Jan’s Corsica Road Trip

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Since Corsica was blessed with an exceptional snow cover this year, I decided to book Gene17’s “all inclusive” Corsica road trip in mid-April. A rental boat and paddle were part of the package, so I was able to fly without much hassle and avoided an otherwise long trek by car and ferry. Coming from a still wintery and cold Berlin, I was glad to be greeted by sunshine upon arrival in Corsica, and, no, I’m not talking about Jakub Sedivy who picked me up from the airport. Although to be fair, from day one he and Simon Westgarth did everything to make this trip an amazing experience, both on and off the water. Our usual picnics before running the rivers were just one example that added to our good times.

Upper Golo in the sun
Asco in more perfectly sunny conditons

I was supplied with a Werner Shogun paddle and the new Zet Director as my creek boat. As I had wanted to test drive that beast of 360L anyway, I couldn’t have asked for better equipment. On day one we paddled the Tavignanu Gorge to warm up and assess our abilities. What I had expected to be a relaxing run turned out to be quite exciting in view of this year’s high water levels, resembling pushy big water rather than low volume steep creeking.
Over the next few days the rivers became steeper and increasingly technical as we paddled the upper stretches of the Asco, Golo as well as the Codi. I started the week a little anxious and unsure about my paddling skills but my confidence rose steadily thanks to thorough instructions and assured guidance from Simon and Jakub. By the time we ran the Travo on day 5, I felt well-prepared and had a brilliant day on the many slides and drops.

California section on Travo

After 5 days of fantastic whitewater in stunning nature, we decided to have a more laid-back last day and ran the Tavignano gorge section again. As we were only two coaches and two participants that day and already knew that stretch of the river, there was a lot of time for coaching and I got plenty of feedback to further improve my paddling after this trip. Saying that, I didn’t quite understand why my apparent “lack of torso rotation” was interpreted as a fault and can’t be embraced as a unique and refined style.(Gene17 editor: Hmmmmmm)

Cafe with a view

I can’t write about this trip without mentioning the striking beauty of the Corsican landscape and especially the gorges which are full of spectacular rock formations. I was therefore particularly pleased to discover that Jakub and Simon were not only great paddlers but also very good photographers. They took plenty of great pictures, some of which even made me look like a competent paddler. I’m glad to have these pictures as a reminder of this fantastic trip. Thanks for your great company Alex, Jakub, Jeff and Simon!

perfect weather, perfect seas, perfect Corsica
A little tree once split the rock

Only one very last question remains: What exactly do you mean by “lateral momentum”, Simon?


Jan Girnus from Berlin, joined Gene17 in April for a Corsica Road Trip Adventure. Our trips to Corsica is 13/20 April 2014.