Alps- Water Levels

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rusty1986
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Alps- Water Levels

Post by rusty1986 » Thu May 08, 2014 5:00 pm

Calling all paddlers!

Keen to get advice on water levels in Alps end of June/ beginning of July.

Im told French Alps are best then but want to be sure decent paddling to be had before booking a trip out this year.

Thanks in advance

Russell

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Onecar
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Onecar » Fri May 09, 2014 8:32 am

In my experience The French Alps will be starting to get low at the end of June unless it's either a very cold spring / early summer, a year of exceptional snow pack (which I'm led to believe this year isn't) or it rains a lot. I've usually gone to The French Alps at the end of may / early June and had good levels and good weather.
There will still be stuff to do but ordinarily you won't have high levels with some of the smaller rivers being a bit of a scrape.
The Austrian Alps is a better destination in my opinion at that time of year.

clarky999
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by clarky999 » Fri May 09, 2014 9:11 am

It WAS an exceptional snow year in many places; unto 500% of normal snowfall in parts of the southern(eastern) Alps, under 50% in parts of the Northern Alps. In Tirol we had more received more snow end of March/April than the rest of the winter (though lots in Oct/Nov).

However, spring was pretty much universally (from what I can tell) much warmer than normal.

Hard one to call really. Italy should be pretty epic across the bard though, especially around the Dolomites...

marmot
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by marmot » Fri May 09, 2014 9:16 am

Hi

Depends on what type of boating your after, I love the time of year your asking about, mid levels, clear water, sunny and hot, lots of people have a ideal time, some like it early with the biggest water, and some like the mellow stuff at the end of the season? ( you are looking about mid point)

A few weeks ago the melt here was underway with good levels, it has dropped back to normal temps for this time of year and levels, there is still lots of snow up high, last year was a late melt, this year looks more normal or a little early

The likes of fluidskills, Andy holt etc are all running courses around the time you ask, because the water is normally a good level drop them a line and am sure they can fill you in boating that time of year.

rusty1986
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by rusty1986 » Sat May 10, 2014 11:55 am

Thanks for the feedback guys - appreciated! We are looking for good boating/ not a walk in park so im guessing from comments we run a bit of a risk at this time of year in French or Italian Alps.

johns86
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by johns86 » Mon May 19, 2014 6:21 pm

Hi all.
Any updates on water levels in France, Italy and Slovenia? Hopefully it's not dropping off too much yet! What's the weather been like recently?
We're heading over for the first 2 weeks of June.
Thanks

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed May 21, 2014 10:19 am

Sunny days and cold nights have left any and all snow above 2500m in Valsesia untouched for the last 2 weeks, as levels drop away. Today is the day of change, with the freezing point heading to over 3500m and 40mm of rain forecasted tomorrow. I strongly suspect Friday to be high water and things dropping back to a more ideal level on Saturday. Next week, mixed weather will keep it all flowing nicely. Note there is still snow on the main valley floor in places!!!

Play-D'eau
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Play-D'eau » Sat May 24, 2014 12:38 am

Another amazing winter here in Vallouise, South French Alps. At the end of Febuary the snowpack was bigger than last year( largest snowpack in the last 20 years). But unlike last season when winter carried on till May, this year March/April were dry and sunny.
Very warm temps last 2 weeks of April melted all the lower altitude snow and the rivers were already medium/high.

Quick video of what winter was like for Play-d'eau team member Tom King. https://vimeo.com/93599421

Since start of May temps have been much cooler especially at night and most rivers dropped to low/medium. Apart from Guil and Ubaye that stayed at medium flows.

Yesterday much warmer temps and a big thunderstorm during the night. This morning levels were up to medium/high.
Durance 135 m3/s. Ubaye 70 m3/s.

There is still a lot of snow above 2000m. So with rising temps and afternoon thunderstorms rivers will probably get high and stay high for a while. So far rivers have been fairly clean of trees but beware the winter tree debris is still on the banks.

