Slovenia

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eeonz
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Slovenia

Post by eeonz » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:39 pm

I'm looking at paddling abroad for the first time this Summer, somewhere that would need the minimum amount of time off work.* How long do you need to paddle the classics in Slovenia? Can it be done (and enjoyed) in 3/4 days? Looking for grade 3/4 really.

Also, would it be advisable to pay for the likes of Gene17 for guiding, or are the rivers pretty similar in character to the UK?



*there's the irony of being an outdoor instructor

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Green.media
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Green.media » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:59 pm

a group of 6 of use went out this summer late in the season, we weren't overly impressed with the soca, the grade 4 sections felt like grade 2/3- its all perfectly do able and scout able you just have to think about how you inspect for some sections, don't get me wrong it was a great fun trip and the water being crystal clear is amazing but putting it on the end of france was a mistake for use as i personally enjoyed the french water far more due to the higher volume and more technical rapids.
give france a good hard think maybe italy depending on what time of year your thinking of going as those are the 2 i would now look to go back to if i was doing another trip
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KenHy
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Re: Slovenia

Post by KenHy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:10 am

Slovenia would be the perfect place for a first trip abroad looking at grade 3-4. It's not on the high end of those grades, but it's perfect for pushing yourself within your comfort zone as the river features are all lovely and clean and really well defined! If your comfortable on grade 3-4 in the UK I wouldn't say you'd need a guide, depends on if you want to explore the river yourself or maximize your use of it to push on your paddling.

Personally I'd say 5 days would be the minimum I'd go for, any less and the logistics of getting there would not be worth it.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by Sickboy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:28 am

KenHy wrote:Slovenia would be the perfect place for a first trip abroad looking at grade 3-4. It's not on the high end of those grades, but it's perfect for pushing yourself within your comfort zone as the river features are all lovely and clean and really well defined! If your comfortable on grade 3-4 in the UK I wouldn't say you'd need a guide, depends on if you want to explore the river yourself or maximize your use of it to push on your paddling.

Personally I'd say 5 days would be the minimum I'd go for, any less and the logistics of getting there would not be worth it.
What he said...it'll take a full days driving non stop to do the run down, 4 days there will see you right though. A stunning place to paddle.
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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:47 am

To go to Slovenia, I would either do a fly drive as a longer type weekend adventure, 3 or 4 days on the water or as part of a road trip, where to start paddling in Slovenia and then head back via Oest Tryol, the Tryol and Baravian Alps. June is ideal, and the Soča is more a tacking river than one you need guiding on. Where as destinations like the Piemonte, Norway and the French Alps for Class III and beyond, are more extensive and entertaining a guide would be a reasonable option.

At Gene17 our USP is the coaching and teaching of technique & tactics, and as such Soča is prefect for Class III paddlers, Piemonte for aspiring steep creekers and Norway for everyone, yes Norway has it all, Class II to V, all Summer long.

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Chrace
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Chrace » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:32 am

If you are looking to spend 3-4 days total then Soca is a bit of a long one to get to. As mentioned, it takes time to get there. From Ljubliana it's a fair drive so a day will be wasted at each end of the holiday, with flying and driving giving you only 2 days on the water. That said, the grade 3/4 sections are not that long and can be done in a day (even if shuttling around the gorge), giving you two full runs down in two days.

Don't get me wrong. The Soca delivers! I still remember that crystal clear turqoise water and what an amazing experience it is to paddle something more similar to drinking water, as opposed to the usual brown, peat coloured waters of Yorkshire.

For 3-4 days total I would imagine (although I have never been) that flying in to Italy (or Norway?) and hooking up with a company to sort out transfers/boats/accomodation/shuttles and possibly guiding would be more efficient. And of course a lot more expensive, but then, "time is money" applies to kayakers as well. Or will Dave Manby be around to say "Turkey" any time soon?

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:45 am

Chrace wrote:From Ljubliana it's a fair drive so a day will be wasted at each end of the holiday
I do agree, that its a day, well more like half a day door to door from the UK to Soča, from Ljubliana Airport, it's 90mins to 2 hours to Bovec. I have done door to door, via Venice and the train to Cividale, in half a day.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by Sickboy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:42 pm

As Simon says, if your willing to fly, half a day travelling can be done, leaving a nice long afternoon on the water, my club do the UK/Venice/Bovec run every year and were on the water at the Tonys(?) campsite get in by 2pm. But then we send all the kit down by van a few days before so no luggage or boats to hang about for at the airport and no dickin about with roof racks on hire cars.
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Re: Slovenia

Post by DaveWortley » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:35 pm

You can do it all in 3/4 days easy if you're a quick group, you can read and run everything up to Siphon Canyon, which is grade 5 but runnable with a guide. If you do the section down the slalom site make sure you inspect the get out and don't run half of Siphon Canyon like we did!

