Spring trip part three - Ticino

Arriving in the Verzasca valley late in the day we found the river running high at roughly 70m³. With the high levels we made our plans for the next days. Ossola, upper Ribo and Isorno were the creeks we wanted to do. The Verzasca was left for the last day before going home. Despite the levels had dropped overnight, we still went for the Ossola the next day. This creek would be really good, if there wouldn't be so many nice drops with a nasty detail.

The Start of the Ossola offers some nice bedrock with mixed in boulder gardens

Robert Machacek enjoys more bedrock

Andreas Scherb does the same


Entering double drop... - Photo: Robert Machacek

and finishing it up. - Photo:Robert Machacek

After finishing up the run we drove over to the Ribo valley to check out the upper section which apparently offers some nice slides and drops. When we got there flows were high and looked perfect for our plans. It was raining a little and getting late, so we camped out and had high hopes for the next day.

Waking up we found the snowline just a few hundred meters over our heads. The result was much less water in the creek than just ten hours earlier (not enough anymore for the upper section) and a not very motivated group. We fired up a pipe fire and made some chocolate bananas to find some motivation. At least that worked with my three year old son Moritz ;)

low snowline, low motivation


The weather got a little warmer and less wet after some time and Andreas and I decided to run the standard section of the Ribo once we were here. This section is famous for the high but easy waterfall/slide, but the run above and below the waterfall is also quite nice and features many clean drops. Beware of the short box canyon in Vergletto!

The alway exciting Ribo waterfall - Photo: Robert Machacek

Andreas follows with style -  Photo: Robert Machacek

We drove to Spruga in the evening to hike into the Isorno the next day. We knew the levels would be low, but we all had the Isorno high on our list and decided to run it anyways. The next days promised to much warmer, so we hoped for some snowmelt. By the way, better don't go to Sprunga to spend the night before running the Isorno - there's no real place to camp out. We slept on a parking lot in the middle of the little town.

Looking down the deep Isorno valley.

Getting to the creek after the 20min hike our hopes of reasonable waterlevels dissolved. The Isorno was low... At least the first slide was still fun. The next hour our boating to touching ratio was somewhere at 2. (Touching a rock every 2 meters) Thankfully some bedrock started to show up after a little bride and the run got much better from this point on. The hike out is brutal, but we all thought this river would be totally worth it with more water.

Robert Machacek enjoys the input slide

Andreas Scherb - side view

Photo: Robert Machacek

One of the nicer drops of Isorno gorge

Photo: Andreas Scherb
Andreas stompin' the same drop

Our end of the trip was getting near. One last run on the Verzasca rounded out our time in Ticino before starting the drive home.

Robert Machacek goes around the corner


Verzasca is a beauty of bedrock!

Photo: Robert Machacek

Last rapid of the trip - Photo: Robert Machacek

 Such a beautiful river...

Thanks for the support to Liquidlogic Kayaks, Alpin Action, Sweet Protection, Kokatat and Hf!

Back to work now, so I can pay for the trip to Norway in a few weeks. ;)


Spring trip part two - Graubünden

After successful missions in Allgäu we continued on to Graubünden. On the list were creeks like Averser Rhein, Somvixer Rhein, Glenner, Medelser Rhein and so on.

Our first stop was the lower section of Averser Rhein. Unfortunately Reiner hurt himself on one of the bigger drops on this run. After running another mandatory drop in the following gorge his pain got much worse and he decided to climb out of the gorge. The rest of the group continued on. We ran another must run drop, only to find yourselves locked in above the last drop without a possibility to scout. This drop is visible from the bridge near the take out and and we had only taken a quick look before driving up. On riverlevel this drop turned out much bigger than we had believed. Luckily Hannah was on the bridge and realized that we were in some kind of trouble. Many thanks to her for scouting for us and telling us the safe line! Before dropping into the last gorge check out the drop and the level of the lake below because this last drop could get really troublesome, if the lake is even lower!

Reiner on the way to a broken body

The last gorge of the Averser Rhein contains some nice mandatory drops. This is one of them.

Andreas Scherb on the same one
No pictures of the last drop because we were in mission solving mode to get Reiner's boat and himself out of the gorge and stress was high while dealing with the "unknown mandatory drop" above the lake. But here's a still of Robert's gopro to give an idea:

Reiner's pain was pretty bad after the run. He decided to throw in some painkillers and make the drive home the next day. The rest of the group continued on to Medelser Rhein. Levels were low here, so we went for the lower section again. This one contains quite an interesting must run double drop. Sadly we weren't able to snap any pictures of this one, because we ran it together for safety reasons.

