French Alps 2018 paddling trip
Twenty-two intrepid LCC paddlers set off at the leisurely time of 10am to tackle the Upper Guisane. The Guisane is one of my favourite rivers and this was the second time we had paddled it in the past seven days. It is a pretty fast flowing river going through pine woodland and then eventually through the village of Le Casset.
We left a couple of less experienced paddlers lower down the river and split into four groups of five to do the first part. Our group had a fairly uneventful first part, but we passed Dom after about 200m and he seemed to have got out of his boat to check the hydraulics. The level was slightly lower than last week so there was a lot of avoiding or bouncing off rocks which did cause a few mishaps.
Forty minutes later we arrived at S-Bends and all got out of the river to prepare to tackle the rapid. Some of the group decided to walk around and so set off on the path. The rest of us then split into groups of three and Graham, Keith and Kirk positioned themselves at different points to provide some safety cover. I was in the first group with Helen and Keiran. As usual Helen set off like Tim Brabant hurtling down at top speed, Keiran and I tried to stick together. Unfortunately, Keiran`s faulty boat forced him to abandon ship halfway down, but he managed to get to the side [which incidentally is never more than 2m away] I managed to get his boat and sent it over to Hannah and Mike on the opposite side. Keiran was soon re-united with his boat and we set off down the river. Most of the rest of the group got back on here and we all continued paddling. A little further we picked up Sarah and Charlie and headed towards the village. There was a little bit of trouble at a tricky weir but when we were all back in our boats we carried on. I like the part through the village and always look out for a large globe on an outdoor shelf which I first spotted Four years ago.
After a few bouncy wave trains and a few small features, the river begins to level out just before the get out. We normally get out and sit on the grass in the sun, eating our lunches and waiting for Keith to do the bike shuttle. Unfortunately, there was a change in the weather so it wasn`t as nice as last week but it still didn`t spoil a day on one of my favourite rivers.