French Alps 2019 paddling trip – Day 6b The Ubaye Racecourse by Ron Wood

French Alps 2019 paddling trip

Day 6b The Ubaye Racecourse by Ron Wood

After lunch we headed over to the racecourse section of the Ubaye, an exciting and technical river which today was a series of pretty constant grade 3-4 rapids.

Overnight rain must have churned up the silt turning it to a mushroom grey colour to give it an uninviting look and covered the rocks just enough to catch-out even the best of kayakers.

After a nervous wee and an eiree silence in the eddy under the bridge. Groups of 4 set off down the first drop in sight of the get in – John did a speedy self rescue, putting the rest of the groups at ease of not being the first swimmer of the day and helping to focus the mind on the task ahead.

The next victim of the grey mushroom soup was Sarah who had had a flash back to being back on the minibus and had fallen asleep. Another broken go-pro to add to her list!!

We took the rapids one at a time, regrouping at the bottom of each. Suddenly in front Helen seemed to succumb to river leaders curse. She had dropped sideways off a rock and ended lay flat on her back deck with her face grating against the hard river bed. Safe out of the water we realised her paddle was missing. Strong and hard as nails as usual and with a bleeding lip Helen was composed enough to indicate where her paddle was left. With luck after a few minutes it popped out and was quickly recovered by Nikki, and we were on our way again.

Stuart found some cracking lines at the infamous “sharks tooth”, running one rapid masquerading as a submarine and later on he managed to squeeze through a small gap between two rocks like ‘The Knight Bus’ on Harry Potter.

It was a long, but really enjoyable day and we finished off with food and drink at the café by the lake.

More photographs……….