5 Ladies, 1 guy, 7 days, 8 rivers, 2 guides! A most Excellent adventure!
We have just finished a most excellent week of river guiding and coaching in Norway. Our trip started in Sjoa and ended in Voss, the paddling varying from big volume Sjoa, to low volume steep-creeking on the Branseth in Voss. This year we gave evening critique with video feedback and during the week everyone progressed fantastically. The trip is a mix of holiday and coaching as we believe in having a good time and learning on the way. Check out the trip brief and some images in the full story below!
DAY 1 - Sjoa river, Sjoa Normal, (play section)
After driving over from Bergen the team moved into a plush cabin in Sjoa Camping. This would be the base camp for the next 3 days whilst tasting the waters of the Sjoa area.
On day 1 we choose the Sjoa Normal, play -run as a warm up. Flows had been high all round so we thought it wise to polish up on some big volume technique get everyone into the groove. The Sjoa is a great river to base on as it offers so many section from mellow class 2-3 to bed-rock class 4-5. The 'Normal' Section at high flow offers great surf waves and long sections of scattered waves and holes. Straight from the Uk the guys found this pretty pushy, the usual UK paddling (all arms and elbows) technique leading to tired arms - Something to work on throughout the week!
DAY 2 - Driva River - Rafting section
Having scouted the Section a few days earlier we headed up to the rafting section of the Driva. This is a great pool drop river with all sorts of rapids, some long, some short and steep! At 1.5 on the gauge this was perfect for boat control coaching, lots of eddies, ledges and boofs. For a relaxing day we loaded lunch in our Burns and set off for a 5 hour river trip, lots of video, photos and few swims.
DAY 3 - Lora River
After fine tuning boat control and some eddy catching control it was up to the Lora for a day of action. The Lora give you a low - medium volume semi-creek run. Starting with some class 2 and ending in a lovely few km's of bedrock canyon.
The team were not looking convinced after a few km's of rocky face slapping, but as we rounded a corner and caught up a Gene-17 trip their eyes began to bulge! Simon Westgarth's crew were a perfect demo for the first major rapid, showing a variation of lines. Our crew we nervous, but although we say so our selves they excelled showing great edge transition and control down the 3 meter slide rapid!
DAY 4 - Ula river and Slides
For a change of character we headed up the the Ula to tackle some drops and slides! The Ula has the famous slides and the Ula Falls at the take-out, but the river above also offers some cool drops and slides to warm up. By the time we reached the slides everyone was fired up, but there were some worried faces when we reached the to top of the real slides and the world disappeared below at a great rate. After a quick demo of how forgiving the slides were everyone tired the first one, sliding down and round the corner to the pool above the second. The second slide was a little more complex with an entry move, a big buffer hole and a exit rapid right above a portage! Most everyone styled the line with Allan having a slight time-out in the buffer hole until reached and dragged out by myself. All satisfied we headed downstream but left the Ula falls for next years trip!
DAY 5 - Branseth race course
After a evening drive back to Voss and up to the very cushy Bavallen Cabins it was time to sample the delights of the Branseth elve!
This is the sight of the Extreme Week Kayak Race, slides, drops and crystal clear water. The crew we feeling pretty tired so the Bran seemed like the perfect run, this section is only 1 minute 45 long, so haw much energy could you possibly need!
About 4 hours later we loaded the cars and set off home! Every line had been tested and all competitors had hucked their meat of the 7 meter falls! Everyone survived and are all fired up to enter the X Week Branseth race next year. We explained that this year there were only 3 ladies competitors, so they are very excited!!
DAY 6 - Raundals elve - Urdland section - (play-run)
With promises of hot subs and sauna we headed of on a rainy day to the Raundal. The Urdland Section was at a perfect play level, crystal clear as every and by the time we reached the put-in the sun came out from behind its cloud.
The crew remembered all the 'big volume' training as we made them lead the river. On every rapid we hung around so if anyone needed to 'phone a friend' for advice on the next line we would be at hand. The Urdland Play wave was on top form and everyone had a good surf before heading to the main falls a few hundred meters below. At the falls the anti was upped; Beth and Christine stepped up to the plate and boofed the hell out if it!
DAY 7 - Stranda Elve - Rafting Section
After a long night on the Gin in the hot tubs our last day saw us on the Stranda elve. This is the under rated raft section just 10 minutes drive from Voss and the scene of all the mighty raft trips of Voss Rafting Senter.
The Stranda offers all sorts again, with long rapids and short-sharp drops. Our crew were feeling the gin (although they said they were just tired) but they all paddled like Deva's!
So at the end of a great week in Norway we had run 8 different rivers all with very different character, everyone had overcome their fears at some point and paddled some of the best water of their lives and all were sent home in need of R&R
Our trip in Norway was a very casual affair with the guys basically hiring us at in-country river guides - We organized the accommodation, daily schedule and safety, they organized everything else. If the future this may well appear as an organized tour under our name so look out for more info on this site. We believe in quality trips, holidays with a difference, full time attention to detail and making sure our teams go home satisfied and tired having had a great time and pushed their personal limits to the max in safe hands!
We would like to thanks our Team this year, Beth, Susan, Christine, Caz, Karen and Alan for a most excellent adventure!
For more info if you fancy being on a trip like this drop us a line from the contact page HERE