Dates: 24 June - 01 July 2017
22 - 29 July 2017
12 - 19 August 2017
09 - 16 September 2017
Summer is a special and colourful time in Austria. Flowers hang from balconies of houses and traditional farm houses known as Hof, high alpine meadows bloom and the ringing of cow bells set in some of the most scenic and dramatic mountains in the world is just another highlight!
It is a special time to be in the Alps and in the height of Summer all our major rivers are in great condition with optimum river levels and with long days of glorious sunshine there is no place we would rather be.
This is Classic Austria..
Austria is renowned for its skiing with some of the worlds best and most prestigious ski resorts. However, it is not just the backdrop that makes these resorts so famous but the snow that regularly falls throughout the Winter. For kayakers this is just what we want to hear, as all this snow has to head down to the valley which feeds the higher Alpine rivers and in turn feeds the River Inn the main tributary of the Danube further east and the biggest volume of whitewater the whole of the Alps has to offer!! Let us also not forget the 6 or so glaciers that help to keep the river and sections at their optimum levels throughout the Summer.
The Region: We are based in the Arlberg Region situated in the west of Austria. It is just 100km to the west of Innsbruck. The village of St Anton am Arlberg lays at 1300m above sea level giving us unbelievable views, clear skies, warm days of anywhere between 22-30 degrees and of course a cool climate to sleep at night! We are just one hours drive from the borders of Germany and Switzerland and we are perfectly located for rivers such as the Inn, Oetz, Trisanna and Sanna!
The Rivers: Our home river is the Rosanna which is an Alpine classic. It is quite fast and will certainly keep you on your toes with its continuous nature. Slightly further downstream is the Sanna, a world renowned Alpine River that is the basis of all our courses from Class III upwards. The Sanna is the shortest river in the Alps at just 7km in length, it is also one of the last few remaining free flowing rivers in the Austrian Alps! The Inn provides us with various sections of whitewater that also happen to be in 2 different countries! The Swiss Inn is absolutely stunning, a medium volume river set in landscape that can rival Patagonia. This is the Romansch speaking part of Switzerland called the Engadine. In Romansch Engadine translate as the Garden of the Inn and for us it holds one of the best class IV sections of whitewater on the planet - the Giarsun Gorge! We have kayaked in many places around the world and the Giarsun is what we compare rivers to, it is such a sweet piece of whitewater in a stunning gorge! Downstream is the Ardez Gorge - a great place to train for the Peruvian style of kayaking and below the Ardez is the Schuls Gorge. Another great section but more pool drop in character compared to the section above. The Martina section takes us close to the border and is a nice little paddle if everything else is too big!
The Austrian Inn takes on a whole different character. There are many tributaries adding water into the Inn. The Toesens Gorge is a good introduction into Big Volume kayaking with pool drop rapids and very forgiving lines. By the time the Inn reaches Prutz the Kaunertal Glacier is helping to add to the volume. After Prutz there is the Inn Shoot, a 15 minute roller coaster Class V ride where the Inn is squeezed through a tight gorge. Even if you do not want to kayak this section, it is right next to the road and makes for a great walk and scout! Directly after the Inn Shoot is the Landeck Gorge. A Class IV river with some BIG and Bouncy waves and rapids to kayak through. This is as close as you can get to kayaking like in the Himalayas in Europe! The Landeck Gorge finishes at the confluence of the Sanna and if the adrenaline is still in then another run is well worth it! The last whitewater section of the Inn is the Imst Gorge, a BIG volume Class III run that has been fed by numerous glaciers and tributaries will get the confidence flowing and the feeling of wanting more.
The River Oetz flows into the Imst Gorge and of course is the home of the Sickline World Extreme Kayaking Championships. The Oetz Valley is a great place to kayak during the week when we have previously gotten used to Alpine and Big Volume rivers on other rivers. There are various sections of the Oetz and the Lower Oetz is where we would start our acquaintance of this thunderous river. Further up the valley are some sweet sections of Class IV+ and if after kayaking the other rivers and sections we all feel happy then the Upper Oetz and the Lower Venter Ache are also worth kayaking with the right levels!!
As mentioned above, Germany is just an hours drive from our base and right on the border is the jewel in the German Alps crown - the Loisach. The Loisach is one of Germany's most beloved and paddled rivers, it is technical and has a very continuous feel. Surrounded by trees it gives a feeling of isolation but in fact there is a road just close by. We have to drive over a mountain pass to reach Bavaria and the scenery is outstanding. The Upper Loisach is situated in Austria and the main section in Germany!
Where else can you kayak in 3 different countries on some fabulous whitewater set in incredible scenery in just one week?
Coaches / Guides
All of our Instructors/Coaches are fully qualified through British Canoeing and have a wealth of experience teaching kayaking not just in Austria and the German speaking Alps but all over the world. We know the German speaking Alps extremely well 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 Kayaking 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!
Accommodation and Food
There is no need to rough it on any of our trips. We use some niche local bed and breakfast accommodation, where you will be made to feel welcome enabling you to relax and get a goods night sleep after a great day of kayaking. Just follow this link for more information and photos about our accommodation.
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!
Our ratio for class III-IV white-water 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 Groups - If you have a group with different abilities we can offer two separate Classic Austria trips, enabling everyone to kayak different grades of whitewater and still chill out all together in the evening!
No date to suit your plans, holidays or needs?
Just drop us an email or give us a call. We are pretty flexible here at the Kayak School giving you the best opportunity to kayak some lesser known classics at the right water level!