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2. The Norwegian Rivers

2.1 Atna - Atnbrua to Mogrenda Grade IV {95} A4

This is very much as described in the guide although the road numbers are different now. The 27 is now the 219. The grade IV in the first section below Atnbrua is a short steep salb rapid with fairly big holes in. Fairly easy to inspect if desired. After the bridge at Trobua the river steepens and gives long, good IV rapids with no really mental surprises in. Just plain good fun really. It eases off towards the confluence with the Setninga, but is still fast and bouncy. The get out at the confluence is hard to find. It is better to carry on for 500m or so to a bridge at the end of Mogrenda. To find this, turn off the 219 (not 27) onto a dirt track opposite a bus stop just before passing a 60kph sign at the town limits.

2.2 Atna - Mogrenda to Fossum 8km Grade II (III) 1hr {95}

Below this bridge at Mogrenda, the river runs at I-II (III) for about 8km past one bridge down to another bridge at Fossum. Just before this is the lovely grade III rapid with a couple of stoppers to play in perhaps.

2.3 Setninga - Setningsjoen to Mogrenda Grade IV (V) {95} A5

An absolutely gorgeous river. Easy to inspect and fairly easy to portage when required. The first inspection at a footbridge is for a IV drop. The second inspection is at a constriction which ended in a deep hole, which we portaged on river right. The third inspection, a grade V gorge is fairly difficult to inspect and protect. Portage is possible on river left. After this the river is much as before, requiring a few quick inspections, everything ran OK. The river eases to III with a lot of tree hazards. The last section of IV ends with an inspection of a IV+ / V drop just before the main road bridge. This section is not really representative of the upper section at all, as suggested in the guide. Continue down to the confluence with the Atna then onto the first bridge after 500m. The same egress as for the Atna in Mogrenda.

2.4 Upper Folla - Gautasaeri to Rydningsoyi GradeIV {95} A6

This section probably needs moderate water levels to be good, we did it at a low level and it was a bit of a scrape. The get in is at a campsite at Gautasaeri. The river is flat for about 1km until the first rapid above a bridge. This rapid is characteristic of the rest of the section with small river wide ledges, which would form strong stoppers in higher water, and few breakouts. Get out is at the next bridge at Rydningsoyi.

2.5 Frya Grade III-IV (V) {95} B1

Set in a beautiful valley, the Frya is a lovely paddle. However we never found the correct get out. Paddled right past Saeter and ended up doing a horrendous carry out late at night (Lucky it doesn't get dark really). So find your point of egress before you set off, if your doing the top section. Put in near a bridge across the Svartaa tributary (This had collapsed from floods in 1995). Its probably best to do this river in low to medium levels. Boulders were showing at the get in when we paddled this river and that gave a lovely technical III-IV with a few inspections needed to start with. One small gorge section is a bit tricky with a few stoppers and rocks. The grade V section at Roli is easy to spot after a slight right hand bend. Portage and protection on river right. After this the river continues much as before at III-IV With NO impassable fall before Myre as marked on the map in the guide. As mentioned we missed the egress at Saeter and paddled right up to a horrendous looking corner which marks the start of the grade V section. From the small amount of inspection we could do, this looks fairly continuous and commiting. It is possible to carry out from here up an old farm track on river left , across some fields, up to the road which is HIGH above, bringing you out below Venabygd.

2.6 Jori Grade IV {90} B4

This is a beautiful river with amazing crystal clear water that was run by others in 1990 at low water. Still a great paddle by all accounts. In 1995 the guage at the old hydro station on river right below the E69 bridge read 1.7m (=50m3). The river is apparently solid grade V at this level.

2.7 Lora B5

Do this river! Or at least camp in the valley. The camping here runs on a trust system and is well worth it. There is a designated area near to the 3m shute above Rusti.

2.8 Lora - Nyseter to campsite 10km Grade III-IV (V hw) 2hrs {95} B5

We paddled in high water, which gives a very fast III-IV run, with few breakouts. We portaged the gorge at Lostolen which was V at this level. It was necessary to pre-inspect and mark the breakout for this as the river was so quick. After the gorge the river carries on in much the same vain down to the campsite. Get out near the campsite well before the 3m slide above Rusti.

2.9 Lora - Campsite or Rusti to Haukrusti 6km GradeIV+/V then III-IV {90} B5

At low water this was a very enjoyable IV paddle with some inspections and no portages. (In 1995 at high water it looked a much much more serious proposition). At low water the gorge below Rusti has a pool drop character with some undercuts evident from higher water levels. After the gorge the river eases to a good fun III-IV.

2.10 Lower Otta - Eidefoss to Otta 17km Grade II-III(IV) 1.5hrs {95} B6

Again in high water this is a fast bimble, with a meaty grade IV rapid about half way down shortly after the bridge at Asaren. Put in below the impressive Eidefoss on river right and get out again on river right just before going into Otta, after surfing every wave on the river in-between.

2.11 Bovra Fla bru to 1st bridge Grade III-IV (at lw) {90} B8

This is a section with flatter sections indespersed with good III/IV rapids. We paddled at low water with no real problem with inspections and portages. Below the bridge the river is apparently a bit harder.

