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.
This really is an "insiders guide" to some of the best early season whitewater runs the German speaking Alps has to offer.
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 creeking skills ready for the more challenging rivers during this week.
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 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!
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. The jewel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen's crown however is the River Loisach. A fun Class 3-4 technical continuous piece of whitewater with the feeling of being a long away from civilization. The Loisach will keep you on your toes. A short drive from Garmisch is the area of Karwendel, a protected area with some great options. The Rissbach is easy to access and a great paddle, especially the final box canyon and if the water levels are favourable it is possible to paddle the Duerrach. A very tight gorge with a distinct character that will keep asking you whether you are kayaking in the Alps or in a remote region somewhere in outside of Europe! It takes a bit of effort to walk in and lower ourselves down to the river on a rope but it is well worth it, the gorge is stunning and the whitewater is fantastic - a real highlight of the area.
We also have the possibility of heading further east along the spine of the Alps, infact 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 Ache was his answer. With various sections of whitewater from Class III 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 roaring Saalach river runs right through the town and gives us various sections to kayak before heading to the Salzkammergut.
Salzkammergut encompasses the states of Salzburg, Upper Austria and Styria. It is a renowned Spring kayaking destination with some fantastic rivers and sections such as the Lammeroefen set in a tight deep gorge, the Koppentraun is an Austrian classic on par with the Sanna but a grade harder and of course if the waterlevels are good then rivers such as the Gimbach and Weissenbach will put your creeking skills to the test on their slides, drops and waterfalls.
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 great way to chill out. Finally Austria's most kayaked waterfall is a park and huck festival not too far away!
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 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.
As we have said at the top of the page, 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 III - IV Road Trip you should be confident on class III upwards and have a strong roll. 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)
- 15 - 18 June 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.