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French Alps 2019 paddling trip – Day 13 L’Argentière-la-Bessée to Embrun 2019 by Stuart and Kurt Toulson

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French Alps 2019 paddling trip

Day 13 L’Argentière-la-Bessée to Embrun 2019 by Stuart and Kurt Toulson

We departed the campsite on what was to be the club’s penultimate trip in the Alps this Year at 10am.

Most departed from the beach, whilst a few carried up to the top of the slalom course, a great cure for a hangover!!

The weather was perfect for this long paddle, we had a steady head wind to keep us cool in the scorching sun.

This being the second week of the trip, everyone was working together well as a team. This would be tested later in the trip.

Rounding a gentle bend, we were astonished to whiteness Helen at full flight. With the speed of 1000 gazelles she caught her boat, just before it drifted off on its own!

The next incident occurred at the undercut cliff, the location of one of last week’s swims.

As we approached, I thought I spotted a kayak wedged in the undercut. As we neared the cliff face, I saw it was a folded raft wedged fast. Luckily the crew were safe downstream.

We made contact with the raft guide and offered our services. A line was attached to the stricken raft, from the other side of the river a large team of us (10) tried to free it. We needed to try the pull from 3 different directions but finally managed to free it using a direct pull. Once free its buoyancy fired it vertically up the cliff and out into the flow of the river where it was pendulum it into an eddy. A very relieved raft guide thanked us, but I think owing to an international salvage agreement the club is now owed a lot of beers!!

We next arrived at the slalom course; Kurt broke out into an Eddie just below the first wave right on top of a French play boater in his carbon craft. Many of the team surfed the top wave and did some posing for Martin with the camera.

After a relaxing lunch we set off again into the wind and started to ride the increasing wave trains.

The next obstacle was the Rabioux wave, all went through with no swimmers, great effort!!

A little while later Kurt was relaxing and enjoying the sun with his legs out of the boat. A few paddlers tried to unseat him without any success. Sarah finally laid the smack down. – “Swimmer”

A short while later we arrived at the get out in time for BBQ shopping and final evening on the campsite.

More photographs……….