The past 2 weeks I was watching the weather pretty close. The conclusion was simple. All rivers of Greece will be awake! The week-end 15-16 November Brainwaves attend upper Lousios river. The water level was medium but the color was super brown and the speed extra fast! No tricky rocks, super clear lines and of course speed!!! The run was unexpected good! The 22-23 November I planned a road trip to check water levels and to paddle some classic sections. On Saturday I paddled Erymanthos. The river was in flood so it took me only an hour and forty minutes from Tripotama to Lampeia. When leaving Erymanthos I realized that the river was flooding super fast and all torrents were like small rivers! With time against us fast driving to Selinous take out for water level report.( On Saturday 22-11-2008 time 17:00 selinous river, medium water color brown ready to flood ). We drove to Itea at Elenitsas house for food and sleep in front of the fireplace. I really enjoyed these moments after a good paddling day, fire, music, photos of the day and nice discussions! Sunday morning and we drove straight to the put in of upper Mornos. On the road at north Gkiona the temperature was below 0 and the snowfall was really strong. Nice atmosphere but when you drive the delay is unavoidable. At 13:00 o clock I was looking the rapids from the road. The water level was perfect to attend it but flooding was pretty close. As the conditions were against me, I decided to relax at the beautiful coffee spot ( www.katafygio-oiti.gr ) and look the snowfall! This week-end the rivers were in flood. The conditions were bad (heavy rainfall-snowfall, low temperature, flooding rivers, etc. ) .
A subtle distinction exists between huge water and flood conditions. To recognize the difference a lot of experience is needed. Lots of accidents are happening because groups of paddlers can’t recognize the difference and can’t take the right decisions. The rule is simple for flooding: Don’t paddle under these conditions! It’s important to understand how fast a river can change from high water into a flood river. Professional paddlers attend creeks in high water but only pro-boaters can do it. The risks are high and of course the difficulty change even one grade! Special attention is needed and of course the paddler’s skills needed are extra high. Super strong paddlers(pros) only can take the risks to deal these conditions!!!
-The noise of the river is too powerful
-the water color is deep brown (chocolate)
-the water speed is unusual
-the roots of the trees near the river are in or almost in the water
– trashes, logs, etc exists in the water
Please take extra care and never underestimate the river. These conditions could be realy dangerous so be extremely attentive!!!