Skip to content

2022 LCC Alpine Holiday to Durance Region in France Day 4 Tuesday: Lower Durance to Embrun by Andy Garland

  • by

2022 LCC Alpine Holiday to Durance Region in France Day 4 Tuesday: Lower Durance to Embrun by Andy Garland

Another glorious day of paddling big and bouncy Alpine rivers. Today we returned to the Durance to run the section from St Clement to Embrun, a distance of around 18km. We all convened at the extremely convenient get-in at St Clement, with its associated bar, loos and slalom course (the French really have got kayaking sussed). Those people that were educated to PhD level, and therefore understood the shuttle logistics, did the shuttle. The rest of us relaxed in the shade (it was hot) and had an early lunch. Once on the water we progressed through a succession of entertaining wave trains, welcoming the opportunity to get a dousing to cool down. In the few intervening flat bits it was great to idly float down the river and take in the amazing scenery – pointy peaks everywhere!

Before long we were at the highlight of the trip – the renowned Rabioux (‘Rab’) Wave. We ran it one by one, with Keith standing on a rock and pointing with his paddle at the line that people should take to provide the most entertainment! My run went extremely well, right up to the point when a wave slammed into my side, and I capsized. I perfectly executed the first 180 degrees of my roll, but soon realised that the next 180 degrees might be more problematical. I quickly ran through the ‘Andy Garland List of Things to Do When Things Get Stressful’: Item 1…’have a puff of an e-cig’ (not really practical, considering the circumstances); Item 2…’Panic!’ (OK, I could do that). I let go of my paddle with one hand to pull my deck and then realised that a swim would likely overwhelm the waterproof capabilities of the Aquapac holding my e-cig. Desperate situations demanded desperate measures! so I managed to effect a basic pawlata roll and came back upright.

We took lunch beside the beach café beside the Rab wave and watched the entertaining spectacle of people running and playing in the feature. The final leg down to the get-out at Embrun consisted of more fun wave trains, a slightly more technical run beside some cliffs and the Enbrun Wave – a smaller version of its big-brother at the Rab. We egressed at Embrun and finished another fantastic day…what a great place.

More photographs……