Alps conditions

Inland paddling
Slime
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Slime »

We have just come back after a great week in the Alps. I talked to quite a few groups and local experts and as you have gathered from reading this thread, river levels are high for the time of year and are likely to remain so for several weeks.

If you have booked accommodation and cannot move centres then you are less flexible, but as Dave King suggests there are several rivers to consider that are only two hours drive away. My personal top tip is the Souloise that is fed by springs from the water table - a beautiful blue grade 3+ river. The other easier river to look at to the west of Gap is the Drome - has anyone checked this out yet?

If you have a group of relative beginners and have the flexibility that camping gives you, then I recommend seizing the opportunity and switching centres to the Massif Central (Ardeche or Allier) - certainly for your first few days.

We have just returned from the Verdon and had a cracking trip on the Pre-Canyon and the Grand Canyon last Thursday. Levels can never be predicted but local experts were forecasting that Provence should be good for the next few weeks. Edinburgh Uni did a trip down the Grand Canyon last week and like our team portaged l'Imbut which is rumoured to be blocked by trees. (locals will probably check this out in the next two weeks). Otherwise the guide book description is I think o.k. Lots of springs coming in from the side walls.

Locals are saying that all over southern France, the ground water table is the highest that it has been for decades so I imagine that this will be great for the rivers of the limestone areas like most of the rivers of the Massif Central.

So in summary - let me repeat what others are also advising - seize the opportunity of high water levels to explore new rivers in new areas.

Have fun!

Peter Knowles, "White Water South Alps" Guide book.

Andy H
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Andy H »

Just got back from a big big water week in the French Alps, Everything went a little crazy last week with the normal classic stuff, However due to cooler temps the last couple of days levels have dropped off a little and cooler temps are predicted next week. As David and Slime suggested go and do the more obscure stuff whilst higher levels. We had a great run on the Bouchet (a trib to the upper Guil) and a bounce down the rab ditch.

Another info is that there is definatly a tree down about 100m from the wooded bridge (200m down from the cave) on the middle Claree. No eddys above at these levels so be aware.

Also reports from a uni club is that there is trees down on the Onde as well and 1 member had a pin (all turned out well) so again scouting is advisable.

The middle Guil is only for solid solid boaters at the moment and the rafters are not running the ubaye racecourse yet as well so make your mind up with that 1. however all upper sections are going well and a little more challenging than usual.

Still quite a lot of snow up high but should come off more slower now due to lower temps during the day and at night. Keep your eye on it again if it goes super hot like last week (some days 35 degrees and 22 at night).

Have fun and stay safe.

Andy
The true challenge is allways within oneself

Kayacb
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Kayacb »

Did the onde this morning. There's two trees of concern. One at the get in which you put in below and one about half way which is passable R right through a small channel right of an island. R left is a mingtastic full width strainer.

A

Conrad Dowding
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Conrad Dowding »

The Onde tree at the top is passable by taking one of the right hand channels. The river left strainer has now been removed, so there is a clear run down now, but there are still plenty of sweepers and low hanging trees.

Levels seem to be dropping still, today was much colder than it has been- needed my fleece for the first time during the day.
Conrad

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GosforthStu
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by GosforthStu »

Just had an excellent day today, we hit briancon gorge, then the upper guisane followed by a proper pumping lower guisane, the best level I've ever paddled it! Levels seem medium to high everywhere!
Has anyone paddled anything on the guil yet? Where hoping to paddle some sections tomorrow including guil gorge, we've heard a rumour that the dam will not be releasing for a few days.
Where on site 58 at camping les ecrins if anyone is close by!

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electricbarfbag
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by electricbarfbag »

Hi all,
Just had a epic day paddling the Bonne on high flows. There are two tree blockages - one just above normal get on and very obvious, a second about 500m down that is very hard to see with small awkward eddies resulting in a two hour portage (If you are still keen you will need climbing gear).. Recommend getting on at the bridge in Malbuisson for the second half which was clear. We also did the Severraise, Selouise, Lower Drac, and Drac Blanc which were all clear too.
Last edited by electricbarfbag on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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scottdog007
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by scottdog007 »



I took this video of l'Argentiere slalom site in high water last week. This made me laugh.

Mr Burrs Adventures
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Mr Burrs Adventures »

Just returned from the Verdon. The Pre Canyon was low and getting lower.... the lake above seemed very low and only a water release would make it runnable.

