Soca in August - advice and tips please

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Lancs_lad
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Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:31 pm

Hi.

Two of us are heading down for a week in this area. Neither of us have been here before. I have picked this area as I plan on developing my friends paddling. Currently okay on grade 2 and can just about survive grade 3 (followed me down the upper Tryweryn this weekend with only one swim right at the end, straight lining most things with the odd big eddy).

We are going to the south of France first to see non paddling friends for a couple of days and then plan on driving through the night to Slovenia. Being August I doubt much will be going in either France or Italy on route?

I am not bothered about paddling for me on this trip (unless I meet a group and jump on for an afternoon paddle), so which sections should I start with for a first timer to alpine WW and as said above at the grades mentioned.

Also we are taking bikes, any descent trials in the area?

Any other tips? Which camp site do you recommend? Can we just turn up? What currency do we need? etc etc

Anyone else out there between the August 6th and 13th?

Thanks

Ant

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:06 pm

In Soča, stay at Kamp Koren in Kobarid, the euro is Slovenia's currency and go visit Blaž in the bike shop on the square in Kobarid for great local trips. He'll even guide on a few very excellent local trails that need uplift.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:10 am

Thanks again Simon.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Garry » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:59 am

Another independent vote for contacting Blaz at Positive sport in Kobarid for local info and help. He can help with boating and biking info etc as well as having access to good value and high quality B&B etc if you dont want to camp. We took a similar group of "new to alpine" and "just run upper T" people at end of June and Blaz was really helpful, supplying boats, transport etc on the river as well as bikes and uplift for an evenings downhill biking. Yes he charges for that of course as its his business, but prices are reasonable and teha dvice and kit are all excellent. Bear in mind though that in August you are likely to be rain dependent when it comes to water levels as the Soca was already low when we were there last month but came up to a nicer level after a good rain. At the levels you are likley to see then most sections apart from the siphon gorge bit should be in scope as its mostly scenic Gd 2/3 with option to walk the occaional harder bit.

One other thing though I would say from our experience, if you are a primarily a boater not a biker then you may find Blaz's description of a "fun and flowing downhill" bike section to be pretty full on! Some in our group who are quite happy in Alping G4 and 5 and thus just cruising on the Soca ended up walked most of the mountain bike run :-)

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:15 pm

Thanks.

I'm taking my van so will definitely be camping. Do I need to book the campsite or just turn up?

The levels can't be consistently too low in August as Simon (gene17) runs plenty of courses there in August.

Is it only rain dependent or does it rise on hot days?

Finally Is it easy enough to bike the shuttle?

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by buck197 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:21 pm

The shuttles are easy enough to bike for sure.
Brian Taylor
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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:38 am

The sections on the upper river can be too low in August without summer thunderstorms. But there is always enough water year round on Soča for all to enjoy. with lots of coaching venues. Soča is one of the finest classroom's for learning white water kayaking, it will not disappoint.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:36 pm

Simon Westgarth wrote:The sections on the upper river can be too low in August without summer thunderstorms. But there is always enough water year round on Soča for all to enjoy. with lots of coaching venues. Soča is one of the finest classroom's for learning white water kayaking, it will not disappoint.
Above where do you class as the upper sections?

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:30 pm

Lancs_lad wrote:
Simon Westgarth wrote:The sections on the upper river can be too low in August without summer thunderstorms. But there is always enough water year round on Soča for all to enjoy. with lots of coaching venues. Soča is one of the finest classroom's for learning white water kayaking, it will not disappoint.
Above where do you class as the upper sections?
The upper river is the third canyon of Soča, from the village of Soča to Čezsoča, which would be known as the upper river, including the side tributary the Koridnica. And the fourth canyon is from Srpenca to Kobarid is the lower river.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:27 am

Thanks again Simon. Is there a calibrated online gauge?

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:23 pm


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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Lancs_lad » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:19 pm

Currently enjoying 30+ C temps and August low levels. Brilliant venue to bring on my friend. Also still some cool smooth moves for me to enjoy.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by michaelg » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:47 am

About Soca river and Siphons. This year in June I got sucked on last 600m of the section - Srpenica2 - Trnovo1. Now I always recommend to swim with local or at least ask them about any dangerous moments, rocks etc.
This is the movie from accident. I hope it will save someones life.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by DaveBland » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:25 pm

Wow, soooo lucky. Glad it worked out and well done on staying calm.

I'm not sure what can be learned from it that will save anyone's life other than, looking ahead and learning to move across the current earlier to miss obstacles. When I was watching, on the rock before the one you hit, I was shouting "paddle!... move over!" while you were still drifting toward the rock. You just missed that one, but then did the same thing on the siphon.

Looking ahead and getting the hard work out the way early, is key to avoiding stuff at any grade.

Nice Mk 1 Burn too!
dave

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by michaelg » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:40 pm

Thanks!
The stream was so hard that I couldn't do anything. Paddling gave me nothing and I didn't see that siphon at all:/.
Main thing is to evacuate from the kayak asap. After that put boat into the hole and go after it. The good thing is to keep kayak all the time because it can pull you out of it.
There are not many videos about siphons, how they looks like, or what it is inside. I hope someone won't make my mistake. Thats can save someones life.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by cathalferris » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:59 pm

One of our lads had a trip through that particular one as well this June, no ill effects from the 20 second downtime. It was almost identical to this little video clip how it happened as well.
Great to know where it is as well.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by SimonMW » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:51 pm

That's pretty frightening. The rock at least looks pretty identifiable by the cut out. But concerning considering that intermediates are often running this section.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Gawage1 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:31 am

Yeah about 30m upstream of that rock there is a huge boulder (house size) with a wee boulder and chute to the left of it, for intermediates keeping left down the next section (40-50m) easily avoids the siphony rock altogether.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:24 am

Note guys, that this rapid is the S Bend on the section down to Trnovo. The line traditionally is right to left. The rock is very under cut on the right, and although a swim underneath the rock is desirable, this rapid is not a syphon. From the video footage, there is a late decision being made, and more specifically the paddlers is leaning away from the rock the whole time, and as such this quickens the boat being push directly down river as the whole side wall of the kayak acts as a large sail pushing the boat with the flow.

Michaelg thank you for sharing the video and I am very happy you are in good order.

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by SimonMW » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:34 am

Simon, I hope you meant "UNdesirable"!

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by HannahG » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:50 am

I went through that bit in May too and perforated my eardrum somehow in the process!

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:44 pm

SimonMW wrote:Simon, I hope you meant "UNdesirable"!
Whoooooops..........

.........UNDESIRABLE

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Re: Soca in August - advice and tips please

Post by fweatherall1 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:33 pm

so im rafting and kayak guiding on the soca daily, and kayaking for myself every evening still
soca will be low this august for sure given the dry weather pattern were having.
at the moment the rivers hovering steady 13 cumecs ish , which is low, but still a great training ground for learning.
the upper sections are grade 2 with some easy 3's
the rafting section is by far the best for training. its slow grade 3 most of the way down, slow pace, lots of eddies, a swim wouldnt be bad.
the siphon people are talking about is in fact an undercut, and at the current level its hovering out the water, you would have to try really hard to end up there.
below that is the slalom section, which at this level probably goes as a technical grade 3+(4-) paddle, but you need to be solid at this grade, as you could easily go the wrong way/get pinned if not in control, but still endless moves for coaching and learning to be had.
the otona section from cataract to kobarid is beautiful and is still good at the level. some nice moves and boofs to train on.
i paddle somewhere every evening so give me a shout if you want a paddle!

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