By Flo Fischer
Photos by: Helga Lehner, Nils Dippon, Benni Pfeifer and Flo Fischer
Sometime in late 2012 Nils Dippon, Benni Pfeifer and myself decided to go on a trip to the southern part of that well-known kayak paradise: Norway. Most people who are visiting Norway with their white water kayak head to Voss, Rauma or Sjoa because in the main season the southern regions are running out of water. So we started early this year to catch some of the insane rivers in the south. So on May 18th we packed our car and started our long journey from Munich to the north. It was an exhausting and long drive until we reached our ferry in Hirtshals, Denmark.
No – this isn’t a car advertisement (car zipping along an empty road), it is the Perfect start for the trip!
It took us just four hours on the boat to reach Europe’s white water paradise. Reaching Norway we were a little sad to see it was raining like hell and we were just prayed that it would stop soon. Luckily, as we woke up the next morning, we found blue sky, sun and not a single cloud in the sky.
It took us another hour in the car until we reached our first river, called the Skogsgåa. The water was pretty high, so we decided to run the lower part below the big drop. However, the drop looked pretty cool. So we ran the almost vertical 40-foot slide as a warm up!
As we got up late that day and spent a lot of time, taking photos and videos, we left our boats at the drop and searched for a place to stay the night. We were so stoked to be right there in Norway with the sun in the sky and huge water levels.
The next morning we woke up with the same beautiful weather – bright sun and 23°C. The lower part of the Skogsgåa started pretty easy with a few big waves and huge holes until you see the bridge at the take-out. We then returned upstream to find more filming areas and we ended up scouting countless huge holes and insane places for video shots.
The following day’s weather wasn’t as lucky for us. We had scouted the Homerun at the Mår, the Gøyst, the Husevollelvi and finally the Austbygdåi. However, a lot of rain in the past week had brought way too much water. So we decided to make some park ‘n’ huck on the Spånemfossen on the Upper Austbydåi with some English guys we met at the Homerun.
Some good friends told us to go over to Voss; where there should be perfect water levels. So we decided to leave and drove over, where we fully expected to get back into our boats. In Voss, we had much better luck with the water levels and found some nice park ‘n’ hucks, as well as some excellent runnable rivers.
The 30-footer at Jordalselvi took us many long hours to get video shots and photos from different perspectives. Money drop was huge and the lower section of the Strondelvi as well! Finally we found some small rivers, which have been pretty insane with a bit more water. We paddle the Steinelvi, Brandsetelvi, Urdlandselvi and a small-unknown tributary to the upper Strondelvi.
With just a few days of our two-week trip left, we were very fortunate to find the double drop at Teigdalselvi running at a perfect water level, as we had been scouting the falls for a few days beforehand. The bad news for us is that it started to rain, so it was difficult to take photos and videos but it is an insane drop which you cannot find a second time.
On the long way back home we decided to take another stop at the Mår and Nils decided he was going to get himself on the big water run over the five waterfalls of the Homerun. It looked a bit scary but he made it! A perfect trip was over and we had to go back home, to continue our studies. Next year Norway? For sure!
Check out their short movie:
Norway is famous for its fjords, two of which, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Sognefjord, the longest of them all, and the Hardangerfjord, famed for its cherry and apple trees, are among the most visited.
The Northern lights are a common natural phenomenon in Northern Norway, and are most commonly observed above the Arctic Circle between late autumn and early spring.
The sun does not set in summer over the Arctic Circle, meaning visitors to Northern Norway enjoy 24 hours of daylight this time of year.
More information about kayaking in Norway: Norway – The Whitewater Guide by Jens Klatt and Olaf Obsommer (both German and English in one book).