From the beginning of May, Rafting Expérience® offers full day white water sports sessions.
Based at Serre-Chevalier in the Hautes Alps, Rafting Expérience® consists of a team of 10 members. River guides, passionate about outdoor sports, will take charge of participants on the river Guisane. A slope, a fast current, a lot of rocks, large and small, all of this gives this small river its sturdy alpine character! Technical and winding, the Guisane, from the village of Monêtier-Les-Bains to Briancon, offers a wonderful playground for rafting and all other white water sports.
« Cocktail rafting » open to all !
This programme will delight the most athletic amongst you, who lack that adrenaline buzz. Organised on one day with lunch at the snack bar just a 100m from the base, on the shores of Lake Pontillas, Villeneuve. The two white water sessions start in the morning for a rafting descent on the Sports run. A distance of fifteen kilometres, embarkation of the raft takes place upstream at the Spa centre of the “Grands Bains Serre-Chevalier.” The first part is perfect for a gentle warm-up, but not too gentle… the 300 meters of rapids of the river Guibertes arrive after 10 minutes of navigation. The crew will need coordination to manoeuvre the raft between the many rocks.
As the descent continues, it weaves through the villages of Villeneuve-la-Salle, Moulin Baron, and Chantermerle, and finishes in Saint Chaffrey. On the last part of the run the slope steepens and the river bed forms large technical rapids with marked changes in level. All paddlers must have a strong stomach !!
The afternoon is more autonomous! Supervised by the monitor the group is organised to complete a Hydrospeed run on the difficult part of the Guisane.
The most athletic is without doubt the equipment! As a result, the neoprene wetsuits are very thick (5mm) with reinforcements on the knees to cushion the impact with the rocks. Just putting these on turns into an adventure !
Once all participants are equipped with flippers, helmets, and lifejackets the monitor gives the relevant safety instructions specifying the emergency procedures and the positions to take to protect against impact with the minerals (rocks ...) if necessary.
Hydrospeed is a bit like "mineral aqua” drink plenty of water and eat lots of minerals ... This is of course a little joke... Matthew Durand-the manager of Rafting-Experience® !
The run starts at the Rafting Expérience® base and finishes at Saint Chaffrey; a navigational distance of 10km for a descent time of 1h30.
It is imperative that during the run everyone is involved in the organisation of the safety measures. It is essential to relay the information, given by the monitors at the head of the convoy, to all swimmers. The monitor will give instructions so that the group members can position themselves correctly in the current, to avoid the biggest obstacles and so they can stop at the right place in order to reunite the group. In hydrospeed the sensations are strong, fresh and compact !
So here it is, all in a day, volunteers will be in water at 7° for 4 hours and they will complete a run of 15 km.
So if you don’t know what to do, or a have a hesitation for one of your weekends next spring, make a detour to Serre-Chevalier, there are two or three little things to do….
By Matthieu Durand