David
http://www.play-deau.com/

chucky240
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by chucky240 » Mon May 26, 2014 1:02 pm

i have always gone out there last week of june first of july and had a great time. a little low in places but there is still plenty of choice and options. we base our selves in brianacon. might see you on the water.

johns86
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by johns86 » Mon May 26, 2014 5:29 pm

Thanks for the updates. Glad to hear there is still plenty of snow left. Here's hoping for good levels in the first half of June! :)

Play-D'eau
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Play-D'eau » Fri May 30, 2014 9:28 am

Fairly wet, cool week (for here) and so levels have dropped. Perfect fun levels and clear blue water, conditions similar to beginning of July. Durance 100m3/s, Ubaye 50m3/s. Guil solid medium flow 75 at gauge under Montbardon bridge. Other rivers at mainly low/medium levels.

As soon as the temps start rising be prepared for big, brown rivers.

Trees on the Onde and a few blocking the river on the Gyr. Have not paddled the Claree yet but sure to have some strainers as usual.

For info, due to works on the underground hydro pipes the barrage at Vallouise is wide open. Leaving the Gyronde running at its natural flow. It has been paddleable since mid March and should run all summer if the barrage doesn't close. The downside, to fill the hydro station in L'Argentiere the barrage in Prelles is diverting more water out, leaving less water for the Durance Gorge.

Guil, triple drop.
Image

Gyronde, below class V+ rapid.
Image

Image

David King
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johns86
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by johns86 » Fri May 30, 2014 2:53 pm

Thanks for the update.

Anyone have any idea what's happening in Italy now? Is there much snow left, or what are rivers like?
These updates are very useful to decide where we will go first. Thanks again.

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Simon Westgarth » Fri May 30, 2014 9:02 pm

johns86 wrote:Thanks for the update.

Anyone have any idea what's happening in Italy now? Is there much snow left, or what are rivers like?
These updates are very useful to decide where we will go first. Thanks again.
Good water levels here in Valsesia, Egua was at a great level today. The Gronda & Mastelone are a little low, and the rest all good. More rain due on Monday.

Mr Burrs Adventures
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Mr Burrs Adventures » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:55 pm

Any idea what levels are like now?...... or are they so good everyone's boating with no time to update the thread.
Cheers..... LINDSAY

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by hogboy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:06 pm

got here Saturday and levels are great.

Claree, briancon gorge and lower guisaine all at really nice medium levels.

Bachelard today at a perfect medium level and a slightly chunky Ubayee racecourse.

gyr, onde and gyronde all looked nice today as I drove past. A bit of rain thois evening but I am amzed at how few people we have seen on the rivers

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by scottdog007 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:59 pm

Suggestions for rivers in Austrian alps when water is very high due to snow melt not rain. Incidentally the Austrian police stuffed me for 50€. 25 for slightly speeding and another 25 for not have the original car registration documents. At first the tosser told me no more driving as my car documents need to be sent to Austria. A photo copy was not acceptable.

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:24 pm

scottdog007 wrote:Suggestions for rivers in Austrian alps when water is very high due to snow melt not rain. Incidentally the Austrian police stuffed me for 50€. 25 for slightly speeding and another 25 for not have the original car registration documents. At first the tosser told me no more driving as my car documents need to be sent to Austria. A photo copy was not acceptable.
I drive with the original documents always, although the UK police will tell you not too!! I flew over the Tryol yesterday, the snow coverage looked very low. If you are finding the Inn too high, head to the northern lower runs like the Lech, that flow into Bavaria.

clarky999
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by clarky999 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:51 pm

Scottydog, you were lucky. €1000 fine if you drive (as a foreigner) without a passport... Luckily the policeman who told me that after stopping me for having too much snow on the roof took pity on my look of horror, and let me off as just some idiot English kid.

Doesn't sound like he's being a tosser btw, that's just the rules, and the way you prove you haven't just stolen the car (the car is insured rather than the driver, meaning anyone is legally allowed to drive it, so they can't check just by who it's registered too/insured on it).

