Fiume Sesia (Alpine Sprint)
|Stretch:||From below Boccario to Molina|
|Distance:||1.35 to 2 miles|
|Gradient:||170 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Below the town of Boccario, at any access you see|
|Take-out:||At the second foot bridge in the town of Molina|
|Shuttle:||1.5 miles (5 minutes)|
|Season:||Spring from rain/snowmelt|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #90|
Piemonte / Ticino 2014: Day 2 Afternoon
A short but very worth it section of river to do. This is the section that they hold a race on at the end of May. In fact, this year it was 2 days before we arrived. For David and Laura this was perfect as they were climbing in France for a week before we arrived in country. And for Laura, this meant winning the women's division of the race. Way to represent the USA!
The section can be extended a little above and a little below. However extending below adds a long portage. Extending above, I have no idea. We didn't really know where the put in... but there is a town upriver 1 km that seems like an obvious place to start. The nature of the river was absolutely continuous class III to IV, giving a couple of sets a class IV+ feel due to the continuous nature. I imagine at lower flow this feels like mellow class IV, but similarly at higher flow I could imagine it feeling class IV to V in a hurry. I would estimate that we had ~1,000 cfs which I thought was a nice medium flow. Fluffy, rocks covered, holes sticky but not overly so etc. Just a nice flow.
Despite its short length and the fact that you only need to even think about scouting one rapid I would still recommend this run. The scenery while on the water is incredible... some of the finest in Piemonte. The tall, jagged, but forested mountains rise all around you and red granite boulders fill the river. The water is a shining turquoise that is freshly melted snow, and the sting of the cold when splashed reminds you of this at each rapid. It is just all around a nice section of river. And even not knowing it, it only takes 25 minutes. So really there is no reason not to fit this in one day while in Val Sesia. You won't regret it.
- The run starts off with some fun boogie
Ledge (IV). About a third of a mile down from where we put in was a ledge that we ran left of center... it was stick even at our lower flows.
Long One (IV to IV+). At the half mile mark we got out quickly to scout a long rapid that had several ledges and was a bit blind from above. We started center, moved left, then again right, and exited middle. It all went. None of the holes ended up being that sticky. The first move to the left was the most hidden and least eddy hopable.
A couple fun boogie rapids as the river bends right.
- Bridge (IV). Just before take-out is another good size rapid. There are some big holes to bash down in the middle though some of us got pushed into a small channel on the right, which also went just fine.
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 is at Molia at 45°48'51.1"N 8°01'51.8"E which is in the middle of town, near a foot bridge, and on a bend in the road. There were lots of cars parked along the road here. Make sure you don't miss this take-out.
Put-in is upriver at 45°49'11.0"N 8°00'29.7"E. we used a dirt road that dropped off to the left when the river was nice and close. You can go further up river if you want to the next town.
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