Leven Canyon

Packrafting trips and tales from down under.
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mark
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Leven Canyon

Post by mark » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:54 pm

Merry Christmas All.

Whilst the Paddle Tasmania river guide for the Leven simply says 'classic, steep, grade 5' the AdventurePro/Paddle Australia description contains the following statement:
Probably the steepest popular Tasmanian river trip the Leven canyon is not to be taken lightly. After the seal launch into a dark and steeply cut out gorge there is no going back and it just gets more full on from there. At first the river creeps easily around a corner but after that it drops away steeply so that you can only see the next eddy you are about to fall in to. The river here demands a high level of skill and confidence even before you hit the first waterfall. This drops you into a suspended pool with overhanging walls and the only option out is to paddle the huge waterfall below.

Having kayaked it almost 10 years ago I well remember the fear factor as I was about to plummet off the two large falls but I can also vividly remember the beauty of the gorge and the atmosphere as you look downstream only to see horizon line after horizon line disappear in front of you on an ever increasing ratio. In one 200m stretch it probably drops 30m vertically over 5 drops. Whilst at higher flows and in a kayak these drops are all theoretically paddleable I have always wanted to go back with packrafts and with friends who wouldn't necessarily be able to kayak such rapids/falls. Back then, based on the description above, we took abseiling gear as I didn't want to find myself in the situation of being forced to run a 15m waterfall with no other option. We didn't need to abseil in the end on that trip but decided it would be fun to take the gear on a low volume trip packrafting down the canyon (that said you can easily down climb each main fall and jump the remaining distance).

Five of us headed down the canyon a week ago with overnight gear just in case of an epic but also because, for us, it is more enjoyable to spend nights on rivers than to simply do long day trips that often turn out more epic than we anticipate. Despite the very low flows (the last big dump, with 50mm of rain, was 6 days prior) it was still a super fun trip and we were able to paddle a lot more rapids than we hoped. I was worried that the lower section would require a significant amount of walking and dragging but this was not the case. Certainly the river requires a lot of respect and although everything is portageable at low flows the upper section is still a very serious river/canyon environment.

The trip was also a great chance to try out a number of Kokopelli packrafts. These worked great in this low volume environment where we were constantly getting in and out of our boats either scouting or portaging. They particularly work well when combined with a Watershed drypack in the rear. In fact on this overnight trip and in this environment we found the Kokopelli's worked even better than my [Jen's :) ] highly modified self-bailing Alpacka.

You can check out our packrafting video at: https://vimeo.com/115361951


Fishdejour
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:51 pm
Location: Bega, NSW, Australia

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Fishdejour » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:33 am

Lovely vid.

Steve

jeremy089786
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:32 pm

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by jeremy089786 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:34 pm

Great looking trip!!

Lizzy
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Lizzy » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:02 pm

awesome :)

Darren
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:15 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Darren » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:23 pm

Cool trip and awesome looking river! Well done as always.

idtejera
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:31 am

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by idtejera » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:38 am

Thank Mark for sharing great trip and spectacular video
www.planetpackraft.com

Ivan

Jules Watson
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:53 am
Location: Oz

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Jules Watson » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:29 pm

Again, great mark!

Virtualgambl
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:12 am
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Virtualgambl » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:22 am

Spectacular - cheers for that Mark.

Matts
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:27 am

Re: Leven Canyon

Post by Matts » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:42 am

Hi mark, thanks for the great vids! Thanks to this post I purchased two Kokopelli hornets, and I am very interested to hear more about your self bailing mods. Cheers fro matt

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