Golo (Scala di Santa Regina)
|Stretch:||Above the D84 Bridge|
|Flows:||~350-750 cfs (no gauge)|
|Gradient:||138 fpm average (214 fpm in the 2nd mile)|
|Put-in:||Old house next to the river, 5.4 km upriver from the D84 bridge (below the lake)|
|Take-out:||Just upstream from the D84 bridge|
|Shuttle:||5.4 km on D84|
|Season:||Spring from snowmelt/rain|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #72|
And a huge thanks to Prijon for the boats they lent us!
The Middle Golo was one of the best runs I got to do in Corsica, and little did I know that at the time as it was my first day in Corsica. I think between the jet lag and the moderate concern over being in a brand new boat for the first time, my mind wasn’t comprehending how good the river was. As it was, the scenery was spectacular. The Upper and Middle Golo both have some of the best on river scenery Corsica has to offer. Granite is abound and surrounds you and although the road is a mere 100 feet above you, it seems as distant a possibility for escape as any road could.
The rapids start immediately and continue unabated for the full duration of the run. The only likely portage is the very first rapid. A boulder jumble with a thin line as a warm up is likely more than most will want. Later in the run is one more large cataract that may be walked, but the line is less thin and the folks who ran it in our group made those of us who walk think about carrying back to the top.
The downside of this run is that it nearly never has water. Only when the reservoir at the bottom of the Upper run is full and spilling does the Middle get water. And due to the nature of the river, boulder gardens, if the water is not a full healthy flow, the river looks less appealing. However, if you find yourself in the area, and this section has water… make it a priority to get on. It is worth it!
The other perk of this day for me was waking up at the camp on the Tavignano, seeing Corsica in the daylight for the first time, and then driving into the mountains through the old capital of Corte... little did I know it was just a hint of what was to come!
Finally, I apologzie for all of the GoPro and other video captures that I am pawning off as photos here... we tended to go fast on the water (putting on after 4 pm every day) and focused on taking video when we did hop out. Thanks to Darin McQuoid for his contribution of video that I took shots from.
- Put-in (Sneak). The very first rapid we snuck far right around. There was a thin line, but error was not forgivable.
Warm-up boof (IV). The first few real strokes I got in the Pure, were over this four to five foot ledge. A few of us went straight down the gut and went deep in the hole. Others went for the small shelf on the far left to help skip over the hole. Both worked.
Warm-up Rapid (IV-). Just downstream was another double step rapid with a good hole at the bottom on the right.
Junky (IV to IV+). The river narrowed and went around a brushy little island, we went down the right channel and then went extreme left down the rapid. It was a little junky but went. Not sure about at lower water.
- Go Left (IV). Boof the top ledge and drive immediately left to go around a benign s-turn and exit through the hole. If you don’t make it left, bad things await.
Things mellow out with class III-IV boogie.
Into the Cushion (IV). In the boogie there is a rapid with a house size boulder in the middle of the rapid with a hole in front of it and cushion refracting off of it. Boof.
Small Ledge (III). A small four foot ledge is best run center and signals you are soon coming to a blind rapid.
- Rib Shot (IV to IV+). We all boat scouted to far with Rok running all the way through. Every channel is blind, and honestly the right two looked horrible from the top. Matias hoped out on the left and scouted me down the left which was a mellow eddy against the wall followed by a boof over a hole. Others went right on another scouter’s beta and two took rib shots from an undercut, one of which was the result of a trip being cut short due to the resulting pain.
The Rip Shot rapid deposits you in a super cool vertical wall gorge. With some fun class III-IV rapids. The gorge opens and fun rapids continue until the next blind and steep constriction.
- Lucky (IV+). Darin scouted from the left, pointing us to a finesse move in the middle to a 6 foot ledge to boof. He also said there was a line far left but to paddle hard. Every nailed the finesse move except me, who was still figuring out the Pure (first day in it). I ended up taking a middle to left line that went between two rocks and narrowly landed on another before blasting through the exit holes. It actually was a great line, but on this style of river I admit I was, as Rok told me as I pulled into the eddy below, “Lucky.”
Brace for your Face (IV-). This wasn’t a bad rapid, we just ran down the far left… but a few of us made it surprisingly not pretty.
- Cataract (V-). A steep and junky rapid. Folks ran down the right through a few big holes before working back right. The signal for this rapid is when the river splits into two very distinct channels, you can scout from the large island.
Boogie continued for the remainder of the run.
Directions: Use the GPS locations to get yourself to put-in and take-out… I wasn’t driving most days and do not know enough of the directions to be useful.
Take-out: Just up 100 yards from the D43 bridge over the Golo there is a turnout on the left that you can use to access the river. Apparently the landowner right at the bridge is not overly friendly towards boaters.
Put-in: Drive up the river for 5.4 km until you see an old abandoned house on the left with a turnout just past it on the left. Use this house to access the river.
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