2.12 Visa Spiterstulen for ~5km 5km Grade V(VI) 2.5hrs {95} B9

Fed by the glaciers in the heart of the Jotunheimen region this is a milky white, ice cold river. The get in is at Spiterstulen, which is also the place to start a walk up Galdhoppigan. The most accessible of Norways two highest mountains. Well worth it for the stunning views across the snow clad mountains of the Jotunheim. The river follows the toll road upto Spiterstulen so is fairly easy to inspect on the drive up. At low water the first km gives a grade II warm up, before the river steepens to a lively, continuous grade IV+/V. At high water it would be pretty much out of order. Technical paddling, running from breakout to breakout, inspecting when you can't see and portaging as necessary. We did 3 portages in the end. One just before a stream coming in from river left and 2 others. Get out when you feel you've had enough. We got out after almost exactly 3 miles from the start. It looked as though we could have portaged for another 300m then rejoined the river for another 2 miles or so of grade IV to just before an obvious deep gorge.

2.13 Sjoa - Uppermost: Gjende to Maurvangen Grade III-V {95} B13

We only paddled the massive troll (see glossary of terms) at the bridge at Maurvangen, which was massive and freezing cold {95}. Above this the river is generally flat looking with individual ledge style rapids. Gjendesheim has some wonderful walks along the Gjende lake.

2.14 Sjoa - Upper: Ridderspranget to Leirflaten Grade III-IV {95}

Gives a sense of adventure. Away from the road, a long trek through the woods to start with, but well worth it in the end. Take the road signed Ridderspranget from the 51. Follow the dirt track as far as you can, then carry the boats along the track for about 1km! until you pass the waterfall. Decide whether of not to paddle the gorge below IV+/V. We put in halfway along the gorge with a difficult scramble down to the water. Big water follows, but it is easy to inspect anything that looks dodgy. We portaged one batch of stoppers about halfway down. Just before the gorge before the bridge at Brurusti is a huge stopper with a chicken shoot on the right. Get out below the bridge on river right and portage about 0.5km past huge V-VI rapids. Get back in below an obvious big waterfall. Again big water down to the impressive Ned Trasafoss (the original Tossafoss), where you need to get out well in advance on river right. After this there are a few rapids we inspected which all ran OK. The get out is on river left, a potential get in for the main Sjoa gorge. To find this Turn off the 257 opposite a kiosk, signed to Murudalen. Take the first track on the left and follow to its end (Leirflaten). The same road goes to the bridge at Brurusti if you want to get out earlier.

2.15 Sjoa Gorge - Leirflaten to Heidal Grade IV+ (V) {90}

A wonderful section. Very commiting, once entered the only real way out is by paddling out the other end. Get in at Leirflaten (see above). The river is immediately fast giving a brief warm up before entering the gorge proper. The gorge is characterised by long bouncy rapids with stoppers scattered liberally around. (Most are easy to spot). Imbetween, the river continues at a pace, making rescue tricky but not impossible. The inspection comes after sharp right, then left then right bends with a breakout on river right. You may have to swim through an eddy to get to the inspection. The rapid is grade V, with a large stopper and an evil looking pourover both mostway across the river, but with a route around them. The rapid immediately following is a long grade IV+ down to a left hand corner with a sharp tooth rock on river left. Kiss this rock to avoid a large stopper on the bend. After this the river is much as before with enjoyable rapids all the way down to the get out at the bridge in Heidal. This is found by taking the road signed Vestsida and Murudalen from the 257 in Heidal. This is the put in for the lower Sjoa.

We ran this in medium water in 1990 following a crazed local rafter. In 1995 the river was on honk and they weren't even rafting this section. It is possible to preinspect the gorge by walking down to the edge from a small supermarket on the 257. This brings you out near to the inspection marked in the guide.

2.16 Sjoa - Lower: Heidal to Faukstad Grade III- IV {95}

Put in on river right at the bridge at Heidal. A few 100 metres down a road signed Vestsida and Murudalen from the 257. The river is a big flouncy III with loadsa surfing waves down to the first bridge. Then things start steepening up, with some huge stoppers which are fairly easy to avoid. This continues as you enter the lower gorge, which has some blind bends but no nasty surprises. Towards the end of the gorge section you pass under a high white bridge. After this there are some old bridge supports. Break out on the right after these at a rock slide to inspect an obvious rapid (IV) with large raft looping stoppers in. The route is down the far left bringing you out at the get out and some wonderful playwaves with excellent photo/pose potential. to find the get out by road, take the second bridge off the 257 across the river ( the high white bridge) turn left and then park next to a brown farm building. There is a path here, left of the farm, down to the river signed NWR (Norwegian Whitewater Rafting). Don't go through the farm.

2.17 Numedalslagen D4

Well we had a look at it. 3.3m on the guage (by the first rapid upstream of the old hydro station). Mega honk - stoppers you could surf a No 9 bus in, so we did a U-turn.

