The Sickline Race the Ötz Valley is a very well known place for kayakers all over the world. Theextreme kayak race on the famous Wellerbrücke section takes place in October when the water levels are already low enough to run the steeper sections of the glacier fed river. But the Ötz river can be run almost all year round and especially in the hot summer heat it is one of the most fun rivers in the Alps with its cold and refreshing big volume whitewater. Here are my top tips to make your next summer journey unforgettable.
1) The sections in the Ötz Valley are short, so you will easily make it through a few of them per day or get second, third and fourth runs done.
2) Never been there before? Due to the summer heat the water will rise around mid-day. So it is a good advice to start your paddling day before noon to check out the lines at lower flows. Its always fun to have a second (and third and fourth?) run with every time higher flows when you already know where to go.
3) Attention! The character of the Ötz river at high flow is continuous, fast, powerful big volume whitewater with a lot of sediment and sand. Keep your mouth closed while paddling otherwise you might have a crunchy next meal. The river bed is full of sharp-edged rocks, so swimming is not an option. A quick roll is mandatory to prevent accidents. Try to keep your ears above the surface! I agree that doesn't sound inviting but once you've felt the joy of paddling those big breaking waves you'll never want to miss the summer Ötz Valley season!
4) Fancy to do the Ötztal-Rally? This is one of the most fun things to do! Start your day high up in the valley and paddle down all sections, which suit your paddling skills. With higher flows this might be the lower Venter Ache, the Upper Ötz, the Köfelser section and in the end the lower Ötz as a good big volume evening run.
5) Don´t forget to stop by one of the MPreis groceries in between your runs to get yourself a 'Fleischkassemmel' for lunch at the Bakery.
She just wants to spend as much time in her boat as possible. That’s why Anne chose the profession of kayak instructor over pursuing a career in Biomedical Chemistry. Coming from a slalom background, she is currently one of the strongest and fastest female paddlers in whitewater extreme racing.