Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Teigdalselvi - Norway

Mariann Sæther reminds us of what whitewater dreams are made of -Teigdalselvi, Norway

NONE of these incredible photos would be possible without the determination and eddyless probing of many drops from the Norwegian creek slayer and fine photo g Benjamin Hjort.

Those who have made the journey or have been born lucky can fully attest to Norway's epic whitewater ownage. Yet almost no other creek in Norway truly represents this fact more than what is found up in the Teigdal valley a short distance from the town of Voss.

Andy Phillips firing the day off - entry falls.

Norway's Teigdalselvi is what class V paddling really exemplifies. It's that steep gleaming Rolls Royce of-a creek that grabs your utmost attention on the first paddle stroke. Blazing adrenaline within 300 meters, huge slides, clean waterfalls and a world famous 60 foot conclusion to a day that renders your body at least comfortably broken, if not more.

Greg Dashper waxing the second slide.

And so one of the best Monday missions ever took place under perfect blue sky with an international and renowned cast. With Tyler, Mariann and Logan racing down from a flooded Sjoa valley to join the annual "once we were warriors" gathering, this years Teigdal pilgrimage would prove sizeable and include 5 new raw huck-meat faces. As the magical 'double drop' came into view at the takeout, the question would remain whether anyone would give in to the ultimate double plunge sacrifice when the big moment arrived.

Tyler Curtis looking to rejoin the crew just above the second falls.

Oddly enough, Norway's awesome guidebook hardly mentions what lurks above the takeout falls. Without the double drop even being thrown into the mix, the Teigdalselvi is still creek perfection. Loudly strumming a tune in between continuous technical class IV to something that goes a little like: box-entry 25, slide 30, slide 45, boof 20, wee-boof, portage 35, possible slide 50, drop a-many, damn ugly 35, auto 10, disappearing act 25.

Logan Grayling readys the pose for big expectations downstream.

TC staring into the face of the nasty 2for3 Notter drop.

As the afternoon sun beat down good lines and big smiles were across the board. However the flow was recognizably higher than when we had put on. This became quite apparent on the near vertical slide before double drop as each slightly different lead-in approach produced a similar go-deep-and-wonder result.

Heading into the 5 count cavity-clearing abyss.

Mikey Abbott - Multiple Teigdal descents and a sweet line leader above double drop.

Ultimately the misty gates to an unforgettable horizon line were before us, and the time of reckoning had come. As fresh meat dangled on the doorstep the legendary Mike Abbott and Benji Hjort took care of business early and rode the express elevator to the bottom in style. Original drop claimer Allan Ellard found a perch and pressed the media button and so it was time for the rest of the circus to take to the air.

Basso first six of sixty - got boof?

Highlights to a memorable double drop huck extravaganza included a BIG duffek stroke, 2 nail-biter left lines off the top, flying pigtails, Michele Ramazza's Italian precision, some bloody facial hair, the worlds fastest combat roll, and an unintended brace to freewheel demonstration from a po-dunk Canadian with an ugly van.

View Teigdaldselvi (V) in a larger map