Austria is a beautiful country but there some areas which a more beautiful. One of these areas is Ost-Tirol esp. the Defereggen valley. It is surrounded by the national park Hohe Tauern and offers some remote whitewater in a narrow gorge on the waterfall run as well as roadside runs on the standard and tunnel section.
After meeting up with Anton and Markus we headed to the put-in of the standard section to run it combined with the tunnel section. We had a juicy flow around 60 cm with some pretty holes and cool lines. None of us knew this section which makes a run always something special.
There was some wood in the creek, so we had to be on guard not to get in a nasty situation. The tunnel section starts with some rapids you can run by leapfrogging from one eddy to the next. When you can see the road-bridge you should stop for some scouting. In your desired line there is a tree sticking...then there are two other lines, one of them a chicken line, the other one in the main current. For the second choice you need to use a backwash to slow down for not crashing into the tree. That's the line we choose. I had a very smooth run and caught a cool entrance boof.
After that tricky part there's a fun slide and a couple of meters of easier whitewater before the creek picks up gradient again. We reached the key rapid, 300m of continuous grade IV+ whitewater (at this level). It seems the rapid is not too old. Most of the rocks are crumbly and sharp edged. A swim or roll would definitively have some bloody consequences. Nevertheless me and Anton decided to run it. Both of us caught a good line and managed the difficulties without having any troubles.
The day after the level dropped and we decided to run the waterfall section. It is a remote gorge with some really cool drops. We had a pretty low level but it was quiete a good run. After some bony first two kilometers the walls narrowed and it was time to scout the first drop. It's a absolute fun drop with a nasty backwash in the approach and an auto-boof table at the fall. Anton started, me and Markus. And then you're in...in the gorge. It is such a terrific piece of nature, unbelievable.
The second drop is a 20 footer with a nice cross current and a sticky eddy in the approach line. We ran the same order like the first drop but Anton had to run twice, because I messed up with Anton's camera and didn't shot his first run....second run double fun ;-)
After we finished up at Defereggenbach we wanted to do a quick afternoon run on Isel river. It a glacier sourced river which usually has high flows on summer afternoons...and yes we did have a high flow. Markus paddled the section once before, so we thought it would become a turbo mission. But after the first bends Markus confessed he couldn't remember one damn thing about this river :-o
It was a fun. Markus always told something about a left-right combination with massive holes...we're still looking for it. If anyone find's it give us a call. After all it was an awesome weekend with the guys. Here's a short edit Anton made. Enjoy!