of us just stood on some rock surrounded by water while everyone worked out the best way to tackle the rapid. Each raft did something different, finding a safe spot at the bottom of the rapids for everyone to get back in and one of the three rafts decided to tackle the rapid and they did it with ease, although it did look like a rather bumpy ride.
Along the way we lost Toby to a rather exciting rapid, and eventually picked him back up just a bit further down the river. The Weld definitely brought some excitement along with some fun for all. After floating down the Huon we headed for the exit and all had some lunch before we departed for the lovely Picton.
We strapped two fully inflated rafts to one car each and put two kayaks on another and off we went, loaded and ready to tackle the river. This time we had two kayaks and two rafts tackling the rapids. Shortly into the raft we managed to get stuck on a rock, which required lots of teamwork to get off, but Dan led us safely away. The rest of the raft went by with ease, Rowan had a swap from the kayak to the rafts with Dan taking over the kayaking along with Matt, which ended with not one but two sides of Rowan’s paddle being broken after some fun. As the sun set and the cold weather came we finished the Picton, packed up and those who were staying the night headed back to the campsite, while the others headed home.
At the campsite we made a fire using some interesting techniques and then set camp up for the night, we had a basic but yummy dinner of deb potato, peas and spam made by Rowan, and we spent hours sitting around the campfire talking and getting to know each other while listening to the soft sounds of the guitar and eating sandwiches and soy crisps before all heading to bed for a good night’s rest.
In the morning after a delicious communal breakfast we packed up camp and prepared for another run of the Picton. This was a pretty crazy run, the water level had dropped and there were more rocks exposed, this made the gorge in particular a really fun rapid. Once we got through the gorge we all decided that it was super fun and we all wanted to do it once more. So instead of carrying the raft back upstream over the slippery rocks we decided it would be safer to bring the raft upstream in the water and over the rapids using man power and a fair bit of rope. Initially it was quite difficult as the rapids were very powerful and the raft wasn’t exactly light. Matt ended up going for a short swim downstream after the power from the raft pulled him in, once he was back on land it required all five of us to help in different ways to get the raft upstream. But it was definitely worth it once we went down the gorge again!
Once we finished the river again we packed Rowan’s car full with five people, one raft, five paddles, two kayaks, and a heap of other bits and pieces and headed once more back to the campsite for some yummy lunch before we headed back to the sheds to end a great weekend of rafting.