The last leg of the trip in Switzerland is now drawing to a close.
The last world cup course was in Muotathal which is situated
in yet another spectacular valley. The river course was about
12 minutes of intense waves, at some points like trying to paddle
in a washing machine. For a river that looks very uniform
when viewed down the straights, some experience with the
fast lines to take was a big advantage. The river was much
higher than when we had paddled it at the beginning of the trip,
but just as cold ! The classic was held on the Thursday and
then by Saturday the river was in flood for the sprint. We were
moved to probably the flattest ever world cup race, in a small
canal 20 minutes away. Being a bit more familiar with that type
of racing I was pleased to sneak in for my
best result of the tour.
I wouldn't recommend Muotathal as a first choice holiday destination
though. Every cow, sheep and goat has a bell and they ring the
church bells for prolonged periods at obscene hours of the day.
Drove us mad !
We then moved on to the last week in the south of Switzerland,
at a place called Scuol near St Moritz, for the
Swiss Nationals. The Inn River was a great course and a really
fun way to finish the tour. Once again the classic course was
about 12 minutes and finished with what has become customary,
a 'Race Wrecker' rapid at the end ! Most of these rivers
have a chunky section of white water that they use for Slalom
competition with good get-out and parking areas. The organisers
obviously want to include this and then they draw the
finish line straight afterwards. This means that you arrive at
this critical point rather the worse for wear and then
do your best to survive ! We had some good results this week with
a highlight being a win in the teams race.
The trip has been a great experience and I would recommend anyone
interested in this type of paddling to have a crack at it. You
see some amazing places from a quite different point of view
and it has been well worth it.
Travelling home now so will see many of you soon.
All the best.