Blog Post, The Guisane at Serre Chevalier, a white water pearl

The Guisane vallée at Serre Chevalier

The Guisane at Serre Chevalier, a white water pearl

It runs, it runs…

With a length of 27.7 kms, the Guisane sources at the Col of Lautaret on the north side of the massif of Combeynot. This is a tributary of the river Durance and it joins it on the right bank before Briançon.

The Guisane takes its name from the Latin term “aqua sanat” which refers to “water that heals” because of the presence of the hot springs at Monetier les Bains.
The hydrological regime of this alpine river is principally glacial, fed by the torrents of Tabuc, Casset and Monetier, which are fed by the glaciers of the same name.

We find the highest water levels, from 25 to 30m3, during the snow thaws from May to the beginning of July. Storms and heavy rain at this time can, if persistent, create floods and therefore alter the riverbed.

In mid-July the flow gradually decreases until the end of August. This is then followed by a long period of low water from November until the following March.
In January we can measure a flow of 1.5 m3.

The Guisane and white water sports

We love the Guisane for white water rafting Serre Chevalier because of its 100% natural flow without the constraints of a hydroelectric barrage. We love the natural banks with their ducks and herons which reveal a river to us on waking up in the morning. We love these calm waters and their outstanding panoramas. We love sharing with the grown-ups and the little ones the adventure and sensations of going through the Guibertes rapids. We love passing through the old village of Villeneuve and savouring the midday odours which cruelly taunt us from the restaurant “Eau Petit Pont”. We love hearing our clients shout with glee as they pass "la glissière”.

We love going down to Briançon and re-joining the Durance which gives us, on the shuttle back to base, the opportunity of listening to David as he tells and retells his elementary school !!!

We, we love our river!

De Matthieu Durand

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