Riu Noguera Ribagorçana (Waterfall)
|Stretch:||Into Embalse de Baserca|
|Difficulty:||Class V to V+|
|Flows:||No gauge. 150-400 cfs?|
|Gradient:||460 fpm average|
|Put-in:||At the falls|
|Take-out:||Below the falls|
|Shuttle:||None, just walk 100 yards upstream and 100 yards back to the car|
|Season:||Spring from snowmelt|
|Featured in A Wet State #138|
Pyrenees 2018 - Day 7 Morning:
This waterfall is pretty cool. It lands directly in the lake, so depending on the lake level, the final falls is either 20 feet or 40 feet. Needless to say when we arrived and found a 20 footer I was relieved. Sadly, the water was so high that the gorge leading up to it was stout as all get up, so we all decided in the morning we would just seal launch in above the falls to run it. That night, we all hung out over the creek, drinking wine and laughing.
In the morning however, I was not laughing. I woke up and got out of bed thinking I was tired but ok. Within minutes however I began to realize something was wrong. I was disoriented, dizzy, and couldn’t focus. Apparently, the diarrhea I got on the drive the night before was something more. I laid down and hoped it would pass. But it did not. Feeling as I was, I could not picture myself in control of my boat, and opted to take photos rather than run this falls. That is for sure my regret for the trip. It was the right decision, but I regret that I had to make that decision.
The group had good lines. We did have a brief scare as Harry took his paddle to the face and for a few moments we thought his nose might be broke. After a quick check out by Diane, it was determined to be ok… but he was left with a nasty black eye that would be present for the rest of the vacation.
That afternoon, Diane and I wanted to go boat the Esera, Reiner wanted to head to Ainsa to begin biking with his wife, and Harry wanted the afternoon free for family time. So Diane and I went off solo, with hopes of the class IV gorge on the Esera laying in front of us.
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- Weir (IV+). The weir is a man made structure just above the bridge. It looked to go fine though.
#1 (V). The first falls looked a bit bad. The line looked to be far left through a big and junky hole.
#2 (V). This was the crux for sure. The rapid had a ramping s-turn amongst big rocks that then dropped over a 15 foot drop with big hole. This immediately flushed out downriver.
In Between (IV). We sealed launched in just above this and ran it down the right through a couple medium size features.
- Falls (IV+ to V). This falls varies in height depending on how full the lake is. For us it was maybe 15-20 feet total. I have seen pics of it being 40 feet tall. As the lake drops you have to be careful to not came back to the right too much as the wall can play a part. At our flow it was not hard to stay left.
Access: From the town of Viella (a tourist town due to the ski resorts there), head south on N230. Follow this for 15.2 km. Just before the lake, pull into the parking area on the left. The falls are right here. Access the river just above the falls or anywhere roadside upstream if the lead in rapids look good to you.
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