An early flight, heading South to the Alps meant that my Winter season was all but over. Arriving in Munich early doors, I headed overland to Nussdorf, where Olaf and Manuel were waiting to go. It appears to be the normal first day of the season induction for myself, fishing out the tight dry gear, pulling apart the latex seals and wondering where all my equipment is before we head off. I go through the same gear inspection at the putin, wondering whether its all there, amongst the personal confusion there is fevered talk of Winter fun or Spring plans.
The water was cold, freshly melted snow from the Northern front range of the Alps. As I snap on my bone dry deck, I think I am going to dislocate my thumbs before I even take a stroke. On the water, its everyone’s first day of the season, I witness all, trying to make the slightest move, eddying out be hide a ripple, surf the smallest wave you have ever seen, its like the warming up before a grand rooster conversion! Into the gorge we go, from the stalled start, its like lemmings into the breach, one by one, into the Kulm they go. Its madness abound, like a rolling competition, I look upstream and down, everyone is head ruddering the gorge, I cant stop laughing, especially as I am the only one still upright, and what is even better, I am with all the locals. The river is relatively high, no stoppers as such, just a flume of fun, waves bouncing of the canyon walls, confusing water and confused paddlers. This is a great first rapid!!
Out into the sun we appear, all smiles and laughter, the next few kilometres its flat, just more of that rooster strutting is going on, me included. I must remember how to paddle quick sharp, so I busy myself with any move that gets the rotation and edge to edge transitions going, I’ll S move anything.
Next up, an entry boof, that see half the crowd surfin it up and some prompt scrabbling for the throw bags. It worked out good, just those first day nerves going for a little jangle. Again more S moves and little boofs, oh what fun, back at school enjoying the river. With every passing gorge, the sun bathes us in its warm glow. I can feel the Winter chill weather away with every second of warmth, mmmmmarvelous.
The next gorge, brings the sport, a deeper canyon with more powerful moves, a few slides and clean moves to do, ahh the source. To accessing that energy from the river to push the boat beyond the traditional lines, certainly gets myself fired up for the season. To have this feeling in the first day is always great, and to nail a few dynamic moves you see and have a few unstable moments keeps the passion alive and the mind sharp. Hello paddling season 2008.
What else can be said about the first day of the season, your body is near immobile, your gear is unstretched from its lack of use and your mind is awash with the excitement of a new season fresh from its Winter slumber. What enjoy.
After a week in the Northern front range of the Alps, Satu and myself headed to Trnovo in the Soča Valley. As we arrived on a clear night, a full moon lit the snow up on Crn. This is the view from my house.
As with most Spring days, Winter battles it out to hold on, thus most of the best skiing is at this time, powder dumps, bring great mornings on the mountain. Here is team Bovec running down to the B station, way off piste on a fabled powder day.
Here is Trnovo on an early Spring day, looking South towards Crn
My house in Trnovo is nearing completion, and will be ready for the D4DR WW training course this June, so if you drive through Trnovo, my is the new orange house. The windows need cleaning, but hey its warm and 200m from the Slalom course taken out, which is quite nice.