Norway, the promised land of kayakers. It just cannot be matched. From bouncy playruns to the steepest of creeks, Norway offers unrivalled whitewater of all levels and an unparalleled concentration of rivers. To put it in simple words; kayaking does not get any better than this.
It may surprise you to know that, at this time of the year, the heart of the whitewater scene in Norway is not Voss. Nope. During the high summer the epicenter ok kayaking moves inland, to the mighty Sjoa Valley. The Sjoa is a large river with many different sections, home to the mighty Amot gorge, the long and remote Asengjuvet section and the best playrun in Europe. The Sjoa alone would be an amazing destination, but the truth is that if you only ran the Sjoa you would have barely scratched the surface of this wonderous land! Within a radius of 50km there are an incredible amount of runs, and all of them rank amongst the best rivers in Europe. We are talking about the legendary Store Ulla Slides and it's world-famous waterfall combo. The committing Finna gorge. The two incredibly different but equally fun sections of the Jori. And last, but not least, the one to rule them all; the Rauma in the Jotunheim, the land of giants.
We are saddened to inform you we would NOT have time to run all the sections the area has to offer even if we paddled all the way through the midnight sun. Yet, you shall not be disappointed! Our game plan is to do the cherry-picking. We will only paddle the very best of the Norwegian rivers, and this means that every river we paddle will go straight into your list of favourite rivers.
This is not the average camp, this is a trip you will remember for a life-time. Let us put it this way: DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!
FLY IN/OUT & PICK UPS – Book your flight to Oslo Airport (OSL) where we will pick you up with the EWWS van and a shinny rental van. You should look at flights landing before 6:00PM. We will need to drive about 3h from the airport to our headquarters in the Sjoa Rafting Base.
IMPORTANT NOTICE - whoever stains the rental van with Monster, Redbull or any other energetic drink will automatically be excommunicated from the EWWS... FOREVER!
DROP OFF – We will drop you off at the Oslo Airport (OSL) on Friday the 4th of August. Aim to book your flight back home departing after 3:00PM. Please let us know if such option is not available to organise an alternative solution.
GAME PLAN - This is just to give you an idea of what we're planning to do. Be sure we will most likely not stick to this plan as we'll need to adapt to water levels and the level of skill of the group.
Day 1 - Pick up from the Airport and shuttle to our base camp in Sjoa Rafting AS. We will set up our camp and have a welcome meeting to get to know each other for those of you who are new to the EWWS or have a quick catch up with those of you who are EWWS veterans. We will also split in groups for the daily tasks of house keeping and we we lay out a plan for the start of the week.
Day 2 - Sjoa Playrun fun. We will kick things up with a couple laps on the awesome Sjoa Playrun. There are plenty of waves to surf and kickflip and the run will automatically become one of your favourite ever. River running does not get much better than this!
Day 3 - Store Ula paradise. We will hit the magical Store Ula for the first time, and it will proavably not be the last. This is one of the most famous rivers in Norway, and such fame is well deserved. The put in is high on the Rondane National Park. The top of the run offers beautiful bedrock slides until we arrive to a massive drop we will need to portage. After this the Ula digs itself into a gorge and after the gorge opens up we will reach the Ula Slides. However the highlights aren't over as the Ula Waterfalls await right at the take out. This will be everyone's favourite river.
Day 4 - The Asengjuvet expedition. This is like the Sjoa's Playrun big brother... in a gorge. Just awesome volume rapids in a longlong section. You'll sleep well tonight.
Day 5 - Lower Jori. This is how the runs gonna go inside your head:
- Oh damn... so much flat paddling... why did they even take us to this river?
- Hmmm... a horizon line... interesting...
- OMG, this is continuous :O
- Is this rapid ever going to end?
- I am so exhausted!!! Someone stop this hell-train. :$
- Waaaaaa! This was soooo siiiick!
Day 7 - Sjoa living. We will paddle the playrun in the morning and, in the afternoon, the stronger paddlers will try their luck on the mighty Amot. The final, big water gorge of the Sjoa. Good stories to be told around the bonfire tonight, we guarantee.
Day 8 - Classic Ulvaa and Upper Rauma mission. Let's just say you will remember this day for the rest of your life and not make and spoilers.
Day 9 - The Upper Sjoa - the Ridderspranget. World class varied whitewater and a few must portage drops. Just another well-above-average paddling day in Norway.
Day 10 - Upper Jori aquapark. Another epic classic of the area. This section packs long slides and powerful rapids. Easily top 3 of the rivers we will run.
Day 11 - What did you say your favourite section was this week? Let's just run it again! In the evening we will dress fancy and go for one meal out together to celebrate our last evening in Norway.
Day 12 - Byebye Norway! It's been such a great time and we cannot wait to come back soon! Transfer to the airport, last group hug before everyone flies back home.
TRIP FEE - 2295,00€
· Loco Parentis (24h supervision) from point of drop off until hand over or check in completion at return airport.
· All transport from agreed pick up and drop off points.
· Accommodation in Sjoa Rafting AS base.
· World class, personalised, low-ratio coaching led by Quim Fontané, Agata Sobieraj & David McClure.
· All meals included except one eat out and meals during travel.
YOU WILL ASLO NEED
· Flights, in case you need to fly in or out at the beginning and end of the camp.
· Your own kayaking gear. If you don't have a creekboat the EWWS has a complete fleet of recent models for rent. Boats can be rent starting at 25€/day.
· A suitable travel insurance.
· About €100,00 spending money.
NORWAY SOUNDS INTIMIDATING. AM I READY FOR THIS?
