Norway Part 02 - Voss

Well, part 2 took longer than expected. Unbearable heat, sunny weather and lots of other stuff were the reasons, but anyways here it is:

Driving over several fjells on our way to Voss we took our time to take in the beautiful landscapes. This was also the moment that the huge snowpack became apparent… Places that where complete dry during my visit in 2011 were now under meters of snow. We got to Voss quite late and camped out at the lake camp. Talking to other boaters confirmed our fears of high water in the Voss area in general. However, some runs that usually only run after rainfall would be just right with the snowmelt.

Photo: Daniel Brasuell

First stop was the Teigdalselva. This run could be the definition of steep creeking and ends with one most famous waterfalls combos in the kayaking community. – double drop.

Teigdal starts off with a bang - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Will is like "oohhhhshiiiit!

Taking off... -  Photo: Diane Gaydos

The Teigdalselva run just keeps delivering, Daniel Steward

Diane on the last mandatory slide - such a nice one

Sometime around the year 2000 it was the first time that I saw a picture of Arnd Schäftlein running double drop printed in Kanumagazin. At the time I thought that was just crazy. Many years have passed by and double drop gets run quite a lot now. It’s still a big, but it has a clear line and isn’t that hard to stick. On the other hand, all the carnage videos on youtube prove the opposite… Anyways, seeing the drop the first time in real, it didn’t scare me away as I had expected. It actually looked really good to me.

A couple hours later we were standing at the lip, already pretty stoked after having run the really cool Teigdal run. I started scouting from the top and still had a that good feeling for the drop. I decided to give it a go. Waiting for Daniel and Diane setting up their cameras and Will getting his boat down to the pool below really turned out to be the most stressful part for me – I don’t know why, but waiting once I’ve decided to run something  big always gets me really nervous. After everybody was in position I got into my boat and paddled into an eddy on the other side of the creek and got the thumbs up from Daniel. Right at this moment the sun came out for the first time this day – perfect time to peel out into the current. My line worked out just like I had planned. Getting a bit of an angle on the first drop it was as soft as it gets. I had enough time for a couple stokes to get where I wanted to be on the second drop and took one last one while going over the lip. I hit the pool tucked up and pointing straight down. This hit wasn’t nearly as soft as the first one and I went deep. Rolling up I had the just a huge smile on my face.

First one - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Boom - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

We camped out at a little campsite near the Teigdalselvi to enjoy the only warm shower of the trip. Despite some hurting bodys from the Teigdal run we continued on to the Brandseth the next day. This one is one of the best runs around Voss and offers some big slides and combo drops. Lots of fun!

Daniel Steward somewhere well above the normal put in

Daniel Brasuell runs put in slide

One of the bigger slides - Photo: Diane Gaydos

Photo: Diane Gaydos

slides, slides, slides... always slides - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Daniel on the same one

A nice 5 meter drop rounds out the slides

Lots of snow up here. It was really hot and all the little creeks coming down became bigger and bigger. The Brandseth basically tripled it's flow towards the evening. 

Sundown at 11:00
I took a family break the next day while the others hit the Tysselva and high water play run.

The Jordalselva was another one that rounded out our time in Voss. We had some rainfall at night resulting in juicy flows. Arriving at the famous 10 meter falls only Daniel Steward had his balls at hand. He had a good line, but lost his paddle after the huge boil at the bottom crashed him into the right wall. Somehow he was able to get upright at the shore and hand paddle out of the pocket. After this impressive presentation of force of nature nobody else followed on this one.

The road to put in was still under snow...At least we didn't have to hike down to the river - Instead we had some sliding action in the snow.
Daniel Steward - bridge rapid

"You think that hole on top does anything?" - Yes it does. ;)

Daniel Steward flying.

Beautiful Nærøyfjorden

Temperatures kept rising and flows around Voss were exploding, so we decided to drive to our third and last destination around Sjoa and meet up with Reiner and Lorenz for the last days of the trip.

Also check out Daniel's video about Voss!

Part three is coming soon. Thanks to Daniel and Diane for letting me use their pictures!


Norway Part 01 - Telemark

A week ago I arrived back home after spending two weeks in one of the best whitewater regions in the world. Back in 2013 on our trip to Ticino I had talked Daniel Brasuell into coming to Norway this year to keep our yearly meetings going. Norway was the fourth trip together in three years. It was the most exciting one yet! (Although Cali was sweet too...)

Hannah and I decided it was better to part ways on the long drive to Norway and back. I would hit the road up north and meet Hannah and Moritz at the airport in Oslo. They came flying from Vienna and this way we had a really relaxed start of the trip. We met up with the Americans and started off to our first destination of the trip - Telemark.

Hannah and Moritz  arriving in Oslo 

First breakfast of the trip!
Late June is usually too late for good waterlevels in the Telemark region. But with the epic snowpacks of 2015 the creeks (at least some of them) were still running. To help the American members of the group getting rid of their jetlag I suggested to jump on the homerun of the Mar. This short run is really a highlight since its basically five nice drops back to back ranging from two to seven meters.

Daniel Steward on the first drop

Daniel Brasuell - number 2

Diane Gaydos - number 4

Same moment, different angle - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Later that night Will joined the group so we were then complete. Diane Gaydos, Daniel Brasuell, Daniel Steward, Will Rudisill, Hannah, Moritz and myself.

Since the Göyst had already dropped out we made the short drive to the Austbygdai. This river entertained us for the next two days or so. Impressive and sometimes intimidating bedrock slides are the name of the game!

Boofing the first slide - a fun one! - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Will runs a big one on california section of Austbygdai


more slides

Diane comes out of a fun one

Upper Austbygdai - not as steep as california section but equally good

Diane in a maze of a slide

Will boofing a big hole

The upper section ends with a bang! Spänemfossen!

Diane styling it
Photo - Diane Gaydos

The stoke is high - Photo: Daniel Brasuell

Having fun in the snow

 Well, with no more runs on our list in the Telemark we decided to make the drive to Voss. Already on the way we got the information that all "everything in Voss is way too high". Since most creeks around Voss aren't known for easy class four that gets better with high water we did get quite nervous about the news. However, since alternatives were lacking we continued on our drive to find out for ourselves if really everything was to high...

Off to Voss - Photo: Daniel Brasuell
Part two coming soon!

Big thanks to Kokatat for the support and for making my drysuit arrive shortly before I left for the trip. I have never stayed as dry on any trip before. That's so important on a trip where it can be cold water and weather!

Also thanks to Diane and Daniel for letting me use their pictures! Check out Daniel's Telemark video!