Monday, July 03, 2006

The French Alps Day 1

Okay back on track! No really I swear. Its been a while since the last update. I kind of let it slide there. My fault.

Where was I... Oh yeah I was in France at the Lyon River Festival, but before the festival happened. I had a few days to be able to get away and paddle some in the French Alps.

David Arnaud, Creator of the Video In-Flux

I met up with David (Dah Veed) Arnaud and took off for the mountains. Its pretty amazing how the mountains just come out of nowhere there. Lyon is really down in the flat lands and you go through a fair bit of flats before you start getting close to Grenoble and then all of the sudden it all changes.

Church on the way up L'Onde

I love the bread in France. Notice the Bread Co. Year Started

The Alps are like Colorado but even bigger where we were. Maybe its just that we were further into the mountains on our way into the Briancon valley but it seemed to me that all the views were extremely large. One of the things that was really cool about the drive was driving over a route that is often part of the Tour de France. It was a super small road winding its way up and over a huge pass. I could see the bikers givin' it up there.

We ran into Raphael Thiebaut near the town of Briancon. Raphael is an incredible paddler who lives in the Alps with his family, and pushed his paddling on the creeks around the area. We checked a few options out and settled on an incredible run on the Onde river. We drove up above the popular run and put in on a tiny super steep technical run just below a big snow bridge over the river.

These Paddling Photos Were Taken By Raphael Thiebaut.

About 5 strokes and here you are

The landing from the first drop

L'Onde was pretty much like paddling moguls. One rapid lead right into another and the eddies weren't really eddies. Most of the time we just paddled ourselves on shore to stop. It was incredible paddling, super steep, with great moves, and fun boofs for a couple kilometers.

Thanks For the Photos Raph.

The photos and video speak the best about the rapids themselves to here is the video of: The Onde River in France, Click It

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