Recovery time in French paradise

After several weeks in quite scary levels in Val Sesia, paddling some of the hardest white water I had ever paddled, a lot of the French alps stuff that in the past had seemed a bit too much/scary was pretty chilled in comparison!

Of course that is in general, Dave and I had a scary paddle down the Middle Guil in pretty high flows, but we both survived with only a couple of portages and no swims! Otherwise everything else was relatively relaxed and I got to get on quite a few runs I hadn’t paddled before. We met up with Leeds University Club who were out there (and whom I’ll be joining in September once I go to Uni) and we paddled the Upper Ubaye, the Upper and Lower Guisane in much higher flows than I had before, the Durance Gorge, the Gyronde; which I had a very embarrassing flat water (grade 2 wave train whilst trying (failing) to do a wavewheel) swim on due to using someone else’s paddles, the Séveraisse, and the Souloise, as well as various other stretches of the Durance and Guil.

We also did a bit of Via Ferrata-ing on days off, which provided ample entertainment!










It was a very enjoyable part of the trip in which I got to meet lots of new people.

Leeds eventually left however, leaving me alone briefly before Aston University turned up, who I paddled with for a week or so. The levels by this point had become huge due to lots of sunshine and therefore snowmelt as well as substantial amounts of rain. This limited what was reasonable to get on, so we paddled bits of the Durance with freshers in tow most days, the Upper Upper Guil, and the Upper Guisane to try to avoid the scary levels.

After this I eventually decided it was time to head home as I was somewhat exhausted and needed a bit of down time!

The drive home on my own was hard work, but I successfully made it home without falling asleep at the wheel and eating only moderate amounts of crappy services food and energy drinks!

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