French Alps 2018 paddling trip
Campsite to St Clements Slalom Course
19 paddlers set out from the campsite at 10:30 some with sore heads after a long night in Briancon. The first stretch of our journey to Embrum was relatively calm except from one incident involving Mark Benson being pinned up against a rock without his paddle; it took a very big effort from Keith to pull him free. We journeyed on to St Clements with only one swimmer who got caught in a wave after attempting to play in it. Once we reached the slalom course some stayed to play on the waves while others had a well deserved lunch break.
St Clements to Rabouix Wave
After we had our lunch we headed off for Rabouix Wave (Raby Wave). Along the way we came to a small cliff where Steve, Chris, Ollie & I (Charlie) jumped off, whilst John and Kieran seal launched off the cliff. At Raby Wave we stopped at an eddy just before it. Keith went down first to set up cover for us. At one point Steve went down before Keith signalled for him to come so he had to eddy out and wait for Keith to tell him to come down. Mike hit a rock before the wave but managed to roll up just in time to run Raby successfully. Nick, unintentionally hit the same rock that flipped mike over but somehow managed to survive after sitting on top of it for a few seconds. I followed Ollie down with my dad behind me videoing. I went slightly to the right of Ollie which stopped me from hitting him as he tried to roll up after a capsize on the Rab. We only had one swimmer and a few rollers on the Rabouix Wave.
Rab to Embrun
We left the Rab wave behind us and set off for Embrun. We had also left Charlie as well as he was off to play crazy Golf with his mum down at the get out at Embrun lake. Our final stretch of river contained a few very bouncy wave trains and a couple of rapids but nothing that posed any problems for intrepid group. The highlights of this last section were a triple roll from Dom just for the camera and John showing off so much with his paddle twirling that he decided to dispense with them altogether at one point. He nearly paid the price as he entered a wave sideways with nothing to aid him except his wit and good looks!
After we had a battled a headwind for a couple of hours we eventually reached the get out in Embrun. A quick refuelling at the Intermarche followed and then we made our way back to the campsite to hopefully fire up the traditional B-B-Q in the rain.