Kayak Cevennes -- New Guidebook

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jay
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Kayak Cevennes -- New Guidebook

Post by jay »

A friend of mine, Riton, has been working on a guidebook to the Cevennes creeks for the last 3 years. The Cevennes is an area in the French Massif Central with a rich variety of whitewater rivers.

You'll find plenty of well-known runs such as: the haut Tarn, the Limony, the Bourges and the Fontaulière and also plenty of other runs that are less well-known but no less beautiful. In all there are 300 pages, 200 photos and 68 river descriptions all of which above grade III. For those of us into freestyle, there is also a chapter dedicated to the best Cevennes playspots. The book is bilingual (French/English).

The name of the book is "Kayak Cevennes" and it will be released in December. You can pre-order a copy now on the Canotier website.
Last edited by jay on Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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robt
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Post by robt »

Good stuff. A good guidebook to the harder rivers in this area is well overdue..

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jay
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Post by jay »

Yes, some British groups (like yours) with French-speaking members have been able to scrape together information here and there but this book collects it all together in one place. This will be the only English-language guidebook to the creeks of the Cevennes. The Germans have known about these rivers for a while, (in fact they often seem to have better information than the local French paddlers!), but British paddlers have so far been a much rarer sight. Hopefully this book will put an end to that!

Very few people are aware of quite how good the rivers of the Cevennes are. Here are some shots to whet your appetites.


Image
Tarn


Image
Dourbie


Image
Bourges


Image
Fontauliere
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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jay
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Post by jay »

It was pointed out to me that it might be easier to read the english-language version of the Canotier website!

http://canotier.com/langue-uk/white_water/ref_G663.html
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

Cool. Did you Anglicise it, Jay?
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jay
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Post by jay »

Several people had a hand in the translation to English. The late Pauline Rhodes and I did the bulk of the work.

So, now you know who to blame for any translation errors!

;-)
Last edited by jay on Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

I doubt there'll be any problems with your English, Jay ...

Look forward to reading my copy.





*By the way, did you do the translations for the Portugal guidebook? ;-)
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jay
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Post by jay »

No. To my eternal shame I hadn't a clue that Portugal had such a high-quality
selection of rivers until a very long time after leaving the country.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rui Calado translated it himself. Unlike France
and Spain, a lot of TV in Portugal was in English as he was growing up so
people of his generation are actually very good at the language.


Just realised there is one thing I forgot to mention about Kayak Cevennes:
shipping is free on any orders made before the 30th of November.
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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Post by pesdapress »

Preordered ;)

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jay
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Post by jay »

The geographical scope of the book doesn't extend to Hawaii-sur-Rhone but the wave is only 30minutes north of some of the creeks (e.g. Limony). From St Sauveur de Montagut (a key creeking base for the Eyrieux, Glueyre and Auzene rivers) to Lyon is about 80 mostly motorway miles.

The point is, if you are hoping to catch the wave in high autumn water levels then it may well be worth bringing your creekboat too. The wave and the creeks are often up at similar times.
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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jay
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Post by jay »

Click here for a 14 page pdf extract from the book.
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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jay
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Post by jay »

For those of you who pre-ordered the book, it should start arriving in postboxes around now. For those who are still hesitating, well, it is now back from the printers and ready to be shipped. Enjoy.
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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Woods
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Kayak Cévennes by Henri Denis

Post by Woods »

My copy arrived back in December. I may never make it to the Cévennes National Park, but I can see now what Jay did with his time in Lyon (and how he got through so many boats). Perhaps I might tempt Jay to suggest how to fit in a tour of the Tarn gorge from the UK?

First impression was the cover image, a spectacular rock formation in the background, perhaps giving a true flavour of the paddling available? (An autumnal scene and a deep dark gorge.)

Printed in black and white, with sections of full colour images, I wondered if this was the best format? At £19 equivalent (€26) it could be printed full colour throughout in two columns with colour highlights for English and French (but the country of printing is not disclosed, so it could be somewhere expensive).

That's my only reservation about this book really. The images (many supplied by Jay and Karine) really convey an enthusiam for the rivers (often with paddlers grappling with the mank or upside-down) and show some great rapids and drops. There is detail and humour in the writing.

I really like the use of Eastings and Northings for locations - intended for GPS use, it also works well with Google Maps/Earth and suits foreigners (Brits) much better than OS references (suit Frenchies).

So why should I travel to Cévennes from the UK?

Should I go in October because I have gone to Lyon for Hawaii-Sur-Rhone with my creek boat? How long a drive is it from Lyon?

Should I go in April because I got the ferry from Toulon to Corsica and there was no water?

Should I go when the Chassezac squirt spot is working?

Regards,

Pete

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Woods
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Post by Woods »

OK, so the quality whitewater is reason enough to travel to Cévennes similar to an Alps tour but in October. What I perhaps meant to ask was, how do you get the most out of a trip from the UK? There are plenty of rivers left for me to explore in Scotland, would Cévennes be more reliable in October/November? Can I combine the trip with anything on the way or further afield?

Pete

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jay
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Post by jay »

In terms of reliability, it is a little like Scotland and Portugal. The Cevennes get huge amounts of rain but there are no guarantees as to when it will fall.

That being said, it is within driving distance for you (same distance as Alps) whereas Portugal probably isn't. This means that you can always look at the online water levels, the weather forecast (Le Puy, Mont Aigoual, Lyon) and make a last minute decision as to whether it is worth travelling.

If you are seeking to combine, then the Autumn creeking + Hawaii option sounds sweetest. First the creeks fill up and then the water makes its way to the wave which keeps working for a few days after the creeks have dried up. The level for the wave is included above too.

Having talked about autumn, it is worth keeping your eyes on the levels at other times too. We've just had 3 weeks of high water in January when one would expect cold weather and snow instead. You would have been able to paddle most days.
Kayak Cevennes -- Creeking Guidebook

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