Wir sind wieder trocken, die Helme abgelegt, die Boote liegen neben unseren Zelten, draußen wird es dunkel. An einem Freitagabend im Lechtal sitzt eine gut gelaunte Runde von PackrafterInnen zusammen und lässt den ersten Tag des Advanced Wildwasser Packrafting Kurses in Tirol , pondering about Kaiserschmarrn. We will find a solution to this - and just order twice.
But first: Saftey training
But as announced, we are here not only for the Kaiserschmarrn. The participants already have been thorugh an intense day with packraft-specific safety training and some shifts in perspective. The world looks totally different depending on whether you are standing at the bank of the river and throwing a rescue line or the water is up to your neck whilst you are alternatively trying to pull yourself out of the water at that rope or you are brought to the bank of the river hanging behind someone else's packraft. On half a kilometer of this river with changing currents we are simulating more and more complex scenarios of rescue and safety until the evening.
But why, actually, safety training?
Szenenwechsel. Wir sind schon mehrere Stunden auf dem Wasser und steigen gerade wieder in die Boote. Von der Brücke ist die Linie schnell erklärt, mit der man über den rauschenden Wellenkamm kommt ohne zu kentern. Aber auch die Wellenschulter, in die man nicht quer stellen sollte. Eine spannende Stelle am Lech. Und als eine Teilnehmerin in der Wellen kentert, ist Gelegenheit, das Sicherheitstraining anzuwenden. Das wird immer wieder vorkommen und es ist für uns als Guide-Team eine Freude mit anzusehen, wie erfahrene Packrafter durch das Training beginnen, als Gruppe aufeinander aufzupassen, Sicherheitstechniken gegenseitig anzuwenden und so unser Eingreifen nicht immer nötig werden zu lassen.
But of course we have not only been in the water at that day but most of the time on it. Besides those typical wavetrains of River Lech and that beautiful alpine panorama we focused on eddie-training, mastering flows and paddling safely in higher volume waters.
This is important as it is not uncommon for the Tyrol weekend to be the whitewater preparation of participants in our expeditions. For example, only a few weeks later, Marie and Joachim would let themselves be carried from the Icelandic Highlands to the south on a large glacier river with the skills learned here.
Our Tyrol-anecdote: The whitewater unicorn
And, as often happens in our courses, tours and expeditions, fun was not falling short here. Did you for example ever catch a glimpse of a whitewater unicorn? No? We did neither until that day. But Moni brought her Peggy with her to Tyrol, a proud unicornlady from the Lower Rhine. She was allowed to have a taste of whitewater at the training spot from the first day, too, and could explore the currents as well as the panoramic view. Safely roped to Sebastian's boat of course.
Sunshine at Isar Valley
On day three, to conclude our course, we are moving away from loads of water into a demanding jewel in Karwendel Valley. Everything that was learned within the last days has to be used now. Isar gorge rewards us with turquoise waters and a lot of sunshine.
These were good days, also for us as a guide team, and not only for the sake of Konrad's big glas of Nutella.
Thanks to a fun, relaxed and motivated gang of long known but also new members of the LWA community that we accompanied through three days of advanced packingrafting. It's nice to see friends meet again this weekend and new outdoor communities emerge. See you at Kaiserschmarrn 2019.
About the author:
Sebastian, founder and owner of Land Water Adventures, and basically content as long as there is water on the stream, enough chocolate and nice people around him. There is also more about Sebastian here.
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