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River Crossing Course Dec 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

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River Crossing Course December 2018
River conditions and weather forced the postponement of this course until the 9th December, which dawned a beautiful day with Waimakiriri River conditions being acceptable.
Our instructor, Adrian Busby, soon sorted out packs and gave a comprehensive briefing regarding safety issues and techniques involved in safely crossing rivers. Most important piece of advice was “don’t cross unless you have to!”
The thirteen attendees soon were sorted out into 3 groups with Gavin Hampton and myself as assistant instructors and then it was into the river.
The river conditions were not ideal as the water was discoloured and reasonably swift but an assessment by Adrian had shown that it was safe to practice the various techniques. And there was a bonus, both the air temperature and water temperature were warm. (Air temperature got to 25 degrees later!)
After a bit of practice, it was into the main stream for some more challenging crossings and then some packfloating. This definitely got people’s attention as they found themselves floating down the river in conditions they wouldn’t have even attempted before!
The (relatively) warm water allowed plenty of time to practice and after a bit of “river running” it was back to the cars for a debrief and some food.
A great learning day, ably led by Adrian in which people gained a lot of skills and confidence.
From an observer’s point of view, it was great to see how people went from being somewhat apprehensive about the conditions and crossings, to being very capable and confident at the end of the course. They are now well equipped to confidently assess rivers and use the correct techniques to cross them-or not!

Click here for photos
Paul Knox
Club Captain

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