Alps Blog/Diary

Everything and anything on NUIGKC trips to the Alps
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johns86
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Alps Blog/Diary

Postby johns86 » Thu May 15, 2014 5:43 pm

So I know that this year the college wants us to do a blog type thing. I think it would be pretty cool as well. I'm happy to do some of them over there, and I'm sure others will want to do a few as well. I'd say it will be good fun, and will be great to read back over in a few months/years.

My questions is:

Where will we do it? Does the sports office want to publish a daily paragraph to their website? Or will we set up a blog page? We could also use the forum here, or a facebook page.
Thoughts?
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby Simon » Thu May 15, 2014 7:58 pm

I think a blog page is probably the best idea, but of course the colleges opinion is relevant
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby Aran K » Fri May 16, 2014 12:46 pm

If we set up a blog the college can take our articles and publish them where ever. Probably the easiest way. I think Kathy just wants something and some nice photos/videos so a blog would let us do that too
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby johns86 » Fri May 16, 2014 2:29 pm

Ok I'm gonna set up a blog for this. Figured I might as well.

Will email around the login details.
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby johns86 » Fri May 16, 2014 3:22 pm

Ok....so

Here is the blog link for the alps. It will be updated regularly over the trip we hope.

http://nuigkayakclub.wordpress.com/
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby johns86 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:39 pm

Here is the text from the blog site (the timeline starts at the end, as it does with the blog). Just in case it gets replaced next year... By the way, whoever is doing future blogs should just add to the existing one, not remove old posts. :)

Final Days
June 18, 2014

The polo match on Friday night provided the campsite with some entertainment and an excuse to cheer on Ireland against the Germans. About half the group (almost all non polo players) played in the match and the other half sang and cheered. After a vicious match and an uncharacteristic win at polo we had a lovely BBQ and sang songs around a fire until the wee hours of the morning.

The following morning The Daves Roisin and Shane got up paddled the Durance Gorge section while the rest of us explored a castle that over looks the campsite we stayed in. The Durance Gorge is an 8km grade 4 gorge run with huge, steep cliff walls making it a very committing and isolating run even though it runs almost along the road. Feeling well rested and after hearing how good the river and views were from the first group to run it Andrew, Aisling, Eoghan, Ciaran, Roisin and myself headed out on Sunday afternoon to do it again. The run was a highlight of the trip for many with good lines and nice weather making it a great day for everyone!

With only one day left of paddling before heading back to Milan the whole group headed up to the upper section on the Guil river on Monday morning. A beautiful grade 3 run with some gorges and some more continuous rapids the river was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and was an amazing way to end the trip. After the run we had our last riverside lunch and watched team Pyranha (lead by Andrew) drop into Chateau Queyras and Guardian Angle Gorges on the Guil. While no one else from our group ran them this year they were added to quite a few to do lists!

With the van packed and on its way home by early afternoon Tuesday the rest of us set off on the long drive back to Milan. We spent the evening strolling around and enjoying our last Italian pizza and pasta before squeezing 7 of us into a 5 person room in a tiny hostel near Linante. An uneventful return journey had us arrive home to a sunny day in Dublin and time to say good bye as we head off to different corners of the country.

A massive thank you to John, Eamonn and Rory for driving the van around for us and Roisin and Jayne for driving the cars! Dave Piece and Shane it was great to have you guys around and paddling with us, thanks for coming along! A final thanks goes to Kathy and Ellen in NUIG sports office for helping to make this trip possible, we couldn’t have done it without your help.

With an amazing two weeks done and dusted theres only one thing left to do. Time to plan the next adventure!

Till next time,

Aran


Arrivederci Italy .. Bonjour France!!!
June 13, 2014

Day Seven started with a trip back to the Sermenza river for a quick run. The temperatures were rising as well as the water levels. The cold water and shade of the valley were very welcome in the heat. It was an high energy eventful run of the river with ‘the Daves’ tasting some humble pie and taking a dip in the icy cold water. It was an educational day on the river for all. After the river we loaded up the van and headed for France. The journey included some manic Italian motorways and a scenic drive high up into the Alps where we crossed the border into France.

Day Eight was an easy day, with everyone feeling tired from the previous days traveling. At lunch time we decided to visit local the slalom course to cool down and sample some of Frances fast moving water.

Day Nine we were back on track and rejuvenated from our relaxing day the day before. We started the day with a relaxing trip down the Lower Durance also known as the sunshine run. This was a big volume grade 3 run with some fun wave trains and beautiful scenery. We then had a bit of lunch, french style with baguettes and cheese then moved on to the next river. We chose the Onde river, continuous technical grade 3 offering challenging micro eddies.

Today we ran the Briancon gorge, it was grade 3+ intro to gorge paddling. After lunch we got our first taste of an Alpine thunder shower but our tents and tarps withstood the test.IMG_1576

We are now going to play a polo match against ze Germans at our campsite, I have my Irish flags at the ready.

Slán, Roisin


Stepping it up
June 9, 2014

Day four we headed upstream on the Mastellone tributary to a 20ft waterfall called the Landwasser. This is another incredible ‘park and huck’ drop into a deep clear Alpine water pool. We spent a few hours here before heading off to meet two more members of the group ‘the Daves’ (Higgins and Pierce) and have a late lunch. After that the Daves accompanied by Ciaran and Andrew hit the Alpine sprint for a quick “run” before dark.

Yesterday started right at the campsite, the group got on the Middle Sesia, a nice step up from the lower middle and lower sections of the river. The river was a series of holes and wave trains with one mandatory portage at Quare falls followed by some nice grade 4 rapids. Piode falls was the highlight of the run, a grade 4+ drop which according to the guide book is a portage for most. Andrew, Ciaran, Dave Pierce, Dave Higgins and Shane ran it and successfully made it down.

