The Spring is a great time to shake off the cobwebs of Winter and kayak some great rivers, a few of which are really off the beaten path and tucked away in some of the most stunning scenery in the Alps. It is a quiet time in the Alps and it seems as though the pace of life has not changed over the years.
Do not think that only Advanced kayakers can enjoy a road trip. There are some fantastic class II-III rivers here and it is the perfect way to gain more confidence and get some serious river miles under your kayak!
Bavaria is world renowned for its beer and of course the Oktoberfest that draws in millions of tourists to the city of Munich at the end of the Summer. The spring is an ideal time to visit Bavaria, the snowmelt starts early here and there are ample opportunities to work on your river running skills.
The Allgaeu is in the far south of Germany and it has the pre-Alpine lands steeped in farming tradition with plenty of cow bells chiming away. It is generally known as the gateway to the northern Alps. The main river here is the Iller and makes a great start to the week by getting used to the Alpine style of whitewater, with plenty of time in between the rapids to understand what we have just learned and of course to take in all the scenery.
The Kleinwalsertal Valley is actually in Austria but the only road access is via Germany, the Upper Breitach is a firm favourite of the local kayakers and quite a unique opportunity to paddle along the border of Germany and Austria. The Hinterstein and Ostrach Valley are also close by which holds the Ostrach Gorge, a 60m deep gorge with 10 pool drop rapids and not a person insight. It is the perfect end to a few ays of kayaking in this region.
Further east is the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a renowned ski area and the home of the Zugspitze at 2962m it is the highest mountain in Germany. Here we have rivers such as the Ammer -a classic class II - III run that is well known throughout the German speaking kayaking community. The Ammer gives you a feeling of being far away from civilisation set in the woods it is a great paddle. A short drive from Garmisch is the area of Karwendel, a protected area with some great options. The Upper Isar is close by and a great class II river, access is via a taxi or a walk in and again it gives you a great feeling of isolation, but with the knowledge the road is close by. If all goes well we can also use certain parts of the Rissbach to work on our kayaking technique.
We also have the possibility of heading further east along the spine of the Alps, in fact just east of Innsbruck is another sweet destination with fast, low volume rivers such as: Windauer and Kelchsauer Ache. However, it is the Brandenberger Ache which is the main attraction here. It is regarded as one of the classic whitewater rivers in the Alps and do not just take our word for it. Two time Sickline World Extreme Kayaking Champion Joe Morley was recently asked about his favourite river and the Brandenberger Achea was his answer. With various sections of whitewater from class II upwards when the levels are right, it is an absolute dream to kayak.
The above regions and destinations are not our only option. Not so well known outside of the German speaking kayaking community are the areas of Lofer, the Enns Valley and the region of Salzkammergut. Lofer is a market town in the Salzburg region of Austria. The roarding Saalach river runs through the town and gives us a couple sections to kayak before heading to the Salzkammergut.
Within a short drive is the Enns and Salza Valleys, our final regions and as far east as we head. The Enns has a bigger water feel, flowing through the Gesaeuse National Park it is surrounded by stunning scenery. The Salza is Austria's equivalent of the Soca in Slovenia and is a fantastic river to improve our technique and of course to paddle a beautiful river.
We have a huge selection of whitewater all in very different regions of the German speaking Alps with spring giving us the optimum levels for some of the lesser known but truly amazing rivers. We do not publish an itinerary but instead we look to kayak as much quality whitewater with great levels and of course with the least amount of sitting in a vehicle as possible. This really is an "insiders guide" to some of the best early season whitewater in the Alps!
Instructors / Coaches
All of our coaches / instructors are fully qualified through British Canoeing. They have a wealth of experience not only here in Austria but around the world. Our knowledge of the German speaking Alps is second to none and are positive that you will not only be blown away by the variety of rivers we will kayak, but just how much your kayaking will improve over the week.
For the class II - III Road Trip you should have some experience of kayaking class II and at least be trying to roll and if not waiting for a "T-Resque". We will be kayaking for around 4 - 5 hours a day, so though you do not need to be an Olympic Athlete you should have a certain amount of paddle fitness or stamina.
Our ratio for class II - III whitewater and upwards is 1:4. We will not take more than 6 clients on any of these trips and our trips are guaranteed to run with the minimum of 2 clients. This gives you plenty of whitewater action and the opportunity to improve your kayaking and move up a level.
Mixed ability group
If you have a group with different abilities we can combine both Kayak Road Trips in Austria enabling everyone to kayak different grades of whitewater and still chill out all together in the evening.
Accomodation & Food
There is no need to rough it on any our trips. We use some niche local bed and breakfast accomodation, where you will feel welcome, be able to relax and get a good night sleep after a great day of kayaking.
Lunch is a personal choice and we will stop at a local market and bakery so that we can re-fuel after our first run. For dinner you have the option of various restaurants close by or if you would like a halfboard option then just let us know when you get in touch.
Dates & Prices
We have courses planned on the following dates:
- 03 - 06 May 2018 (4 days)
No date to suite your plans? Just let us know through the contact form. We are pretty flexible here at the Kayak School giving you the best opportunity to see the region from a different perspective!
EUR 750 including bed and breakfast.