Written by Rob Harris
Four days back from Europe, a phone call “fancy Norway?” and I’m meeting Tommy and James in the early hours in a back road off the M3, throwing our kit laden boats on top of the small car with the roof suffering from the strain. In the words of Peter Kay – booked it, packed it and ****ed off. After a short flight we arrived in Oslo, packed the hire car up to capacity and squeezed ourselves in. Onwards up the country with a few stops, checking out the swollen rivers and awesome scenery , reaching Voss in the early hours.
Day one we spent exploring the classics; Double Drop, Lake to Lake etc. Day two and we set off to the Brandseth, dropping down the first slide joined by a couple of English guys and a crazy Frenchman we had met in town. The river rocked, crystal clear waters, wicked slides and sweet drops. On to the Yordisalva a boney start steadily picking up the pace and then doh – the supposed auto boof wasn’t so auto boofie for me, playing hide and seek behind the waterfall curtain was much longer than counting to ten, I finally emerged on the end of a throw line.
Next stop Sjoa River Festival but high water levels led to the competition being cancelled. No worries, we will still have the party and the t-shirt!. Our first run in Sjoa was the Ula, a wicked slide and of course the three drops at the end, where all three of us dropped sweet lines. The following day we paddled a read and run then back to camp for the party. Staying light makes it hard to judge the time, seven am we should go to bed!. Nursing a hangover and suffering from lack of sleep we hooked up with a couple of Irish boys and two Italian dudes and headed up into a national park to run the A Class 4 -5, after taking a few rolls on the first drop my head cleared in time for a wicked last run for Sjoa.
Back in Voss we set our minds on Money Drop. We paddled a few nice rivers and the next day we returned to Money Drop, this is run by following a green tongue which takes you down towards an undercut rock into a mass of white “nice“. What am I doing , you could hear the thunder of water, Tommy and James had run it – now it was my turn! I broke into the flow and lined myself up with the tongue into the white and silence. Rolling up and looking back to the awesome sight Money Drop we had run it – that’s it , we can go home , anything we do from now on won’t beat that – or will it ? J
Thank you to James Bradley for the excellent photos.