The Daluis Gorge was brilliant at an excellent level however the get out/portage was running quite fast. There are a couple of ropes embedded in the cliff walls prior to the egress for the portage to make it easier but you have to be accurate to find them. There is a small beach opposite and slightly upstream of the portage where we stopped in our raft whilst we discussed our plan of action to avoid the big rapid/portage.
Whilst sat there 2 local rafts came through and, without pausing, went over the rapid and away into the distance. Having seen this rapid from below, we still decided to try and portage however our plan was poor and having bounced of the cliff wall, we disappeared over the rapid. In reality it was fine and we came to rest on some rocks further down. Looking back, it is a straightforward drop if you go over river right and stay right however it wouldn't surprise me if the pool you drop into has a syphon or two in it through the rock fall.

Aside from this we finally found the footpath into the Artuby Gorge and walked/swam through to the Verdon before walking out via a 20 foot steel ladder.... fantastic experience but it is a full 6-7 hrs trip.

Enjoy.............. LINDSAY

Einstein
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Einstein »

I'm coming out to l'argentiere tomorrow, how are the levels looking on the classics, are people running the guil at the mo?

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JohnO
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by JohnO »

The levels are all looking good, there were paddlers on the middle Guil on Wednesday and we rafted triple steps to the get out with 2 portages. Did the upper Ubaye yesterday and the level was good , Still plenty of high level snow to keep the river fed for a while yet.

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Fluidskills.com
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Fluidskills.com »

Hi everyone - I am still in the French alps running program's. yesterday our team cut the tree in half on the Gyronde river just below the campsite on a right hand bend - the massive tree is down stream tied up with one of my slings and crabs ( please don't try and take it off as its a very large heavy tree being held there )
It is easy to pass on the river left now of the tree but please check the bend before running. The weir is a must run on far river right at the moment as the centre line has a tree under the surface of the drop.

We ran the upper Guil gorge today and now that the old roman bridge has collapsed there are two new rapids at the top but we have lost the big eddy udder the bridge to stop. Also a land slip has made a new rapid in the middle- a great grade 3 /4 with moves. You can walk all the nasty bits on river left if needed.

The durance gorge is perfect at the moment with two trees below slot and drop to scout.

The levels are looking like mid July lows at the moment due to this weeks cold days and nights, a forecast of cold days and nights for this coming week and temperatures beginning to rise by next Saturday.

The snow pack is massive this year and a few hot days will bring levels to a high again quickly

If you need any advice or help when your out feel free to give me a call or if you see the van say hi to the team

All the best
Darren

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mpooleman
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by mpooleman »

Anyone got any updates on the Briancon levels? Heading out tonight!
Mark Pooleman

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Lowri Davies
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Lowri Davies »

Hi all,

I've been out here for the duration running trips, courses and of course getting out for fun blasts of an evening. Levels are now really nice. Guil medium with all sections running (possible day to day exception of the gorge depending on barrage releases). Ubaye has dropped plenty and racecourse at a nice cruisy level. Guisane, durance gorge and Briancon gorge all been good in the past few days.

Theres the French national champs in l'argentiere this week so there are hundreds of slalom and wwr boaters here training. I should think the campsite will be over run soon!

Darren, you still out? I have some stickers for you ;-)

Have fun, hope to see you out here!

lesf
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by lesf »

Ran the lower Claree today, good level topped up by last nights thunderstorms. Quite a few trees in the braided sections about 500m above the bridge at la Draye - a fair jam of tree after tree over a 100m or more. There may have been lines to sneak through, but as hey were one after the other it easier to portage on river left for about 200m where there was an easy point to get back on.

cracking run though, first time I've done it.

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Lowri Davies
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Lowri Davies »

The storm last night brought up the Durance a bit too. The gorge is on 7 again now. There is now a dangerous tree across the Lower Guisane, so take care on that!

Have fun all :-)

Play-D'eau
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Play-D'eau »

Most rivers here in the Hautes Alpes are still running at sweet medium flows, most the snow has melted now but the occasional evening thunderstorm keeps topping them up.

The Durance gorge is low (6 at put-in gauge) but still a good paddle. Guisane, Gyronde, Gyr at medium flows.
The Guil at a great level (55 at Montbardon gauge) Aiguilles down to the lake makes an amazing paddle.
Ubaye running at roughly 35 m3/s.

Great times!!!
David King
http://www.play-deau.com/

Andy H
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Re: Alps conditions

Post by Andy H »

Agreed just got back from a weeks boating and yes Middle Guil perfect Medium level along with the lower Guisane on a good Medium +.

Still a couple of weeks of good boating left I reckon on the Guil, Ubaye, Gyr, Guisane, and Durance from the slalom site.

Cheers Andy
The true challenge is allways within oneself

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