in Spring

Spring had barely sprung when we arrived in Valsesia, for what was and still is one of the best Steep Creeking Season’s in Piemonte and Ticino in living memory. The snow pack was massive, the local ski resort stayed open until late May, unheard of in the last 10 years. Hot days were rare, so no mega runoff, the sun brought pleasant mornings, and by lunch time the valley was clouded over with the on set of the heavy snow cover bringing prefect a mirco climate for easy conditions. What more can you ask for, 3 years or so of low water, all change for the new el nino phase.

What these prefect conditions also meant was we were to get on some of the rarely run rivers, places of legend and prefect paddling attraction. Check out the images below:

There is much to lament about this Italy season, new inform runs, classic conditions and prefect days. The six weeks I spent on the Spring Granite were near some of the best I have known. It was a shame my old charger had fallen away along the way, yet life is an ever changing experience, and for that I can be eternally happy. One small hickup, was the amount of unprepared groups out in Italy, all wishing for low water conditions and getting a slice of experience in the mountains verging on misadventure, serious stuff. One specific group of six managed to lose 5 paddles in a week and a boat, which was recovered by a local paddler, who lost his paddle during a live bait boat rescue, and alas the reward for the recovery of the original lost boat, minus one Werner paddle, was €50. The imbalance in karma is stark. Perhaps that is why in more popular venues around the world, local paddles keep what they find, as the gratitude is less than worth while. Now I am not saying, be a mercenary, but fair effort and genuine good will must go a long way.

Mid way through the Italy season, I was joined by a few paddlers from Palm, and that is another story…..


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