2.18 Hemsil - Eikredammen to Gronli Grade II-V {95} D3a

We did this when there was one gate of the dam half open with water trickling over the side gates. We put in a mile downstream of the dam to avoid the V section and ended up portaging the first rapid, which had some pretty jagged looking rocks. There follows a long II-III section with one IV in it. After a bridge at Gladhus the river then steepens up starting with a long technical IV+. After this the river is mostly grade IV down to a big ledge which ran easily at this level but would probably be harder in higher water. Shortly after this is the get out at the road bridge signed to Gronli. There is an excellent rough campsite immediately below the Eikredammen on river left. (Watch your exhaust).

2.19 Morkedola - Sjaheimvollen to N.Lii Grade IV-V(VI) {95} D3b

Characterised by very fast, continuous rapids with small breakouts. We had a good long look at the grade V section below Storeskardvatnet, but eventually bottled out because of the last section by an old broken bridge. Huge stoppers and boulder chokes. The rest of it, from the lead in double drop to this looked fast but OK.

We put in at the bridge by a picnic spot at Sjaheimvollen. The river is immediately a fast grade IV and remains that way. The portage is easy to spot, but you need to stop well in advance to inspect a serious IV rapid about 200m above the main waterfall. A big complex 1m drop with deep stoppers most of the way across the river. You need to be confident of doing this rapid to avoid swimminng the waterfall. Portage on river right. There is a small stream here which you can paddle, just. Paddling the portage just doesn't seem right somehow. The river now eases to mainly III with the odd harder IV rapid. We got out at an eddy on river left just before an obvious hard V? rapid which leads into oblivion at the next wooden road bridge where you can park the cars. This is the second portage they refer to in the guide.

2.20 Strondaelva (Vossovassdraget) Grade II-V {95} F1

Only a hour or two from Bergen so an obvious first choice as a warm up paddle. Its a good river to do in that respect, with various fairly straight forward sections with inspection and portages being easy due to the road ( the E16 and 13) running alongside it. The put in is on the lake feeding the river next to the 13. this leads into a long continuous grade III, which flattens off by the time you reach the E16 junction. The guage is just as you turn onto the 13, next to a 50kph speed sign. We ran this section of the river at 1.30m. The river is then fairly flat with one obvious isolated play wave. We got out just before the next bridge across the river which heralds the start of a grade V+ looking section ending in a fall akin to Easan Dubh on the Orchy. Put in below this for an excellent short but big'n bouncy stretch down to another bridge. After this the river eases to grade II. We got out before a double bridge (one is the main roed crossing the river, the other is a track on an old bridge).

After this double bridge the river seems heavy grade V which yields to a good couple of miles of grade III. Inspection to find a suitable get out should be easy.

2.21 Bjoreio Grade III-IV {95} F4

Not in the original guide, this is the river that runs below the Voringfoss, Norways highest waterfall, which is spectacular and well worth a visit. The put in is at a small layby on river right after all the obvious horrendous stuff, 200m below a proper car park with toilets.We got in just below a small grade V? fall. From the road the river looks like a real low water boulder scrape, but this is deceptive, and is actually the level to run it at. Any higher would be a totally different proposition altogether. Its a quick, technical, continuous and highly enjoyable grade IV. Everything goes, a few rapids require inspection and are easy to protect. We noticed a couple of rocks with metal spikes in to watch out for. The river gradually eases to III before ending up in the Eidfjord vatnet. Paddle around the corner, straight to a really beautiful campsite!

The other river that flows into the Eidfjord vatnet looks much harder. In 1990 one of our paddlers carried his boat up as far as he could be bothered from the campsite and had an epic short, scarey IV/V blast.

2.22 Driva - Upper: Melem/Vollon to Olbu Grade III-IV(V) {95} G3

This is a gorgeous big volume grade III-IV. To get to the access point, take a side road signed Vollon (not Melen) a few km out of Oppdal off the E6. This takes you to a bridge over the river. Near this is a stile to a track on river right which leads down to the river across a field. The first event is a river wide stopper in the first gorge. This ran fine after inspection and would have been tricky to portage. The next major rapid is a complex IV which warrents inspection. After this, about 2km from the get in is a bridge with a guage on (near the Alma tributary). This read 3.5-4m when we ran it. (Apparently the Grauru gorge is only run at 1m on the guage). This is followed by a rapid with big wave trains in. The river continues until the portage marked in the guide. This is obvious and is actually a high volume V. (Portage river right). Look out later on river right for a cleft with a breakout in a gorge just as it begins to open out. There is a great rock to jump off! Well it has to be done really. After this there is one more rapid of significance, before the get out below Olbu. To find this from the road, take a side road off the 70 (not 16) next to a shop with Aalbu Handel on it, opposite a kiosk. There is also a pedestrian crossing here. Ignore a right turn and then at a farm turn left down a track that leads to the river.

2.23 Driva - Lower: Olbu - ? Grade I-III {95} G3

You can carry on down the next gorge section which at this level was quite a fast, bouncy I-III. The gorge is stunning with beautiful waterfalls running into it. We got out at a rusty suspension bridge near the end of a grade II rapid. (Not the egress in the guide book). The track to it is marked on the map in the guide. It doubles back from the 70 next to a red/brown barn.

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