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. ;)