Sunday, July 20, 2008

Austrian Alps

We're just back from a week in the Austrian Alps. Kev, Cheryl and I headed out to Stefan's house in Southern Germany. From there we made plenty of day trips out whilst we sheltered from the torrential rain. We paddled many lesser known classics in the region, mostly in beautiful steep sheer walled Bavarian gorges.
Highlights were the Brandenberger, Lammer and Salzach gorges. In places these fully enclosed and roofed by chockstones!

Kev in contemplative mood.

The Brandenburger had handy inspection walkways and bridges throughout the most difficult gorges, which came in very handy. We made a highish water run, and a repeat the following day!. Locals run the whole river in an hour or so after work, it took us about 4 hours!!!
When the rains finally stopped, we headed out to Landeck for some of the classic Austrian runs., the Imst Gorge, Sanna, Landeck Gorge, Lower Oetz.
I had visited the area about 10 years before, and was amazed at the runs that we had paddled back then... They are still really good classic alpine runs... We had more water this time, certainly, and this made river choice very important. Many of the runs in the area were too high, due to more rain! and it made the decision easy to stay in a nice guesthouse in Oetz rather than rough it camping!

Hiking up to inspect the Wellerbrucke on the Middle Oetz. Very scarey and steep!

Thanks to Stefan for putting us up, at his lovely place, and for BBQing so well!

UK boating and biking

When the weather gets drier in the UK, we still have a few options available for weekend fun. As well as the Tryweryn, there are at least two more artifical courses which are worth paddling at. Holme Pierrepoint is the oldest artifical site in the UK, but continuos tweaking means that the features are still suitable for pulling off all the latest moves (or at least those we can do). You do have to keep an eye out for rafts and nasty pointy slalom boaters.

Teeside is a bit further away, and dependant on the tides, but again worth heading too when all the rivers are too low. It has an exceedingly sticky final drop, making for some very entertaining viewing.

Failing that, we have some great local biking right from our door.... Up to the Ercall and Wrekin.

We've even been known to take a weekend off now and then......