|Stretch:||Exit of Gorge to below Koritnica Confluence|
|Difficulty:||Class III (IV)|
|Flows:||5 to 30 cumecs (I am sure locals run it much higher). Check “The River App”|
|Gradient:||51 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Near Kamp Soca|
|Take-out:||Bovec / Prijon Sport Center|
|Shuttle:||10.8 km (15 minutes one-way)|
|Season:||Spring to Fall (Occasionally too low in Summer, but can go high off rains)|
|Featured in A Wet State #114|
Austria & More 2016: Day 5 Afternoon
In the afternoon of day 5, after doing a lap down the Slalom, Cataracts, and Otona section of the Soca as well as a lap on the Koritnica, we head to the Upper Soca also known as the Bunker Rapid section. The Upper section of the Soca has some very nice class III to IV whitewater sections and one fantastic little mini gorge that was our real draw for doing the run. As is expected with the Soca, the water quality is fantastic, shimmering bright blue. The scenery is for the most part road side with the road being noticeable, something that the lower runs avoid.
The things I liked about this run, unlike the Slalom section, this section actually has some length to it. You feel like you did some solid boating. Additionally, we put in at the 2nd gorge (unrunnable) and attained up it one hundred yards because why not, it is a super beautiful spot.
For people looking for a class III float, there are two sets of rapids above the gorge as well as the gorge itself which will get your adrenaline going and push were pushing class III+ when we were there at lower flow. If you are a class V boater who enjoys seeing other sections, why not take an hour or two off of Cataracts laps and run this section, you won’t be disappointed.
This was our last run for Slovenia. After running this we packed up camp and headed back to Austria, this time to Osttirol (East Tirol). Tirol is interesting, officially in Austria there is only one “Tirol” (sometimes spelled Tyrol). However, it is split in two due to land being conqured and exchanged over the past few hundred years. The missing piece that would connect both Austrian parts of Tirol is South Tirol, which is part of Italy now. So anyways, the two parts in Austria are considered East Tirol and Tirol… sometimes the latter is North Tirol. So there you go, now you know the lay of the land.
For reference we had about 13 cumecs which felt low but not too low.
Thanks to Harald and Reiner Glanz for sharing photos and for making the trip possible!
Last: Austria & More 2016: Day 5 Early Afternoon - Koritnica (Lower)
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- Gorge (U). The gorge we put in directly below is unrunnable. However, depending on your water level, you can attain up 100 yards for some fantastic views from deep within the canyon,
Boogie (I). The first while is just class I, but the scenery is nice!
- First Cataract (III to IV). You will pass under a foot bridge and enter the most continuous section of rapids. There are several horizon lines in here. We started right and finished left. It is comprised of 3 or 4 rapids.
- Standout (III). The section between the First Cataract and the tight Gorge was mostly just boogie except for one or two rapids in the middle. Both were read and run.
- Bridge. You will cross under a road bridge, this marks you are a little over a quarter mile away from the Tight Gorge.
- Tight Gorge (III+ to IV). One of the main reasons to run this section is for this short but cool gorge. It is like a harder and longer version of the one at the start of the Lower Koritnica. The entry is run down the middle. Be aware of the cushion moving back to the left at the bottom of it. Just keep middle. Below it enters a calm section where the water just pushes from wall to wall. This then moves into the bottom section where the water ricochets harder of walls amidst class II rapids before the water calms and the walls tighten to just a few feet across. Really cool spot.
- Women Swallower (II+). Not far downstream is a rapid where you just want to avoid the large rock on the right. Some people swim on it due to the slight undercut. And no joke, that is the real name of the rapid. Not a made up name by me.
- Confluence. The Koritnica enters on the right.
Eddies (II-). Just below the confluence is a very popular area to work on your eddy line control and ferrying all in a wonderfully pretty spot directly next to one of the local kayak camp areas.
- Rock Garden 1 (II+). A straight forward rapid. We started right and worked our way with the bulk of the water left. It is just rocky so try not to let yourself get sideways!
- Rock Garden 2 (II+). Another rocky affair, this time we went down the far right along the shore.
Take-out: The town of Bovec is at the confluence of the Koritnica and the Soca. Just next to the town center, on the upriver side of the small airport, look for the Bovec-Zaga rd. Take this towards the river for 1.3 km until you cross the river. The parking is just on the other side of the river on river right. Also, Prijon Sports Center is located here.
Put-in: Head back out to the main road, the turn right heading upriver. Quickly turn right on Rt206 to go up the Soca. Continue for 7.3 km until just as the river comes back to be road side, take the right onto Soca. Quickly cross the river and park on the far side of the bridge. Do not run the gorge that is road side and just upstream from the put-in!
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