Painkillers taste better with Nutella (and beer)

Graubünden is not a ugly place!
After the run we did checked the weather online and realized that our original plan to stay in Graubünden for a while and move back to Austria for some runs around Vorarlberg and Tirol might not be a good one. The forecast predicted very cold weather and snow down to 1000 meters in Austria and northern Switzerland. The south looked much better, so we hit the road and made our way to Ticino.

On the way to Ticino I checked out the Reuss.
This one is really a spectacle at roughly 10 times of the runnable flow

Later, H.G.

Untertalbach POV

Eventhough I`m not the biggest fan of POV Videos, this is a perfect way to present some of our Homeruns in which u don`t like to get out of the boat too much. So this video features one of the best creeks close to our home at a good level... In my opinion the real reason Schladming should be famous for ;) (not to forget the awsome DH bike track....)

as always thanks to: Liquidlogic Kayaks, Alpin Action, Sweet Protection, Kokatat and Hf for the Support

Spring trip part one - Rain in Germany- Algäu Party Time

Dieses Jahr beschlossen wir unsere jährliche  Anreise in die Schweiz über den Norden zu gestalten. Dunkle Wolken im Wetterbericht versprachen reichlich Regen am ersten Wochenende und so beschlossen wir auf dem Weg den deutschen Perlen Argen/Eistobel und Weissach/Buchenegger Wasserfall einen Besuch abzustatten. Am Freitag hatte alles perfekt (Hoch-)wasser aber leider war Reiner noch allein vor Ort. Am Samstag waren die Wasserstände schon etwas niedriger, aber dafür alle da...
Like every year we were of to Switzerland to spend some springtime in the alps. This year we took a different way through Germany and spend some time on the German perls Eistobel and the Buchenegger waterfall...

Harald, Robert and Andi on the first drop on the Argen after
the water comes back from the weir. photos RG

second slide, Robert doing a ?????

Andi and Robert on the "Wasserfall" which is a slide ;)

This is the slide why this run is famous ;)
Harald showing why below...

Where is the paddler?
Next Stop Weissach, Die Weissach fließt in der Nähe vom deutschen Kurort Oberstaufen und mündet in die Bregenzer Ache. Schon seit Jahren gibt es Bilder von den Locals GebrüderMotz und Co. die den Buchenegger Wasserfall bei Steibis zeigen. Geschichten von weitem rein- und raustragen und die weite Anreise waren bisher immer Gründe nicht in die Gegend zu kommen. Beim scouten am Vortag stellte ich mir die Frage ob es nicht besser sei die ganze Schlucht von Steibis zu befahren und sich somit die Trageaktion zu ersparen. Dazu später noch ein wenig mehr...
Next stop was the Buchenegger waterfall. We decided to run the whole gorge, which in the end was only half a good idea ;)

Andi and Robert styling...

Robert enjoying the scenery
Kurzbeschreibung Weissach, Buchenegger Wasserfälle/Steibis Schlucht: 
WW IV-V (ein bis dreimal X, je nach Wasserstand), Bäume! Siphone! 
Einstieg: wo die Strasse nach Steibis (Richtung Hochgratbahn) wieder zum Fluss kommt
Ausstieg: Brücke Oberstaufen-Steibis (Pegel 150 NW/Fotos - 180 viel für die Schlucht aber wahrscheinlich perfekt für die Wasserfälle)
Im Schluchteil bis zu den Wasserfällen einmal X (wirklich X!), links umtragen und Boote werfen/nachspringen, Wasserfälle beide fahrbar.
Stelle nach den Fällen bei 150cm X bei mehr vielleicht fahrbar, Schluchtstrecke nachher gesamt eher unsauber und durchs Konglomerat bedingt sehrviel unterspült. Alles umtragbar (Bei 180cm eine Stelle vermutlich mühsam). Bei 150cm eher unlohnend.
Wenn man nur den Fall fahren will ist die vermutlich einfachste Lösung: Beim Einstieg zur Schlucht einbooten, den oberen Schluchtteil fahren. Nach dem Fall links! raustragen (ohne Boot ca. 20min, anfangs steil, dann Forststrasse). Vielleicht bei der Alm fragen ob man die Boote schnell holen darf oder Wagerl hinterlegen...
Viel Spass!