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June 2010

Kultsjöån above Stalon is a great creeking run with some nice drops. The overall character of river is similar to the Creeking Delta in Piteälv. Rapids often have multiple channels in open landscape, but there are also some tighter passages.

There flow of the river is regulated by a dam upstream. Both of the times we’ve been there the waterlevels have been optimal and about the same. It is a possibility that the waterlevels stay quite constant thruout the season, but I’m not sure.

Special Hazards:
There are some sharp rocks.

Drive 4,5km from Stalon to west towards Klimpfjell. There is a lay-by on the left which is the take-out. The put-in is about 10km further upstream where the river turns to lake.

The run starts with a Delta-style rapid with few different lines to choose. There are steeper drops and slides depending on which channel you choose. Pretty interesting. I can imagine this rapid being a great venue for a boaterX competition. On the river right you can find  a small waterfall.

Adrian Tregoning on the small waterfall river right.

Mikael Lantto on the same.

After a bit of flat water you will come up to a 3m high waterfall which followed by a rapid after a short pool. The main line down the waterfall is on the river right, but is been scraped down from the left as well with an impressive face plant!

Juho running the main line of the 3m waterfall.

Sami on the shallow channel on the river left.

After some varied boogie water is quite a rocky passage with some pin potential. Boof to the main current from the left and go over the ledge from the left side. It’s not a good idea to capsize in this drop as the rocks are sharp and plentiful.

Juho being careful on the rocky passage.

Next one is a hectic rapid with a troublesome stopper towards the end. It’s quite easy to get out of the stopper, but if you slip there are some sharp rocks waiting to hurt you.

Miku entering the hectic rapid.

Adrian Tregoning showing a good line well cleatr of the final hole.

Tuomas getting caught in the hole.

Sami after being flipped in the hole. Yes, it’s shallow and there is sharp rocks…

After a while you come to drop in a mini canyon. Adrian called it mini-Kalagala, because it looks a bit similar than it’s bigger brother at the White Nile. It’s an asymmetric drop where a dynamic approach is needed to ride the curler wave. And most likely you will flip at the bottom.

Tight passage in mini canyon. Sweet curler -move!

Then you will come to a waterfall with an interesting lead-in. There are several options for a line, but running the main current all the way to the left looks like a bad idea. At high water the boiling eddy under the waterfall might become an issue. After the waterfall the river follows a mini-canyon and an intensive slide/drop -combo follows shortly. Worth a portage. Take a look or carry around from the right bank.

Adrian running the middle line.

Miku online on the left line.

This is followed by a quite a big and nice which is completed with a bit of a hole in the middle before second tier which is a small slide. Parallel to the slide there is another channel on left with a steeper drop.

Author entering the awesome slide.

In the thick of it. The hole is visible in front of me. On a later trip with Adrian I probed this slide I managed to side surf the hole and eventually had to swim out of.

Miku on the second tier of the slide.

There’s some random but sweet rapids left until you reach the take-out.

One of the rapids before the take-out.

Kultsjöån 15.7.2006 from Tuomas Vaarala on Vimeo.

Day 2 section of the Nile starts with a bang. Called as the big three or 666 there is three parallel channels, each of them being a major rapid. Starting from river left there is Kalagala falls, Hypoxia in the middle and Itanda on the river right. Kalagala is a big volume pourover with a tongue on the right. Straight forward line, but missing the line might hold some severe consequences.

Author running the Kalagala falls.

The ferry just below Hypoxia.

This is what I think of running the Hypoxia…

Hypoxia is a very large hole and running it is not every one’s flavor. People do run it thought. Itanda on the other hand is a huge big volume rapid with a several big hole, but with a line that (hopefully) avoids most of them. The trick of running the Itanda is that if you want to run it from top to bottom you can’t scout it because you have to commit to the line earlier abowe. On our trip we didn’t had that many change to run it and when there was I just wasn’t feeling for it. It’s a big rapid after all. My brother, Juho, on the other hand did a sweet descent of the rapid on our last day on the river when we decided to soak it in last time and paddle the whole run from Bujagali falls down to Hairy Lemon.

Juho in the bottom part of Itanda.

Somewhere abowe Nile Special on our last day on the river.

Especially after loosing the Ugly Sisters channel to the dam construction the best play on the river is on the day 2 section. On Hair of the Dog rapid there can either the mutts nutts on low water or the main hair of the dog wave at high water. On Kula Shaker there is a big rolling wave that is just smooth and nice to surf. Everyone knows the Nile Special, but on the same rapid there is also a low water option that is the Club Wave. Downstream of the Nile Special there is Malalu which is supposed be really nice, but needs high water. We never made it there.

Juho surfing the Nile Special.

Author surfing during the Nile Freestyle Festival 2007.

The Club Wave.

The day 2 section and the play spots are most easily accessible from the Hairy Lemon camp site. It’s an island on the Nile and very peaceful and relaxed play to stay. For different rates you can stay in your own tent, dormitory or a private banda. Three meals are always included in the rates as you cannot bring food to the island. Some people find the food a little bit too basic and repetitive, but I had no problems with it.

Our tents at the Hairy Lemon.

Bidding farewell to Hairy Lemon bar at our last night on the River in true fashion.