In the afternoon we headed back up towards the village of Rassa, where the Gronda meets the Sorba. Levels were a little higher than the day we had previously ran the Sorba Slides, thanks to the sunny weather. About half the group ran the Gronda which has a nice few drops with the best feature consisting of a curler wave onto a nice 5ft drop, and then ran a pushy Sorba Slides while the rest took a well deserved rest after many days of paddling.

Day six, we headed up to take a look at the River Egua and the top drop which two ran the ‘park and huck’ drop while some of the more experienced paddlers ran the river. After lunch on the side of the river everyone went back to the lower Sesia and the whole team made it down safely this time. Levels were a little higher today but another good days paddling!


Jayne
First 3 Days in Italy
June 6, 2014

So after a long bus journey and flight we arrived in Linate airport near Milan and rented two cars which were christened Bert and Ernie. We have two way radios which we use to chat with each other and the van (called the Mothership) during the long drives.

It was both Jayne and Roisin’s first time driving on the wrong side of the road so our drive through the center of Milan was interesting to say the least! Thankfully we all made it through in one piece although we enjoyed looking at (and not sampling!) the local economy!

Once we arrived at our base in Italy, Campertogno in the Valsessia valley we settled in for the evening, enjoyed some hand made Italian pizza and relaxed after a long day (or three) of travelling.

Day one of paddling started with a warm up on the lower middle section of the Sesia river. A lovely grade 2 stretch with some nice bits of grade 3 thrown in for good measure! It was a really nice way to kick off the trip and start to shake off the dust after everyone having spent the last few months off the water with exams getting in the way.

After the lower middle and a quick portage around a gorge we had a lovely lunch on the side of the river and continued on the Lower Sesia, also known as the raft run. Just above the normal get on for this run there’s a rapid known as Little Canada. At certain levels this rapid can push grade 4 but the level we had it was a really nice, pushy grade 3 and everyone in the group decided to fire it up!

Continuing downstream from Little Canada the Lower Sesia is a lovely grade 3 run, a few harder rapids but nothing too big. Unfortunately Simon took a nasty swim on a shallow section and ended up breaking his paddles on a rock. He also took a hit to the face and due to the injuries Simon will not be able to continue with the trip. We all wish him a safe flight home and a speedy recovery. Hopefully he’ll be all fixed up before graduation!

To kick off our second day of paddling we headed up to the classic Sorba Slides section. An amazing “park and huck” set of rapids that we lapped for a few hours before breaking for lunch.

After lunch we headed up to the Lower Sermenza. An amazing gorged in run that provided us with some beautiful scenery and perfect pool drop rapids! The first few km are really nice grade 3 and gave the whole group a great chance to practice their boofs!

Further down the river it starts to steepen and drops into a deep gorge with a number of grade 4 pool drop rapids. A few members of the group got off above this and the rest continued down and enjoyed some steeper water! No photos since bank access is difficult due to the sheer walls but footage will follow!

The rest of the group arrive tomorrow evening and we’re all looking forward to getting on some steeper rivers and drops over the next few days and enjoying the Italian sunshine and food!

We’ll update again in a few days!

Aran


Van is packed and on its way!
June 2, 2014

Above is the crew heading over this year minus Simon Gordon who is meeting us in Milan and David Higgins, Rory Arnott and Dave Pierce who are joining later in the trip.

Yesterday afternoon we kicked off the first NUIGKC Alps trip since 2010 with the van packing. We met at the shed and just about managed to fit in 12 creekers, everyone’s gear, camping and cooking equipment with room for a few playboats and one of our van drivers! Thankfully Eamonn decided the front seat was more comfortable so we pulled him back out before they set off. Image

So John and Eamonn arrived at the terminal this morning and are currently in transit to Cherbourg, the rest of us have to wait until Wednesday morning before we start our adventures! At the moment our plan is to head to Briancon in France when we arrive to do a few warm up runs before moving to either Italy or somewhere else in France after a few days.


Last preparations!
May 29, 2014

We are nearly ready to head off into adventure! The last details for the van have been tied up, and everyone is double checking they have all the necessary gear. The van will be packed in a couple of short days, and we (John and Eamonn) leave on Monday morning, bright and early with all the equipment and boats. The rest of the group will fly to Milan on Wednesday, hire cars, and meet us at the campsite. A final call has not yet been made if we are to go to France or Italy first. It all depends on weather and water levels. We hope to have regular updates whenever there is suitable WIFI, so do check back regularly!
Welcome!
May 16, 2014


Hello and welcome to the blog page for this years kayaking trip to the alps!

In just about 2 weeks the van will be packed and head off to the french, italian and slovenian alps, for 14 days of hopefully great paddling. The trip has plethora of aims, some of which include: skills improvement, confidence building for leading on whitewater, team building and research for future trips which plan to bring first year kayakers (this will rapidly speed up their learning curve, so increasing the quality of the club as a whole).

We plan to give updates regularly through this blog page, so check back regularly for more updates! The blog is designed not only to inform people back home what is happening, but also to document the trip for future years to look back on, and most importantly, build on.

Hope to see you back here regularly until the end of June!
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby johns86 » Mon May 11, 2015 11:24 am

Don't forget to update this to keep the college happy! Its cool to look back on after as well.
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby Roisin M » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:20 pm

Sweet lord jesus can we please replace the cover photo on this??

Great to read back on our past trips.
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Re: Alps Blog/Diary

Postby Aran K » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:18 pm

Who's has the login for this? Brad/Aoife maybe?
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