|Stretch:||Below Campo Ragozzi|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to V|
|Flows:||~100 to 300 cfs.|
|Gradient:||422 fpm average|
|Put-in:||At the bridge over the river near Campo Ragozzi|
|Take-out:||At a turnout along the river, just upstream of another highway crossing.|
|Shuttle:||1 mile (5 minutes)|
|Season:||Spring from rain/snowmelt|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #90 and in A Wet State's contribution to World Kayak's Video Guide|
Piemonte / Ticino 2014: Day 2
The Egua is perhaps the most famous creek in Piemonte. It is certainly the first I had heard of when I first learned of the whitewater in this region. Pictures and video of clean granite slides and falls all high up in the Alps. What is not love about this run?
The run starts off with a bang. You push off into one of the largest rapids of the run. 100 yards of class IV sliding creeking leads to a 20 foot tall drop that slides into a free fall. Really a great way to start a day off. To add to it, my parents stuck around after the family reunion a few days and came to the Alps with us. So as I flipped in the middle of the rapid and subsequentially ran the falls backwards… I got to hear the shrieks of my mother and the hoots of my father. I am sure they were worried for what may lay downstream! Luckily they were no longer present when I swam the take out falls, that certainly would have made them not support my decisions any further.
Just below the clean falls are two rapids that are worth a scout and perhaps a quick portage. These are steep and congested drops that are the dirtiest of the run. Some in our group ran them, others not. Below, the river gets clean and you are greeted with one clean bedrock rapid after another… I mean, look at the gradient… 422 feet per mile. Without any tea cups or huge drops… just steady slides ranging from easy and small to medium and complex!
Folks run this river down to very low flow… and class IV boater venture in here and take a few extra portages. I can imagine that at high flow however it is juicy and not the place for anything less than an experienced team. Our flow was a medium. I would say that the run was class IV+ at the flow… but also that things could get hard quick as there were plenty of holes to swim you if you weren’t careful. So, did it live up to the hype? Certainly yes. Add it to your must run list.
Also check out the Glanz brothers' (Harry and Reiner) blog for more outstanding pics from this trip
- Put-in Falls (IV+). What a way to start the run! The only real thing to know is that the very first move, make sure you don’t fade off to the right as the wall is undercut and occasionally pins folks. Below, the slides and holes continue right up to the lip of the 20ish foot falls at the bottom. Run far right, it starts as a slides and sets your angle nicely.
Two Junky Rapids (IV to V). The two junky rapids for the run come in quick succession. The first one is a bang down the middle, then get right for the exit around the corner as there is piton potential on the left. The rapid below ramps down into a rock, you can go either side of it, but neither is mindless to pull off.
First Slide (IV). A nice slide that was best run left of center. Just a bumpy fun little slide.
Second Slide (IV+). The second slide is more challenging and looks worse. It starts with a ramp to an off angle ledge. The ramp has a weird feature that looks intimidating, but we found the best line was just over the left of it which then set you up with momentum for the ledge. Below the river slid into a hole that had a rock buried in the left side, so get your nose right at the bottom.
Falls (IV to IV+). A nice fun drop that leads to a 10 foot falls is best run down the right. Scout left. The falls is super easy to boof. Just good clean fun.
Third Slide (IV+ to V). Two entries are possible, the left driving hard right down a side in front of an undercut or far right in a mellower channel which ends in a 8 foot low volume boof. Below, the river drops over a steep drop with two steps and ending in a pocket hole on the left. Set safety. Run far right and keep your nose right. Scout left.
Fourth Slide (IV+). A super fun rapid just below. Enter left and just slide down… stay off the left wall at the top as it is a little ledge there… but goes fine. At the bottom, move back left as there is a undercut that is sorta in play… but also not that dangerous looking.
- Can you believe that first part is barely over a half mile? So good.
Switch (IV to IV+). Just below the bridge a few quick slides leads to a scout-worthy drop. Scout right. The drop s-turns and drops into a good size ledge. Get onto the middle ridge of the rock to keep your head dry as you slide back right to the hole below.
Boogie (IV). One sorta ugly looking boogie drop went fine down the left channel… on the right side pointing right. It is a steep little drop.
Crack Drop (IV+). This rapid looks bad… the water slides out to a table and everything on the left side of the nose drops into a crack that is not wide enough for a boat. As long as you get right you plop over two drops into a soft hole at the bottom. The first few folks made it look good, the second two didn’t take strokes and made it look easy… so we all ran it. Error right!
No Paddle (IV to IV+). The next rapid has a scrappy entry, scout it so you know what rocks you will hit. You then drive to the pinch ledge below and try to boof. One in our group got spun around and lost their paddle, chalking on either wall, as they went through the boof. Good thing for handrolls!
Last Slide (IV). Just below is a fun slide. Start far left and drive hard right for the softest line.
Cylinder Drop (V). Ok… scout right or left and from the bridge just above. Go left and land with left angle… you want to connect with the wall just as you enter the water. Otherwise you swim. I connected the wall a foot above the surface which deflected my bow right and I swam. Another in our group got roped out in their boat. The first styled it… the rest walked it. Make sure you have good safety set below (best on the right). This is also take out so lots of folks don’t run it.
Directions: Use the GPS locations to get yourself to put-in and take-out… below is just the extra little info you may need
Put in is at 45°53'27.6"N 8°03'56.3"E north of the town of Rimasco. As you enter town, stay right as that is the Egua, the river to the left is the Sementina (sp?) which is also a great run apparently. Continue up the road until you cross the river three times, there is a parking area at the bridge.
Take-out is at a turn out at 45°52'44.9"N 8°04'00.4"E. The turnout is just below some houses and maybe a few hundred yards upstream of the first bridge over the river.
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