Fiume Dora Baltea (Pre-Saint Didier)
|Stretch:||From Champex to Morgex|
|Difficulty:||Class III to IV|
|Gradient:||147 fpm average|
|Put-in:||At the bridge over the river in Champex|
|Take-out:||At a rafting center and foot bridge at the upriver side of Morgex|
|Shuttle:||5 miles (10 minutes)|
|Season:||Spring from rain/snowmelt|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #92|
Piemonte / Ticino 2014: Day 5
I will keep this one brief. The plan for the day was the Ayasse. We had been told that if the gauge was reading between 25 and 35 cms it would be in. We showed up at 32 or so but found the river what we deemed too high for a group that had never done it. The first rapid had a huge boil and downstream was like a freight-train dropping over ledges and slides. So we diverted and went up the Aosta Valley proper to the Dora Baltea, as had heard this is a great class IV run.
The river was perhaps a smidge low, but still ok. The guidebook said this run should take 1.5 hours. We did it in the time it took our shuttle driver to drive to the bottom. Like a total of 20 minutes on the water. You can put in a little higher and apparently the rapids are a little harder… but we didn’t know that until after. As it was the rapids were class III but eddies were not present. One after the other adding up to an easy class IV feel at times. In hindsite the Dora Baltea Gorge probably would have been the better option…I just watched a friend’s video from this week in that section and it looks not too much harder but with nicer scenery. This section of river had numerous crossing and was near civilization and reminded you of it on most corners. But the mountains were huge around you still, which was nice.
A random thing to do if you find yourself anywhere on this river… drive up the road further to take a look at Mount Blanc. Just don’t enter the 40 Euro 25 km long tunnel into France unless you intend to!
- The only rapids that had individual characteristic came immediately below put-in. There was one with boulders that had an easy to see left to right move. The rest were just read and run boogie rapids.
Directions: Use the GPS locations to get yourself to put-in and take-out… below is just the extra little info you may need
Take-out: On the upriver side of town in Morgex, take the roundabout dropping down to the river, cross the train tracks and turn right towards the park and rafting center. Us the parking lot there.
Put-in is upriver in Champex. On the upriver side of town take the left turn that leads down to the river. It is easy to find.
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