Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mae Pan Waterfall Riding

The first time we visited Namtok Mae Pan on our way into Chiang Mai we were gutted to find that there wasn't enough water for waterfall riding. After a week of exploring other rivers we decided to check it out again.

Overnight rain was enough to bring it up to a reasonable level. We quickly geared up keeping an eye out for park rangers. Carrying our kayaks along the track to the waterfall attracted the attention of some German tourists who thought we were crazy but stayed to watch.

Tyler first up (p. Josh Neilson)

Tyler and I were up first, we roped our kayaks up to the top of the ridge then abseiled down the other side. Such a crazy awesome place to be with the wind blowing buckets of spray on your head, the waterfall roaring in your ears and super slippery rocks. I had a bit of a hard time getting into my boat in the tiny eddy up top trying to hold on to the slippery rock without letting my paddle blow away while the water was surging up and down and the wind was blowing heaps of spray into my kayak.

I love waterfall riding!!! (p. Lou Urwin)

Dropping off the lip is such a sick moment, flying. More tourists arrived as we sent the boats up for Josh and Lou's turn. One was a crazy Thai guy who wanted us to run another drop twice as high as this one which landed on rocks!!

Josh sighting the landing (p. Tyler Fox)

Josh had a pretty hard landing and lost his gopro on impact so if anyone wants to go snorkling in the bottom of the waterfall and find it we'll shout you Pad Thai for dinner!

Lou lining it up (p. Tyler Fox)

Me (p. Josh Neilson)

After the waterfall there is a cool little run out with some sweet slides and nice drops. I went a little bit too far left on the first slide and broke my boat which sucks a bit but Tyler is about to weld it up with his portable blowtorch so all good.

Tyler on the leadout slide

Lou standing out with her pink helmet and blue boat

Me boofing away from the tree (p. Josh Neilson)

Tyler jumping like a Fox (p. Josh Neilson)

Another cool slidey drop (p. Joshua Edward Neilson)Me on the last drop (p. Man Fox)

As we were walking back to the car with our kayaks Lou and I were stopped by some park rangers who apologetically told us that we weren't allowed to kayak as it is too dangerous. Lou convinced them that we were just taking our kayaks for a walk through the bush and all was good again.

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