Telemark and beyond 5


Our first week in Norway was not one short of gnarl. Both Nick and I were secretly hoping that, arriving in late May, the rivers of Telemark would be at low “tourist levels”. Not a chance…

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Nick Horwood running the Spanemfossen.

Our first day in Norway consisted of a warm-up run on the lower Maar followed by a park ‘n’ huck on the Spanemfossen. We decided it was best to get get used to used to the intimidating nature of Norwegian white water by running this “straight-forward” waterfall. However shortly after our run this “no-brainer” saw one German paddler to hospital with a broken nose and concussion leaving us to wonder how much luck or skill was actually involved.

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The next day, not yet satisfied we had fully adjusted to Norwegian creeking, we opted to run the Home-Run section of the Marr despite biblically high water levels. Fun it was!

Often when we are about to paddle a scary drop, or when getting changed in the wind, rain and hail; it is not uncommon to ask ourselves “Why? Why do we do it?”.

In the words of Sam Hughes, at the put in for the Numedalslaagen “It’s not because it’s fun. It’s because we are heros.”

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Nick Horwood longboarding in wellies.

While adjusting to big scary white water, it is important to take the time to engage in less scary activities. Whatever the weather.

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Trikking across the snowy montain pass is most exhilarating.

We did most of our boating, and shared the Home-Run camping spot, with Ted and Dom – both very pleasant chaps and talented boaters.

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Dom, Myself and Nick practicing our circus skills.

On Monday we paddled the upper Goyst. Possibly my favorite section of river in Telemark – loads of sweet technical drops and slides and everything goes! Our trip got off to a slow start when one of our party lost his boat in a cave behind the first drop (and first feature) we paddled. However an hour later, and after some cunning vertical cinching from the bridge above, we were on our way.

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Max Bilbow on Bums-Rush Falls, on the Goyst.

At the end of the upper Goyst Popo falls (bums rush falls) is possibly the most fun thing in Telemark. There are two main lines on the slide and, after several runs down it, I decided that this decision was fairly arbitrary. Dom even managed to find a controversial central line with comical (though thankfully painless) consequences. Video footage will soon follow!

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Now we are settled at Sjoa Adventure, running Amot Gorge at our “leisure” and preparing to train as raft guides. It was good to arrive an find Ed Cornfield and co truly enjoying the Norwegian boating lifestyle: sitting in the hut, watching movies, and tagging themselves in photos on Facebook!

That’s all for now. Turrah!

Photos by Nick Horwood


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