Some Pictures on Change – Part 2


Well, I finally managed to get round to running part two. In case you’re wondering where part one is, click HERE. I quite enjoy checking out the same rapids at different water levels. It gives you a good idea as to how the rocks and river bed form certain features at higher levels. You can also almost visualise better the way the water works and get a better understanding of it. But if it does nothing else, at least it’s fun to have a look at the pictures and enjoy…

The comparisons are mainly on the upper stretches of the Sabie River and only one set of photos of Montrose Falls, which falls on the Crocodile River. All of the Sabie photos shown at low levels were taken by me or at least by someone else with my camera. Most of the high level photos are courtesy Scott Reinders. His photos were taken by Scott himself and Craig Rivett. Their awesome blog can be seen HERE. There are also a few high level photos courtesy of Whitewater Training. Have a look and feel free to mail me your thoughts and comments, good or bad, on anything you see here or anywhere else on the site. Enjoy.


First up is the big slide on the U2 section of the Sabie. For more information and pictures on the Sabie, click HERE and HERE and HERE. This slide is great at high levels but hides a rock at the bottom, in the hole, on the right. There is an option to run the slot coming in from the right and then cross the grain from right to left and miss the rock (if you throw a hard stroke on your right, which would be the downstream side – naturally!) At low levels, one has to portage unless you are looking for revenge on your toes/ankles/face for some reason.


Photo by Adrian T.

Hugh du Preez on the big slide. Photo courtesy Whitewater Training.


The next rapid is directly after this slide and is the infamous double drop where a number of people, including myself, have been over the second (roughly 3 meter drop) upside down. For the past year or so there have been two logs across the river, about three to four meters upstream of the first drop. This makes lining up more difficult. The first drop is about a meter high and there is a big rock to your right as you go down. Giving no place for a brace, if needed, and you may need it! The top drop photos of this double drop are both of ‘Oudts’ at different water levels. On the low level photo, his right edge was grabbed and he almost went over but managed to save it with a smart brace. Note how he was leaning to his left, to get away from the rock and keep his right edge up. Oudts is also a local here and knows the drill. The first time I ran this I had to brace pretty hard and almost clowned it. Second time, I got creamed. At high levels it is far easier to run the top drop as it is broader and you can run it more left, away from the rock. But then the hole after the second drop works nicely and that brings us to the next set of photos.


Oudts running the drop. Photo by Adrian T.

Oudts at a higher level. Photo courtesy Whitewater Training.


The second drop is roughly 3 metres high (depending on level) and not fun much upside down I can assure you. At high levels it forms a big hole. The low level photo is of Oudts and the high level photo of Craig Rivett. I believe Craig was thrashed in the hole directly after this photo was taken so watch out for that one. There is actually a video of the U2 section under the video section on this site courtesy Induna Adventures, two parts.


Oudts running the second part to the double drop. Photo by Adrian T.

Craig Rivett at a far higher level about to enter the hole. Photo by Scott Reinders.


Further down is another bigger rapid. I’m not sure if this one has a name but it is pretty nasty and even some of the ‘good’ guys portage this one at very high levels. The high level photo is of Hugh du Preez (who else?), and the low level one of Wihan Basson. It looks simple in the photos but what is not shown is the dangerous siphon just downstream from the main drop. There is a short bit after the initial drop and then a rock in the river. If you go to the right of this rock you will surely end up at the siphon (more of a rock sieve though – technically) and you could be in a spot of trouble.


Wihan Basson. Photo by Robin Kock.

Hugh du Preeze styling it in a Fluid Flirt. Photo courtesy Whitewater Training.


Siphon Falls is the fairly official take-out for the U2 section and the put-in for the U1. It is a straight forward drop at high levels but can beat the living daylights out of you if you mess it up. There is a boulder than forms a siphon about 3 meters upstream of the drop itself. At low levels, the rock is totally exposed and you can seal launch off here if you still want to run the drop. Just don’t be stupid and paddle up to the upstream side of this rock. The high level photo is of Craig Rivett styling it. Beware the log stuck in the face. You can even see it in the high level photo.


Siphon Falls - low level. Photo by Adrian T.

Siphon Falls - Craig Rivett. Photo by Scott Reinders.


I have included a photo looking of the falls looking up from downstream too and the high flow one is of Scott Reinders.


Siphon Falls - low level. Photo by Adrian T.

Siphon Falls - Scott Reinders. Photo by Craig Rivett.


On the U1 section is the big unrunnable water that needs to be portaged and there is a narrow rapid after this. At low levels it wouldn’t be good to run it unless you’re a sucker for punishment. At high levels, it looks pretty pushy and a sweet drop indeed. On the high photo is Scott lining up to take the plunge.


Narrow chute - low level. Photo by Adrian T.

Narrow chute - Scott Reinders. Photo by Craig Rivett.


Further down is this narrow and quick little drop. The entry is super tight at low levels and not a good run at all, although the photo doesn’t show the narrow entry where you need to slide along a slot.


Fast rapid - Hendrik Schloemann. Photo by Adrian T.

Fast rapid - Craig Rivett. Photo by Scott Reinders.


And finally, Montrose Falls, on the Crocodile River. The low photo was taken in June last year at a full on winter level. My girlfriend and I searched the area to find the drop and eventually came out to it. It is a wee bit dodgy to run at this level because of the rock that protrudes on the face of the drop, just below the lip. You could run past it on the right but then risk going into a sort of a slot. Better to huck this one at higher levels. The higher level photo was taken just after the Blyde Festival in 2007 and we were lucky as they were releasing water. If memory serves me correctly it was about 8 m^3/s. Luke Longridge and I ran it three times that day, no hassles. The large drop on the right remains un-run. The entry is pretty tricky and one would like to have perhaps more water to cushion any possible errors. There is also a drop above the usually run drop but it has only been run once or twice and should be left to the experts. For more information on the drop, click HERE.


Montrose Falls - low level. Photo by Adrian T.

Montrose Falls - high level. Photo by Adrian T.


And there you have it. Hope it entertained you for a little while! It certainly keeps me busy and out of mischief. Have an awesome day further, wherever you may be. L8er…


By: Adrian T.


Photography by: Adrian Tregoning, Scott Reinders, Craig Rivett, Robin Kock and some pictures courtesy of Whitewater Training. A big thanks to all the photos guys!