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by PMB » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:02 pm

Hey guys,

I'm heading out to Austria in 12 days and thought I'd have a quick look online at levels around Landeck. Having checked online the Oetz looks to be pretty full at the moment, showing a reading of just below 300 on the gauge in Tumpen (online guides I've read suggest high water on the Upper & Lower are around 220 & 240 respectively!!):

http://4-paddlers.com/48/067cde2c-a2a3- ... umpen.html

Interestingly average volume at Tumpen went from 90.8 at 09:43 to 125.7 cumecs at 21:15 today. That's an increase of almost 40% - it must have been a sunny day up at the valley head!

The Sanna gauge at the confluence with the Inn looks pretty high too! http://4-paddlers.com/48/6a77f15f-9512- ... ndeck.html

Is anyone out there at the moment & able to offer a first hand account on levels?
Phil B

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by clarky999 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:07 am

Yup, well over 30 degrees today, and the Inn was pumping down here in Innsbruck.

A mate was surfing at the Silz wave today, looked like A LOT of water and a big chunky crashing wave/hole in the centre!

I was working :(

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by scottdog007 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:19 am

PMB wrote:Hey guys,

I'm heading out to Austria in 12 days and thought I'd have a quick look online at levels around Landeck. Having checked online the Oetz looks to be pretty full at the moment, showing a reading of just below 300 on the gauge in Tumpen (online guides I've read suggest high water on the Upper & Lower are around 220 & 240 respectively!!):

http://4-paddlers.com/48/067cde2c-a2a3- ... umpen.html

Interestingly average volume at Tumpen went from 90.8 at 09:43 to 125.7 cumecs at 21:15 today. That's an increase of almost 40% - it must have been a sunny day up at the valley head!

The Sanna gauge at the confluence with the Inn looks pretty high too! http://4-paddlers.com/48/6a77f15f-9512- ... ndeck.html

Is anyone out there at the moment & able to offer a first hand account on levels?
We are out here at the moment with a mixed group of abilities. Everything is high well above high on the gauges. Even Imps gorge is massive with big hole. Some guys did the Pitzbech yesterday and this river is rarely run because normally there is no water but it was well above high. And when they got into the Imps gorge they said they have never paddled that in such high water.

The rivers in Germany are empty as they are rain fed saying this we are planning to go to the Isar. Does anyone know how this works. A taxi is need to take you. Does anyone know do they bring a trailer?

chucky240
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by chucky240 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:55 am

has anyone got any information on water levels in the french alps ? please

brunolb
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by brunolb » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:02 am

For the Isar: just drive to the take-out and call the taxi company (number signposted over there), they have small bus and trailer, cost around 10 EUR/p. If there is water, it is a lovely scenic run, highly recommended!

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by scottdog007 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:37 pm

brunolb wrote:For the Isar: just drive to the take-out and call the taxi company (number signposted over there), they have small bus and trailer, cost around 10 EUR/p. If there is water, it is a lovely scenic run, highly recommended!
Done and it was nice . A taxi was waiting with trailer and it cost 7€ each and we got 11 people in his van. Water was low but fine. Sana was done later on high levels.

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Play-D'eau » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:58 pm

Just got back from an amazing kayak safari in Valsesia. Extremely hot temps and blue skys not even a usual afternoon thunderstorm.
Levels peaked Monday evening, Sesia was at 140 at the gauge, Egua was too chunky (for us). Perfect medium levels on Gronda/Sorba.
No water left in the Mastelone.
Even though temps stayed well above 30° all the rivers started dropping during the week. Thursday the Sesia was at 95, Gronda/Sorba and Sermenza low/medium. Egua had perfect medium flows.

Last drop on Gronda.
Image


Back in Vallouise, South French Alps. Weather conditions have been similar with very warm, sunny days and few thunderstorms.
All rivers running at sweet medium/high levels. Durance at 145 m3/s and Ubaye 65 m3/s.

We will not see hugh conditions like last year unless for a big thunderstorm.

