Czech paddling scene – when the rain comes

This spring was by one word miserable. There was almost no snow in the mountains over the winter and not a single river hit decent flow. So we had to wait for some heavy rains to show up over our beloved region. And it happened. Middle of May was the time. There was rain forecasted for whole week but you can’t be ever sure. 

What actually happened was simple unbelievable. We left Prague on Saturday at 3pm with flow of 7 cubics (runnable level is at about 12 cubics) and arriving to the put in 2 hours later finding flooded river with over 35 cubics and raising fast. As we have already paddled this river on Polish border we knew what it’s like at higher flow but this just looked a bit too much. One of us called it straight off but me and Mira Kodada decided to put it to give it a try on top section with multiple slides, big holes but with reachable eddy bellow bridge. It was epic, but fast and scary. I’ve decided to take off at that bridge because idea of reaching a corner with tree blocking a river was not an option for me.

Check out this raw video of the run: https://vimeo.com/95681707

Although It was already late, we managed to squeeze epic run on the lower part of this river. Normal spring flow is usually at 25 cubics and 40 cubics that evening were just something we needed after long time with no paddling.

Kind of sad was that It stopped raining that evening and rivers were dropping fast. But still, we set our alarm clock for 5pm and put on that upper section. Flow was low, but this creek is always fun to do.

You can watch this beautiful run here: https://vimeo.com/96885325

After that It was time to head back to Prague and wait what weather will bring next week. We got lucky, very lucky soon. There are usually no opportunities to paddle 2 of the best creeks within the same week.

So Wednesday we headed for quick evening run on the border with Germany. This creek with about 15 cubics has much different style compare to the first one. This is class IV-V boulder garden with not clean horizon lines. I’ve never paddled this creek before, but key information was to always stay where most water is. Anyway, this run was nothing to compare in Czech. Brown water from peat and super green shore were great combination and set this beauty on the top of my radar for next rainy days. 

By the end of this week, it’s not hard to say, that Czech can surprise you with great creeking opportunities. But as always you have to be lucky and be ready to leave fast. But if you catch some water on these creeks, you will be rewarded with endless amount of joy.

Many thanks to David Vory Sodomka for taking pictures and carrying his heavy camera around 

story by Matej Holub