With this philosophy in my mind I headed to Åre with Jari and Sanna, where local kayak club Årekanotisterna (Lars Larsson acting as a master of seremonies) held a meeting on 16.-18. of September at Åre Camping for all whitewater fans, covering all classes of whitewater. We took an epic drive of total 17 hours from Finland, but it was totally, totally worth it!
|Organizers decorating the festival tent.|
At each morning we were divided into groups where we had signed in beforehand, and on Friday I eagerly wanted to join to Handölan team: I had once seen a part of those beautiful slides and definitely wanted to see if I was up to it! A group of four paddlers, Marcus Junkka as "Vägvisaren", Fred Milne, Håkan Andersson and I packed into cars and off we went to see the delights.
Put-in , just carry to the river
Take-out, just remember to take out before the gigantic slide...
A true class five run, short but powerful. Lack of self- confidence? May be just a lack of true class five experiences: I took a bit of carnage at a slide, which wasn`t even close to those hard one`s here.
|First warm-up. Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|Third rapid, the end of it...nice line to go in. Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|Not so nice to capsize and have a swim, though. Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|The monster slide above can be seen here. Doable, said Marcus, but not this time...Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|Fred Milner styling it in the double drop. Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|And more good lines. This one is called "Väggen". Photo: Marcus Junkka|
Put-in, the walk-in side (if you can get the bom open, then from the other side of the river) Luckily we managed to get the bom open.
Take-out, naturally above skrjaekfossen...
On Saturday I didn´t feel confident to enter Forra, which was in a somewhat perfect flow of 13 cumecs, but instead I wanted to test my confidence at a river called Skrjaek, which lies nearby a village called Vuku in Norway. Marcus Junkka again showed how it`s done and with a group of nine kayakers it was a fast trip down. Two portage falls, otherwise class 4-/4, a perfect place to be in a multinational group and have fun! Not so many pictures here, no time to get your camera out ; ) Flow in the river was 20 cumecs, gauge can be seen from here. It has been paddled at 25 cumecs, and I think it can hold a fair amount of water. In the area itself has many more rivers like Inna, Helgåa and Kvarna, being paddled by hardcore swedish kayakers. Definitely a place to visit in the future!
|Marcus getting ready to nail the boof. Photo: Erik Garmo|
Put-in and Take-out
On Sunday I felt like wanting to scout the Ristafallet properly. Håkan, Marcus Sandqvist, Marcus Thörn and Fred (and Marcus J. as a responsible father to do some photographing this time) went to search possibilities to go down in a good line. Well, Fred had done this already on Friday, and also Marcus S. and Marcus J. had ran it before. Watching the line from the left side rocks it seemed ok. In the end of this clip you can see Fred doing two different lines in this one. Despite the carnage before I felt good about this one, and after careful scouting I personally had an epic experience of sitting in the last eddy. Hard to describe.
|Keeping the line...Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|...and learning to Tuck! What an experience! Photo: Marcus Junkka|
|Marcus Sandqvist nailing it in a proper way. Photo: Marcus Junkka|