Stanley / Lake Stanley to Forks Hut

Info

Class: 
IV-IV+
Portage?: 
No
Level: 
Needs extra water
Gauge: 

If Waingaro is in very good flow

Gradient: 
0.0m/km
Length: 
4.5km
Time: 
2-5 hours
Put in: 
Helicopter to start of gorge below Lake Stanley.
Take out: 
At the Waingaro confluence.
Shuttle: 
Helicopter
Maps: 
Character: 
Tight, steep boulder gardens
Hot tip: 
Great addition to a weekend Waingaro trip
Tags: 
Rain
Helicopter
Multiday

The Stanley is a little done addition to the Waingaro helicopter trip. When we did it in 2008 the helo pilot reckoned we were only the second group in, but who knows? There needs to be a reasonable amount of water around for the Stanley to be on. It is a very small creek, and as your second day will likely be on the Waingaro you need water to hang around for the second day as well.

The best and, depending on flows, possibly only place to start is at the end of the braids down from Lake Stanley. You will have seen nothing of the rapids on the way in due to the tight gorge. However almost immediately the whitewater starts and it doesn't stop until at the Waingaro Forks Hut. The run is tight and quite steep boulder gardens. There are only small drops, but the rapids are steep and can be relatively long. It is a fun creek though and requires some technical boating in some parts. Portaging is generally not a problem. There is one very tight little gap that had wood in it when we ran it that did require a gnarly wee portage in steep bush, but the rest is relatively open.

It would be a very big day to run the Waingaro as well in one day. A better option is to spend the night at Waingaro Forks and take a wee tramp up-river to do some of the nice looking whitewater above the hut.

To get to the put-in: fly to where the helicopter can first put down below Lake Stanley.

To get to the take out: Ultimately the end of the Waingaro run, but a good first stop is the Waingaro Forks hut (4 bunks).

History: 
Credits: 
Andrew Goodger
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p0

Comments

andrew.goodger's picture

When we ran this in 2008 the Waingaro was at about 35 cumecs and dropping slowly due to good rain in the 2 weeks previous. It was a good level for the Stanley. It is a tight creek so could run lower, and could also run higher but would get quite burly. Thoroughly recommend going in if you are doing Waingaro, but is a bit harder than the Waingaro. Couple of photos attached.