Enjoy the perfect conditions.
David King
http://www.play-deau.com/

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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by scottdog007 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:37 am

clarky999 wrote: .........
Doesn't sound like he's being a tosser btw, that's just the rules, and the way you prove you haven't just stolen the car (the car is insured rather than the driver, meaning anyone is legally allowed to drive it, so they can't check just by who it's registered too/insured on it).
I don't agree. We are in the european community and there should be more consideration. He treated me like a serious criminal. I had my driving license that has my photo and my address on it. I had my insurance with my address on it, and I had a photo copy of my car registration document with my address on it. But he insisted that I should carry the original document. It took a long time to convince him to let me continue driving. What thief steals a car and gets it insured. He insisted that I had to stop driving and that my car registration document will need to be sent over from England.

Now I had done a quick search on the internet and I cannot fine anything stating we need to carry the car registration documents in Austria.

Even the speeding fine was not fair as I came around the corner to see the village and the sign, I was doing 40mph. I didn't even have time to slow down to 30mph as he got me immediately, very nasty. Welcome to Austria.

Be very careful driving around that area we saw many mobile speed police, and the speeds are very slow in places.

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:01 am

scottdog007 wrote:But he insisted that I should carry the original document. It took a long time to convince him to let me continue driving. What thief steals a car and gets it insured. He insisted that I had to stop driving and that my car registration document will need to be sent over from England.

Even the speeding fine was not fair as I came around the corner to see the village and the sign, I was doing 40mph. I didn't even have time to slow down to 30mph as he got me immediately, very nasty. Welcome to Austria.

Be very careful driving around that area we saw many mobile speed police, and the speeds are very slow in places.
Sadly from adventures in Austria, you'll hear many stories just like yours, speed traps is regular spots, and very difficult police to deal with. Note the police take a commission for each fine, hence why you'll find the police who you were dealing with was certainly not from the local station. In Germany there are 2 documents for the car, one you always keep at home and the other smaller version in the car, its probably the same in Austria and hence why the policeman thought it odd or simply wrong that you do not have this.

The extent of the Austrian police lack of sympathy is summed up in this regular story. A rafting outfit was often stopped en route from the raft base to the putin, where the police boarded the bus and asked for ID from all the rafting customers. In Austria you must carry ID if a national or your passport if not all the time. As everyone was in wetsuits and on the way to the river, no one had their ID, and every customer was fined. This situation must do terrible wonders for Austrian Tourism.

My personal best was when I had a heavy load on the car. There was still good space in the wheel arches so I felt all was good. Just before the Italian border I was pulled over just pass Villach and taken the a weight station. I was 150Kg over the gross laden weight of the car. In pointing out that I did not have a weight station at home, and the car although ladened handled well and I had good clearance for the wheels, the answer was that I was 150kg over. I asked him if he had a weight station at home to avoid this issue himself, well this was not the right question to ask, given that he then went through all my documents. After all the nonsense I paid my fine and was allowed to drive away, still over loaded.......

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Randy Fandango
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:44 pm

They are a strange breed indeed.
I once had one flag me down with the 'one arm gently flapping' signal which to me meant slow down.
I slowed down rather than stopped and on glancing in the rearview mirror was slightly disturbed to see him reaching for his gun (I swear to God).
I stopped hurriedly and was subjected to a long b*llocking (in German and English mixed) but luckily we were all above board and had our passports on us so he didn't find anything to fine us for -- or shoot us for, for that matter.
On another occasion a policeman working with the border guards took all our passports and then took turns with the border guards alternately peering at us suspiciously from their border crossing hut and closely examining all our passports.
On grudgingly letting us on our way we quietly gave thanks that among his other accomplishments he wasn't that great at counting as we'd handed him four passports when there were in fact five of us in the car. Clearly Joey's sitting dead still on the back seat and staring rigidly ahead routine had rendered him temporarily invisible.....
Giles

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Lancs_lad
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by Lancs_lad » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:39 pm

So to sum up what should we have in our cars while in Austria? (officially and unofficially)

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PaddleSlapper
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Re: Alps- Water Levels

Post by PaddleSlapper » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:24 pm

The AA website does a good list of what's needed in each european country. Direct link (pdf) --> Compulsory Equipment

This does give original registration document as a compulsory requirement throughout europe.

Duncan

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