Rio Cinca (From Bielsa)
|Stretch:||Bielsa to Third Bridge|
|Difficulty:||Class III (IV+)|
|Flows:||No gauge. ~700-?,000 cfs|
|Gradient:||116 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Town of Bielsa|
|Take-out:||Third Bridge on A-138|
|Shuttle:||4.8 km, 5 minutes one way|
|Season:||Spring from snowmelt and rain|
|Featured in A Wet State #139|
Pyrenees 2018 - Day 8 Afternoon:
After finishing the Barrosa, we figured we might as well continue downriver. The run was reported to be class IV so we thought it would be fun. Man, the guidebook really is sorta all over the place. Some class IV (Brousset) has some spicey drops in it. The IV on the Borrosa was super continuous rapids. However, this run was more like continuous class III. Other than the first and last rapid that is. And we didnít know anything about that.
Under the first bridge just below put in is a super spicey drop. If I were to do it again, I would scout it thoroughly. But several stepping holes were bigger than anticipated and hid the danger at the bottom. The danger was the final ledge. Harry went far right and felt it ugly. I went down the middle hugging the piller, which was clean but dropped through a meaty walled in hole. Diane ended up where Harry went and nearly pinned upside down. Gave me a good scare. There was a clean looking ledge on the far left, but we didnít see it until after. I am also not sure what it would be like to get there. I am really uncertain where the normal line is for this rapid. As it was, I would say it borders on class V. Downstream, just near take-out is another bridge. Here is a fun class IV rapid that s-turns through some ramps and soft holes. A nice drop. We took out not far below. There is a weir below it. Then quickly another road bridge. Below that road bridge the river drops off the face of the earth in a super impressive fashion. From the road above you can tell it is big. We had time so we drove down to the bridge at the exit and were impressed with just how big the final drop was, it really put perspective into the rest of it!
That night we returned to our campground on the lower Ara. Overall, the Cinca was worth doing as an extension of the Barrosa. And if the Barrosa is running, so will the Cinca. Apparently due to dams, the Cinca doesnít often have water. But as stand alone, the run was short, and the first bridge rapid was just so messy, I wouldnít go out of your way to do the section.
Previous: Pyrenees 2018 - Day 8 Morning: Barrosa
Next: Pyrenees 2018 - Day 9: Ara (Broto to Fiscal)
- Bridge #1 (V-). OK, so maybe it is because this rapid snuck up on us, and I felt it had several really dangerous spots in its exit, but maybe that was the blind nature of it and maybe it isnít V-. But yea, this rapid got me going. The entrance was a good size hole which led to another. This one then fed you under the bridge. Harry and Diane went right into a pin-y spot and I went left into a double drop against the bridge post. Mine was better. But neither were great. I think there was a line on far river left but we didnít see the lead in to see if you could get there.
Boogie (III). Pretty straight forward boogie. Nothing more than class III but pretty continuous.
- Bridge #2 (IV-). Under the next bridge was a fun rapid. We boofed in on the right and then joined the main current for a mellow s-turn.
- Weir (U). Maybe it is more doable at lower flow. Or portagable. But we took out above it. The next bridge is the must get out spot as the river drops off the face of the earth not far downstream.
Take-out: So, I am sure there are better places to take-out. There was a turnout just at the bridge, but that requires getting around the weir. We used a turnout and climbed up a steep slope that was 4.2 km downstream of Bielsa. The bridge is another 0.6 km. Below that bridge, the river looks good (IV to V) for a few hundred yards before it falls off the face of the earth.
Put-in: OK, so we didnít actually put-in here, we just continued down from Barrosa. So I am not 100% sure of where the access is. But it is in the town of Bielsa, some 32 km North of the city of Ainsa.
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