Archive for July, 2011


The Lower Chiusella, Italy

The Chuisella is up there in terms of world famous rivers- it being most noted for the site of the European Teva Mounatin Games. I’d been eyeing this river up for over 2 years and after we left the Soana we headed for its headwaters. On route to the Chiusella, I was a bit in awe, psyching myself up to run what would undoubtedly be one of the most challenging rivers I was likely to ever run.


Photo by Stylee Iley: Ewart as an angel, wings by Dan.

Upon arrivaal we saw that the river had little water in it and decided to wait to the next day to see if it came up at all. We spent the evening wild camping under tarp and making funny photos.


Photo: Dan Westaway on the lower Chiusella

After some rain, the river rose and we went to inspect. dan and I found places to scout 1/2 way down the run and were met with a thunderous amount of water falling over the drops. A quick phonecall to Westgarth confirmed our suspicions that we now had too much water to run the river and we opted for the lower section of the same river.

The river was full on from the get-go. Drops, boofs, flares, and PORTAGES. Pretty much continuous class 5. We managed 2.5 miles in about 5 hours- highlighting the amount of times we were getting out and scouting. Some lovely rapids tho and well worth a paddle.


Photo: Chris with a nice boof

A fantastic river; and we will return another time to paddle the upper section!


Photo: DJ Ewart playing some banging choons on the torch picture decks.


The Aosta Valley- The Soana

With the lack of rain in the Sesia Valley we decided to cut our losses and head over to the Aosta Valley. We had a a little poke around the tributaries to the Soana to see if there was much running but there were not many goods on offer, unfortunately.We cut our losses for the day and set up camp on the beach at the get out for the main run on the Soana.


Photo: Man (not) make fire!

It was so beautiful there, with the granite rocks amongst the lushious green valley backdrop. While Dan cooked rissoto, the guys made fire, or at least tried for 1 hour until the lighter became distinctly more appealing.


Photo: The Flaming Sambuca!

The following morning, we headed up to the power station get-in.  With every turn the river seemed to reveal a bit more of its true beauty.  There were several constrictions and plenty of spots to get some boofs in.


Photo: Andy on one of the nice drops


Photo: Ewart boofin’ away. Oh so colourful.


Photo: Dan with a nice boof.

There was one major rapid just before a dam. Andy ‘stylee’ Isley was the only person in our group to run it. Although the drop was actually okay (although defo a V), the drop afterwards was a mandatory portage at the levels we had, and if you screwed up the main drop, that hole was waiting to swallow you whole. Definitely a keeper.


Photo: Andy on the class V drop.

After this drop and the dam that followed, the river mellowed out slightly, but with some technical Class IV and V.


Photo: Dan on what turned out to be quite a technical drop.


Photo by Corkage: Stylee Iley …Hammer-Time!


Photo by Corkage: Me with a rail grab

A spectacular run indeed and I would highly recommend a day trip here  (or stay for longer like us) for a change from the Val Sesia usual runs.