The Sjoa Expedition Journal - A Beer and 3 Cigars

Friday, 16 July 2010

Had a good sleep in the wood cabins at the Heidal Rafting Wilderness camp. When we arrived here yesterday there was a can of beer and  3 cigars on a bench. Co-incidence or what, i don´t know. A big thank-you to whoever left them there.

The river is cranking and still coming up this morning . We are right where there is a sharp bend in the river, this is a crux area when entering here at high flows. From here to the end of Åmot Fallene is commitment.

We decided to portage, some of us could have boated it, but the consequences of a swim could be lethal.

Was 1 of our toughest hours on the Sjoa Expedition. your mind is telling you, you are 1.5 kms from the mouth, which would be a 10 min paddle at these flows. But scrambling through a damp and humid forest over a mossed scree slope in a pine forest and over creeks and 10 minutes becomes a long time, constantly repeated. Your mind goes to the river of rather boating than portaging, but while you stop and rest you watch the river more closely to see the size of the boils, relentless holes, the eddy-less shoreline, collapsing water and general scariness for most folk keeps you focused that portaging is probably the best idea.

The 3 of us put in below the falls and blasted down in 1 move the last 400m to the confluence with The Lågen River and into the Gudbrandsdalen valley. I got a few shots as Ine and Scott came shooting past on the tail of The Sjoa River.

Washed our boats and gear, packed Ine´s car with all our stuff and cruised home. Stopped in at the Frig cafe for burritos and chocolate cake. Pizza, beers, movies on the couch topped off the day.

Rob Wilson