Whitewater at Cotter

I paddled a section of the Murrumbidgee 6 March known as Kambah Pool to The Cotter.  It is a grade 2-3 section that is supposed to be a 4 hour paddle but we enjoyed playing and took our time….7 hours!  I can’t recall paddling whitewater since a Barrington trip maybe 7 years ago where the water was low and my recollection of the rapids is that they were much smaller.  So this trip was big for me.  Challenging and it did whet my appetite somewhat.

We had a decent sized group of 10 people from my Venturer Unit and Rovers, 2nd Gordon, including Rick, Ian, Andrew, Tom, Tim, Matt, Rod, David, David, and William.

The first hour or so saw lots of challenging rapids, lots of rocks and twisting and turning. On one of the earlier rapids, only the well honed ww paddlers made it through with the balance being flipped and ejected, including me. Having only just started the trip, it was a quick entree into what to expect. I found that first major dunking very much akin to sea kayaking in the surf where if you get it right then you’re ok and if you don’t, you get wet, well before you get a chance to correct your mistake.

It wasn’t a day of instruction, it was a day of learn by doing. In my case, it was learn by doing mistakes which made it so much more entertaining. We did practise ferry gliding, turning in and breaking out of eddies early on.

The later part of the trip contained lots of flat sections but the final rapid was the biggest yet. It was a 2.5m drop down a steep section bounded by rocks. I had been towards the front behind the leader, Ian and wasn’t entirely sure where he’d gone and found myself swept below the entry point of the rapid. I battled the current and rocks back upstream and struggled to position my kayak’s nose around the rocks and into the chute. After several attempts and getting frustrated, I finally managed and got the ride of the trip. At the bottom in a huge rock and I was going very fast when I was stopped dead in my tracks and got a dose of whiplash before the kayak bounced away and the rapid was complete.

At the end of the trip was maybe a 1m pipe with water spewing out 50m across the river.  It created enormous turbulence in the river and looked like it had deadly force if you ventured in the heart of the deluge.  I’m not sure where the water was coming from – another river or dam or something.  for the better ww paddlers, it provided extra enjoyment to ride its fury, dissappearing into the white cloud it created and reappearing somewhere else.

A quality day out and worth the drive. I think I need a ww boat now.

Click to go to the photo album. When in the photo album, click F11 to toggle in and out of full screen mode. Click the arrow to start the slideshow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *