Our first stop was the Isel Gorge. This is a section of river that normally is only runnable in late fall, as the very last of the glacial snowmelt ends prior to winter. However, due to a low snowpack and very cold temperatures, we were able to catch this river on the way up, prior to reaching its normal summer flows which are way too high. The limitations being a few mandatory rapids, one of which you cannot scout and is 35 feet tall, not to mention the multiple rappels to get around un-runnable falls. And it turns out, that despite having no problem running waterfalls, the idea of rappelling does in fact scare me. I guess it turns out I am still scared of heights.
The next river was the Defereggenbach. On maps this river is actually called the Schwarzach, but locals call it Defereggenbach so that is what I will refer to it as. This run was very low, but the waterfalls within its gorge were still plenty of fun. Luck was also on our side this day, as we had planned to hike out due to the final gorge often being full of wood and causing ordeals. However, as we put on we got word from a group of Italians who just finished that in fact the final gorge was clear of wood. Game on!
The final day in the region began at the Taurenbach. This little run starts with classic whitewater before dropping into a portage filled canyon. With a trail on the walls above, we instead opted to exit just before the portages began and hike back to the car. The highlight of this run was the walled in rapids with limited scouting and portaging options.
Check out the video featuring these runs!