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Day 05 Tuesday: l’Argentière la Bessée to St Clements by Steve Hitchin

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2023 LCC Alpine Paddling Holiday

Day 05 Tuesday: l’Argentière la Bessée to St Clements by Steve Hitchin

For anyone who has never been on the LCC France holiday, this 19 km paddle may sound far, but it’s an absolute joy. Starting at the campsite, above the slalom course, if you so desire, this big wide river takes you through some beautiful Alpine views. The first grade 2 rapid is at the third bridge, just before La Roche-de-Rame. Here a number of rocks create a great place to practise breaking in and out of large eddies. The remains of a rocky weir caught out the flipper dipper but help was soon on hand to put him back into his craft.

The campsite slalom course with views of the surrounding mountains

Before long we come across the Glider airfield were a very active club sore the skies and use the thermals to stay aloft for hours. The route now sometimes needs careful navigation between the numerous islands and gravel banks. Watch out for the trees on the outside of many of the bends. The rapid at Eygliers has been changed radically by floods from last year but quarrying on the riverbank may have also played its part.

At the confluence with the Lower Guil there was only a small flow this day, maybe they were refilling the hydro scheme dam upstream after the morning’s peak generation of electricity.

Our Group enjoyed the journey from start to finish. With play waves and wave trains to entertain before reaching the destination at St Clements and another slalom course to play on. Great lower grade paddle for anyone wanting to find out what Alpine paddling is all about and gave many further confidence to tackle a possible grade 3 the next day. 

Lewis on the Slalom Course next to the campsite
Keith playing on a wave at St Clements

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