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French Alps 2018 paddling trip Day 8 The Upper Gyronde by Stephen Hitchen

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French Alps 2018 paddling trip

Day 8 The Upper Gyronde by Stephen Hitchen

Lunch over our intrepid LCC members put in just below the barrage at Vallouise. 16 this time, so four groups of four with a skilled leader in each. Group A-with Keith, B with Graham, C with John Cooke while the D’s had Kirk. This river is the opposite of the previous one. Not many eddies to hit and some tight rocky features. Hidden boulders meant the LCC paddlers needed Shakira hips to ride the boulder (singer who had great hip flicks while singing and sang about them Keith)

Even at the put in there were casualties. Hidden rocks and low water flipping two onto their sides. One bailed while one was righted by an LCC member jumping from the bank to affect a rescue after direction from Keith. What a brave soul. 😜

Paddlers now all in boats proceed down the grade 3 river. Fun features with small, fast wave trains kept us all busy. Plus a few scrapey bottoms.

A few swimmers along the way meant we had to find the sometimes hard to get eddy’s. But we all made it in one piece to the main feature on our part of the river. A technical feature at low water with a switch back entry followed by a fast shoot with a boulder at the bottom.

Even a river leader came to grief, but he was the first to run it.

With safety up and running the LCC paddlers made their way down, with a helping tug from Graham to point some in the right direction. The rock at the end of the shoot acted more like a brick wall for most. Some swimmers but on such a technical river that’s no surprise.

A few more drops took us to the get out and a well-earned rest best for heading for the Slalom course at the campsite for a few runs down.

More photographs……….