Austria 2007

Austria 2007

After waving the mini bus good bye, not envying their long journey at all we set out on part two of the Alps 2007. Team Peaches vs Team Auz.

Saturday afternoon saw a quick run down Briancion Gorge. There was slightly more water than when we had run it with the rest of the club. We eddy hopped the whole way down. One would have thought we knew what we were doing!!! Two members of team Auz did not paddle; 1-1 to team Peaches (Will had swum previously that week). We did the Durance gorge via ferrate that evening again without two members of team Auz (2-1 team Peaches).

Durance gorge via ferrataDurance gorge via ferrataDurance gorge via ferrata

Sunday saw us run the Durance gorge section again, very uneventful and levels had dropped so we could not run the slot but did the drop. We then did the middle Guil from Letterbox down. This proved entertaining. It did not look that big from the road.!!!! There were rolls left right and centre from myself. I managed to triple my roll count for the whole week in one short section. Grrrrr. Had a bad day. Andy and Martin found some holes to play in and Will and Dave got off relatively unscathed. Again we were minus 2 aussie paddlers (3-1 team peaches). I also learnt that running the shuttle in wetsuit boots is a bad idea.

Monday was moving day to the River Isere. The Aussies went to buy their boat and we went to buy lunch but then FAFF reared its head. The Auzzies boat had turned up in Geneva Hurrraaahh!!!!! So they went to fetch it. Our trailer had broken boooooooo so we were stuck in Briancion scratching our heads. Some poor French, miming and drawings later we turned up at the Peugeot garage where they would fix it. Hurrraaahhh! The rest of the day was spent driving up the col d’Izoard to see the view and drinking beer in a pub with a friendly English bar lady.

Col dizardCol dizard


Trailer fixed we drove over 2 more cols (poor car) to the River Isere. I saw a marmot and we drove past the tops of ski lifts and down the starts of some of the ski runs very weird. We pitched tent in some random place we though was a campsite and found some dinner.

Tuesday: We woke to the raging rivers of the Isere and a beautifully sunny sky. The dam was releasing and the slalom course at the top of the river was in full glory. Holes, stoppers, cushion waves and haystacks everywhere. What was the line again?? Oh yes PLF. Will took the first hole centre and took a beating. The rest of us took a clean line left on the cushion wave. We all eddy hopped down in various degrees of style a few rolls here and there. The Wookie had sped off if front and minutes later he appeared hopping along the bank boat-less. Whops. A few minutes later he appeared emptying his boat. He had just swam and a helpful slalomist had rescued his boat. I caught up with him sitting grinning sheepily in an eddy at the bottom of the slalom course. Oh dear. (3-2 team Peaches). The rest of the section was great. Play waves, sun and beautiful scenery. This was followed with a long drive to Switzerland.

Wednesday: Today we ran our favourite run from last years Austria/Switzerland Fest, the Garcun gorge. The rumours about there being no water were false and this section was up quite high. I managed to run it with no rolls for the first time ever. Yey! Most of us took the chicken shute on the spinnaker rapid except Will and Andy. Will got beaten by the last two stoppers, he he. You can see the get out and then these two monster stoppers appear.

Garcun gorge 

We set up camp and sat through the rain storm and paddled the Landeck gorge in the late evening. It was running brown with some huge waves at one point but fairly easy for the rest of it. The rain storm had left an eerie mist in the valley. It felt like we were paddling in the tropics.

Mist on Landeck gorge

Thursday: This was an interesting day.

It had rained lots over night and the rivers were up. At the get in to Wolfs gorge there was a digger in the river moving boulders! Then a dump truck came along and dumped more boulders in the river which the digger then positioned.

Wolfs gorge 

After a while spent faaffing and umming and arring with some more aussie FAFF – Dave forgot his BA (4-2 team peaches), we decided to get on. The guide book describes this as a low level run that becomes un-runable at high levels. How high was it today? Un-runable? It was big it was bouncy and fast with no eddies. We rounded a bend and were faced with a horizon line and no eddies. In for a penny in for a pound. I got a green tongue between two large holes and thought I was safe but then realised that it fed me directly into a bigger hole sideways!! I spent a few seconds side surfing it thinking please let me out. I flipped and rolled and was out. Few!!!. 4 out of 7 of us ended up side surfing the hole flapping upside down. Whops. Thankfully no swims as the power station barrage, the take out was not far down stream. We then paddled Sanna. It was flowing nice and brown. The waves were huge and the holes big. We later found that it had landslide the previous night and we were the first people to paddle the new rapid that had formed at Pians.

Put on for the Sanna in the rain

We finished the day with a quick run down the Imst gorge. It was disappointingly flat due to the high amounts of water flowing down it. No swims and beer all round for our party night.

Friday: We paddled the lower Oetz. A fast river with stoppers holes and a stinky weir that makes you shiver even looking at it.

A stinky nasty weir 

Then there are the wave chains that end in a surprise pour over. These got Andy and Martin. The railway cataract rapid provided some entertainment and beatings for some. Some of us paddled the Inn down to the campsite while others drank beer. The Inn was big and bouncy and good fun.


Saturday: We had a final quick run of the Sanna again and then a long drive home to Blighty.

Table football fiends


4 Responses

  1. Who spells aussie with 2 z’s ?

    Interesting score card… all the Aussie own goals from faff, all the peaches own goals from Will swimming.

  2. yeah i was tryingto keep the score level ish but even my attepts in vain to keep the scores equal i could not equal a aussies faff factor 3-fold 😉

  3. Ozzy Osbourne does 🙂

  4. My dog spells it that way. I makes it more extream.

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