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A recap of year 2021

In total 95 days kayaking in 2021, most of them right home on Gaula river and its tributaries, and 13 trips in Bua canyon. Out of homerun adventures were followings: trips in Trondelag region, to Stjørdal, kayaking the Sona and to Oppdal kayaking Driva and Grøvu, two big trips in Norway to Voss and Trofors and one trip abroad to Oetz in Austria by car, no planes taken in 2021.

January: 0 day kayaking as the river was silently flowing under a thick cover of ice covered by many animals tracks. The ice looked solid, with temperature well stable at – 20degrees C and below but I didn’t dare to walk on the ice as the flow keeps running below. By end of January finally the sun reappears above the steep hills that frame the valley of Gaula. Highlight of the month was successfully giving birth (in “only” 4 hours) and becoming a mother!

2021 recap : Kayaking life with a baby in Norway!
February : 0 day kayaking, getting back to my body after birth with yoga practice and long walks in the valley of Gaula.

March : 3 days kayaking + 3 days cross country skiing and, as an exotic move, skate boarding. Finally the river is ice free, the timing is perfect. I am back on cross country skis 6 weeks after giving birth and on kayak 8 weeks after birth.

February kayaking
April : 9 days kayaking, 2 days skiing and 2 days freediving in the sea. Spring is coming, we see many animals including an otter on the river.

May : 17 days kayaking, 1 day freediving. The spring flood hit the river in May. It is spectacular as every year, and sadly one person (not connected to any kayaking activity) will die falling in the river. We kayak down Gaula with 600m m3/s. The waves are massive, the water has a lot of power in this section wich is on normal flow a lovely class 2. First trip down Bua canyon was the last day of May, as ice was still blocking the canyon earlier. It is with what we judged juicy water levels. Eventually running the canyon many times this year by the end of the season this waterlevel we consider as a medium flow. The sun is full on and we enter the period of the year without nights.

icy kayaking in february

June : 16 days kayaking, 2 of them in Sona and 4 days in Voss for the Extremsports Veko. Voss is our first big road trip (about 8 hours drive) as a family with 5 month old baby, and it went great. We find our rhythm to have some time as a couple, as a family, and both kayak, and were well organized in our tent first and then upgrading as we got invited to live at a friend. I am enough back in shape to race, and I finish 3rd wich I am really glad for, I make a mistake in the quali and loose some time but I am back on a smooth and solid run through the finale , still 5 seconds behind the winner time of Sasha, in the same second than the 2nd Beth and 4th girl Dominika! Kamilla, also freshly mum, and the extremely solid kayaker Marlene made mistakes in the finale that took away their medal chance, it is part of the game. Most fun is that it was so many girls at the start, more than 10. The race was supposed to be the world champ, but cancelled as many countries couldn’t travel in Norway with the pandemy restrictions, still it is awesome the organizer kept the event happening. An extra stress for kayaking is really low water level, but the race was well organized through all those happenings. Another highlight was to padle down the superb marine canyon, i wasn’t back enough in my shape to style it but was grateful to be recovered enough from birth to enjoy this amazing place.

2021 recap : Kayaking life with a baby in Norway!

July : 7 days kayaking + 2 days freediving in the sea. It is a real warm summer and the water is above 20 degrees in the river, where we take long swims. That is abnormal and the fishing is temporarily closed as salmons are struggling to survive. Another local exceptional news is that a cow fell in Bua canyon and had to be rescued by helicopter! Then a new big road trip in Norway to Trofors (6 hours), being fully packed 5 persons in the car. Enjoying the crystal blue water of Ragnarock on Vefsna, making laps on the Susna shower fall, and visiting some of the other many rivers around. The North is always a place I love to visit back, and that the legends Mariann and Ron with the 2 small kids moved there is another solid sign of the quality of the place. Many long white nights outside, enjoying sun, pleasant temperature, friends and barbecues and making sunny memories to remember when winter comes.

August : 11 days kayaking. Enjoying the beauty of the Gaula and Bua. And one exotic trip one hour south to do a long couple trip on Driva, while grand parents enjoyed the baby. As a variation making a hiking trip with baby and the tent to the top of the national park where Bua has its source, Forhologna 1332 masl. The water was dramatically low, and we could freedive and watch some salmons below the watersurface in Gaulfossen with as little as 15 m3/s. I started a plan to train towards Oetz trophy race, but got slightly sick and had no energy to train. Then came another big flood on Gaula, and as we were floating down massive waves on the homerun the train driver horned and waved at us, it felt magic. As a variation we went for a hike above Gaulfossen and saw some remarkable prehistoric drawings on stone (helleristning in Norwegian).

2021 recap : Kayaking life with a baby in Norway!

September : 17 days kayaking. Numerous trips with training focus on Bua and Gaula, and finally a trip down the scenic Graura canyon of Driva with a huge crew of smiling local friends.

October : 9 days kayaking. 6 days kayaking on the legendary Wellerbrucke, the water level went 1 meter up overnight that called for a mandatory rest, admiring the power of the river and the 2 braves who runned the rapid down with strong lines. I trained seriously and qualified to the semi final, but ended on 12th place 25 seconds behind the first girl Laura (and 10 seconds slower to my own training time) after a very scary and disappointing line in TNT getting pushed right on the outside of the turn, something I had not experienced before. It is the risk of trying to go faster and loose controll. 2nd place went to Maike and 3rd to Martina. It was so inspiring to have 30 girls at the start including from Japan, and to watch Marlene repeating clean laps all the week. I made back my mood right after not to spoil the day of my beloved partner and family who came to assist with baby and made it possible for me to race! Then back to Norway and starting to work again after maternity leave. 2 more trips down Bua canyon, that sums up to 13 trips in total in this magic canyon this year.

November : 6 days kayaking. An epic run down the lower Grøvu with very low flow but still quality and fun whitewater, in a superb – and dangerously cold – snow landscape. Then more laps in Gaula til the snow comes to the valley as well, and ice starts to form on the eddies of the river.

gearing up and coffee!

December : 0 kayaking, 6 days cross country skiing
In December it was a smaller flood that broke the ice. Cross country with baby in a pulk has been the highlight of the month, making long trips, being outside, and keeping the shape up!

Photos from Voss by Kaisa Tiivel and from Oetz by @katjajemec

Thanks for reading! And lets 2022 be another epic year when the snow melt..