Southern Alps due14 - Part Due - Verzasca

Camping on the river            pic.: Jürgen Maier

What better place to start a kayaking trip to Ticino than the mighty Verzasca River. We arrived at the camp in Sonogno late at night and the next morning the group started at the put in of middle Verzasca. We were a big international group again and few of us knew the river so we took our time and enjoyed a beautiful day on the river.

warm and cosy...         pic.: Harald Glanz
We didn`t take any pictures on middle Verzasca since most of it is class 3-4 boulder gardens so scouting is not that necessary.  The first bigger bedrock-slide marks the end of that middle stretch and difficulties raise with  Lucifers Slide which follows after about 500m.
Daniel, Emme and Evans enjoying the first bigger slide that marks the end of Middle Verzasca          
pics.: Reiner Glanz
Reiner & Lorenz scouting Lucifers Slide   pic.: Jürgen Maier
Lucifers is a fun drop and its hard to paddle it the same way more than once. Most of us ran it in the main channel, but Harald decided to run it on the right and showed that this is probably the more controlled and elegant line ;)  
David Maurier on the main line      pic.: Reiner Glanz
Lorenz & Diane "Action Jackson" on Lucifers   pics.: Jürgen Maier and Harald Glanz
Joshi having a perfect line and Daniel bleeding on my beauty after having a not so perfect one ;) 
pics.: Jürgen Maier & Reiner Glanz
After Lucifers follows the waterfall which has been run at different levels and gets run more regularly lately, There is a big cave behind the falls and another pocket one on the right so if you decide to run it make sure to set good safety in case things go wrong. We all decided to portage without much discussion ;)

Still missing the big one - maybe next time    pic.: Reiner Glanz

Right after the waterfall the classic corkscrew rapid marks the beginning of the lower Verzasca and is probably one of the most photographed kayaking images in the alps.
On this lower section we did multiple evening runs which explains some of the different exposure on the images.

Jürgen and Kevin on the Verzasca classic shot     pics.: Harald Glanz and Jürgen Maier
Pay attention in the little gorge after the corkscrew since there is some dangerous spots in the manky rapid before you reach the Lavertezzo bridge. After the river bends to the right there is a series of slides following. You can run the first one through the eddy all on the left (sneakline) or on the right (scout!). The second slide has a dangerous spot on the right end so make sure you end up in the middle or left. 
Jürgen on the second slide after Lavertezzo         pic.: Reiner Glanz

After that a series of drops and cataracts lead up to the biggest drop of lower Verzasca, the Husarenritt. For myself this rapid is very special because I wanted to run it for a very long time and finally did on this trip. The line is actually pretty easy but it looks really consequential if you blow it.

Evening run on lower Verzasca before the big one        pic.: Jürgen Maier
Scouting Husarenritt         pic.: Jürgen Meier
Reiner and Jürgen finally firing it up on the same drop           pics.: Harald Glanz

So after the high footbridge there are two longer rapids (the second one is worth a scout if you`re not sure) that lead into the last drops. Take care of the first left eddy in the entrance of the very last rapid. At some waterlevels you might end up in there and can`t get out without some help from the shore. Thanks Jonas ;)

Jürgen, Harald and Reiner on the last drops of lower Verzasca   pics.: Jürgen Maier and Reiner Glanz

 Daniel Brasuell made a very nice video of this Verzasca run:

This is the link to the waterlevels of the river in Lavertezzo, our pictures show a level between 17 and 25 cumecs...
So this was only our first day of Swizz paddling. We spent our next week in this area so wait for the next writeup on the Ribo, Rovana, Melezza and Cannobino rivers.
We are also working on our video right now, so maybe it will be done soon ;)
As always big thanks to: Liquidlogic Kayaks, Alpin Action in Trnovo/Slovenia, HF Paddlesports