Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Upper Cherry Creek, California


Upper Cherry Creek 05


The optimum water level window for Upper Cherry Creek during this season lasted all of about four days. One day it was on the high side of good the next it was like the plug had been pulled and its level just dried up.
During my season of 2004 in California I made the 11mile hike up into the Stanislaus National Park. At the time I was near to completing a prescription of the drug “Larium” as Id just arrived in the States from Kenya. Our accommodation for our first night was in the pine forest sleeping on huge granite slabs. One side effect of this anti malarial drug is you have really cool dreams and tend to hallucinate! In the middle of the night I woke up believing I was lying on a large sheet of ice. I began to slowly and very carefully crawl across it to escape potentially falling through. I crawled within a foot or two of one of my paddling mates, he asked “what are you doing dude” I replied “I don’t want to fall through this sheet of ice” His response of loud crazed laughter snapped me out of it pretty quick and I returned to my thermarest to sleep.
We then spent the following two days scouting, paddling and portaging some of the hardest whitewater I’ve seen.
This season with a more confident mind set on class five I was keen to set the record straight.
We began the hike at 3pm keen on making short work of the usually six-seven hour slog up the Kibbie ridge trail to the heads of the UCC catchment and a place known as Lord Meadow.
At 8pm we lost light and decided to wait until the following morning before finishing the hike.
The flow at the put in was low but we gradually made our way downriver to Cherry Bomb Gorge. This gorge is a phenomenal sight in that it appears that two huge smooth granite domes have literally been split in half by the flow of the river.
Cherry Bomb falls is the first drop proper into the canyon. Once you run this entrance there is no going back. What follows is must run drop after must run drop until the canyons walls gradually taper off and open up.
To cut a long story short, due to the low flow the pool at the bottom of the falls, was a green. Meaning it was not as aerated as it would normally be at the higher water levels.
I landed hard with my chest folding around the cockpit of my boat, my ribs crunched into the plastic. I downed some pain killers and after 20minutes sucked up the pain and made an attempt to get out of the gorge. Trent Garnham and Phil Boyer helped me with the lines off the next three must run drops and I was able to get out of the canyon.
Another team member and I walked out from "Flintstone" (an old camp downstream) leaving my kayak and gear. We arrived at the take out 6hrs later; the rest of our crew bombed the remainder of the run and therefore completed the entire 12 mile whitewater section in one day.
I returned the other week to get all my gear.
The doc says I’m just badly bruised, they definitely felt broken at the time! and I should be back in action in a few weeks. Check out these shots Trent and I captured during the trip.

Zak

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