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Alpine Paddling – Upper Guisane 29/7/17

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Tom Beer on the Upper Guisane

Upstream from Briançon among the ski resorts of Serre Chevalier is a long run on generally easy water which may be too low early in the day. There is one long rapid, S-bend – which is harder (possible portage on the left) and has few break-outs, but is essentially a big bouncy boulder garden when the water is at a reasonable level.  We ran the river in four groups as there are few eddies or stopping places on this fast Alpine toboggan run.  Bertrand, a local French paddler asked to join us in the car park and he joined the first group.  From Lille, where there is a small artificial slalom course, he tried to get every eddy and mostly succeeded.

There was enough water in the river to make the run down through the town of Le Monêtier-les-Bains interesting and bouncy.  Next we came to the S-bends just before the village of Les Guibertes.   The level was lower than normal – there

 were several hard moves round boulders at the entry to the rapid which required a little concentration.  We ran the rapid and most picked out the right line (further right on entry) and had no mishaps.   We re-grouped at the raft get in at Le Freyssinet and continued on down through the small villages of the valley to meet the minibus at Chantemerle.

After lunch most retured to the campsite to paddle on the slalom course while a few paddled on down the Lower Guisane to the pre-positioned car.   Later that day the skies darkened and we were hit by a large thunder and lightening storm.  Pitch one had now had the new addition of a small swimming pool in the middle of it – bonus.

More Photos….

Graham Devaney on the Upper Guisane