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Re: Slovenia

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:02 pm

Scumbag_Scout wrote:...you can read and run everything up to Siphon Canyon, which is grade 5 but runnable with a guide. If you do the section down the slalom site make sure you inspect the get out and don't run half of Siphon Canyon like we did!
The Siphon Canyon on Soča, is out of the general characteristic of the river, certainly a few notches up in demand on more importantly consequence. I would not to aiming to run this short section, at a goal of the trip, it's a long way to come for such a high consequence sector.
Sickboy wrote:As Simon says, if your willing to fly, half a day travelling can be done, leaving a nice long afternoon on the water, my club do the UK/Venice/Bovec run every year and were on the water at the Tonys(?) campsite get in by 2pm. But then we send all the kit down by van a few days before so no luggage or boats to hang about for at the airport and no dickin about with roof racks on hire cars.
You can always hire boats and gear from Alpin Action in Trnovo, save all that bother, fly into Venice, Trieste or Ljubljana, hire a car, get to Soča, Alpin Action will even supply a temporary roof rack.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by Kenny 3760 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:19 pm

A group of us went to Slovenia for our first paddle trip abroad in 2009.

Driving from Dunkirk took us about 16 hours to Zaga. We were there for a week, took our time doing the sections and had an absolute blast. You could easily do it all in 2-3 days but in my opinion it wouldn't be worth the drive to stay for such a short time.

Can whole-heartedly recommend Extreme Slovenia for chalet hire, tremendous people.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by buck197 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:25 pm

Fly into Trieste and only a couple of hours drive to Zaga/Bovec and the lovely Soca valley, it is a cheap place to eat and stay if your budget is tight certainly cheaper than Germany or Italy. I'll be there in June.
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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:02 pm

buck197 wrote:I'll be there in June.
& I'll be there on Saturday....although it's a mere 5 cumecs at Boka Bridge today and 3˚C overnight. Might need to get the log fire going before I do anything else.

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KenHy
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Re: Slovenia

Post by KenHy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:46 pm

Coming from Ireland makes a difference for us - but I think it'd be maddness to drive down for anything less then two weeks (and you'd probably get board with that amount of time if your only paddling). Cheep flight to Venice (ryanair) and rent boats from Alpin Action is the way to go.

Will also be there in June and will be doing just that!

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Re: Slovenia

Post by ali » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:20 pm

Don't forget there are more rivers out there than just the Soca. The Sava Bohinjka over near Bled is another good option and can be combined with some sightseeing around Bled. We've also looked at the Bistrica and Radovanna though we've not had the water to paddle those two. We've always gone for a week which allows for a good mixture of paddling and sightseeing as there are lots of non paddling things to do as well.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by eeonz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:44 pm

Thanks for all the responses so far.

As far as I'm concerned driving is completely out of the question, as I'll be working in Ireland over the Summer. It'll most likely be a long weekend, as it's the only time of year that I can actually guarantee any work. Looks like Ryanair, then hiring boats is the way forwards. Any idea how much boat hire is? I didn't spot it on their website.

As for the grade 5 section with all the siphons - I'm sure it's a lovely portage.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by Sickboy » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:44 am

eeonz wrote: As for the grade 5 section with all the siphons - I'm sure it's a lovely portage.
Its been pointed out to me from a few quarters that cataract's only grade 5 if you swim LOL
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Re: Slovenia

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:56 am

Sickboy wrote:
eeonz wrote:As for the grade 5 section with all the siphons - I'm sure it's a lovely portage.
Its been pointed out to me from a few quarters that cataract's only grade 5 if you swim LOL
It's a place where you do not test your rolling ability, plus pretty much if you often fall over on Class IV even if your roll is great, I'd say it's not for you. The lines are Class IV, they are straight forward, but the consequence is so significant, as every boulder forms at least a siphon, and the whole section is formed by boulders. Do not enter this section lightly. Oh and every year is seams to change a little, the rapid below now, needs more than 25cumes to make this same line, any less and it's all over the middle shots, which is of course a siphon.

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KenHy
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Re: Slovenia

Post by KenHy » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:36 pm

Is it possible to walk the banks of siphon canyon, don't feel all that enticed to paddle it but would like a look.

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Re: Slovenia

Post by DaveWortley » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:09 pm

It's easy to walk down the first bit of it as there's a path on river right after the slalom site, after that it gets a bit more interesting.

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