Norway is a well known destination for class V paddling, but did you know it actually offers world class III-IV whitewater as well? That's right, Norway really has the perfect mix of rivers to cater ALL levels of ability. During this trip most of the runs will range from class III to class IV+ or even bits of V-. But don't worry, if you feel some of the rapids are a bit too much for you portaging is always an option.
Moreover, we will make sure to paddle sections to please everybody. The summer days in the north are long and we will have plenty of time to paddle everyday. Unless you are Louis Besch, you'll feel like you've done more than enough paddling by the end of the camp. You should be a solid class III paddler with a bomb-proof roll in order to enrol to this trip. If this is your first time with the EWWS you will need to provide footage of your paddling abilities so our team of coaches can assess whether this is an appropriate trip for you.
WHAT BOAT SHOULD I BE BRINGING WITH ME?
A creekboat or a puffy halfslice. We will try to bring a few freestyle boats to go for some evening soul surfing in Faukstad Wave for the freestyle freaks.
HOW DOES THE ACCOMMODATION LOOK LIKE?
The lavoos we will use are big tents with wooden floors and a wood stove to keep us warm. You will need to bring sleeping bags and matts.
The lavoos are within the Sjoa Rafting AS base camp which has great facilities including hot tubs with views to the Sjoa River! Isn't this great?
I DON’T HAVE A CREEKBOAT 🙁 WHAT NOW?
Not to worry, we can rent you a boat – We have a few Rexys, Zions, Black Jacks Tuteas and Queen of Hearts you can choose from. Let us know your body weight and dimensions and we will bring the one that will suit you the most. Rent starts at 25€/day.
WHAT SORT OF STUFF DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
A dry suit or alternatively some kayaking gear meant to be used for cold weather – a dry top combined with some dry pants, a thick wetsuit…
Warm first layer clothes – wool sleeves and pants.
Documents (ID, passport…), some pocket money, your favourite board game, a book, an open mind, lots of motivation… oh, and your kayaking gear might be useful too 😉
MY ENGLISH IS NOT THAT GOOD… IS THIS OK?
Can you think of any better opportunity to study English without even noticing it? Sessions will be run in English but in case you don’t understand or you have any questions, our coaches do speak French, Spanish and Catalan. Other Burners may be able to help you as well. Don’t worry, we will find the way to understand each other and your English will improve by the day!
HOW DO I BOOK MY KAYAK ONTO MY FLIGHT?
It is generally easy to book your freestyle boat onto most airline companies. However, some companies have length limitations that would exclude most creekboats. It is important to read the sport baggage policies of the companies you are considering to fly with before booking your ticket. Here is a quick breakdown of the fares of various popular airlines:
Ryanair - 35€ for the regular Sports Equipment, 55€ for a Large Sports Item. It is possible to check in up to 2 Large Sport Items per person per flight. The maximum weight allowed is 20kg, but you might be allowed to fly paying an additional fee of 11€/kg up to 32kg. In general quite a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
EasyJet - The fee is 55€ and only one item per passenger is allowed. You can check in your kayak without problems as kayaks are amongst the items that are allowed on the airline's sports baggage policy. Up to 32kgs. Friendly for both freestyle and creekboats.
Eurowings - Up to 32kg allowed, it has a cost of 50€. Generally a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
Norwegian Airlines - Max dimensions stated on website are 250cmx79cmx112cm. This is more than enough for any freestyle boat and borderline for most modern creekboats. Likely that they would not care about 20cm extra as width and height of the kayaks are much less than their max allowance. 32kg max. weight allowance makes it a good company to chuck your kayaking gear inside your kayak :).
Cost is very reasonable at 30GBP (if booked online) or 50GBP directly at the counter.
Vueling - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The weight limit is 32kg and the maximum length 270cm, which is good for all freestyle boats and many creekboats. The cost is 45€.
Lufthansa - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum length allowed is 3,15m and the maximum weight is 32kg so this is a creekboat-friendly company. The cost is quite elevated, at 70 - 150€ depending if it's a domestic flight or an international flight.
Aer Lingus - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum weight allowed is 23kg and maximum length is 240cm, so freestyle boats are a go, but it is not a friendly company for creekboats. The cost is 40€.
Wizz Air - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. A slightly odd company as the price depends on the season and it's higher during the summer months and lower during the winter. Not the most kayak friendly company so better to be avoided if you travel with your boat.
We highly recommend that you book your sports equipment in advance to avoid higher fees in the airport check in, or even worse, finding out that the flight is full and not being allowed to bring your kayak with you on board.
Also, packing your kayak nicely in a bag or using a "sock" for surfboards will maximise the chances that everything goes smoothly and that you don't have any problems.
I AM UNDER 16 AND TRAVELLING ALONE. WHAT COMPANIES ALLOW U16s TO FLY IN THEIR OWN?
Ryanair - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.
Easyjet - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 15 years to travel.
Eurowings - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Norwegian - Maybe the best company out there to fly if you are an unaccompanied minor as they accept ages ranging from 5 - 15. From 5 - 11 you will need to contract the Unaccompanied Minor Service. This service is available but only optional from 12-15 and once your 16 you'll be considered an adult.
Vueling - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Exception - Italian kids must be at least 14 to be able to travel alone.
Lufthansa - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age, although it is also possible to book for up to 17yo. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Aer Lingus - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Wizz Air - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.
REMEMBER: Some countries have specific requirements for any children under 18 years who wish to travel into, out of or within their country. You must contact the country’s embassy website or national authorities for more information before you make your booking, and commence travel as these requirements can vary depending on the country, and can change regularly.