Season premiere: Northern Nittälven

By Deliverance Team on 2015.03.23 In Finished Adventures

Early Spring Flood

The spring flood came one month earlier this year. Mikael and Henrik decided to grab the opportunity for some packrafting down the river Nittälven.

Equiped with one Alpacka Raft, one BayLee1 and a Helsport Varanger 8-10 tipi we hit the gravel roads towards the river.

The information about the condition of  the roads was wrong. We choose the sand road that passes by the meadow Dansarbacken. The road was 50% ice and 50% quicksand. The nearly got stuck with our cars several times.

2015-03-22-10.11.58Basecamp Uvbergsbron

We set our camp near the bridge Uvbergsbron. Our plan was to sleep here over night and the next morning drive one car to the village Nittkvarn/Yxsjöberg 10 kilometers up North, paddle back South and return to basecamp at the end of the day.

Because we had a basecamp to return to, we could treat ourselves to a little luxury; stove, proper food, and several comfortable sheepskins to sleep on.

As the evening fell over our basecamp, we made owen baked pizza in the stove.

Over night the temperature dropped and it started to snow a lot. We woke up to a beautiful winter landscape and as the sun started to rise on a clear sky.


Going Down

We drove one car to the starting Point. Our plan was to paddle through Nittälven Nature Reserve, something that has never been documented being done before. We did not know if it was possible doing, but we thought that we at least should give it a try.20150321_161228_Aladin_Ldgr

At first it seemed promising. The river was wide and deep enough. We paddled through  beautiful nature. The trees was covered in fresh snow that glittered in the sun as it blew off the branches. Magic!

The troubled began after a couple of houndred meters. The valve to Mikaels packraft seat broke and he had to sit on the bottom of the packraft. The river got too small to paddle and with several minor waterfalls up ahead, we decided to leave the river and walk pass the Nature Reserve one kilometers down to the tarn Lilla Nitten. When we arrived to the tarns we found ourselves in campany with two other guys paddling an Gumotex Palava. They recognized us as The Deliverance Team and told us that they have had the same idea of paddeling the Nittälven Nature Reserve, but had to give it up just like we did.

Mikael, now without a seat in his BayLee1 packraft, borrowed a drybag stuffed with Henriks dry change of clothes. Of course the drybad did not stand for that and all of Henriks clothes got soaking wet after a while.

Bye, Bye GoPros

As we paddled down the river, through the Upper Nittälven Nature Reserve, Henrik dropped both of his GoPro3’s in the river and they were lost for ever. All of our Beautiful winter Pictures and videos are now laying at the bottom of Nittälven. We had nothing to to show from our adventure. A feeling of hopelessness started to spread. Mikael was wet and “fucking sick” of his broken packraft and spent the rest of his journey cursing his vessel.

Waterfall and end of the Line2015-03-23-09.58.28

As we arrived to the Brattforsen Waterfall, enough was enough for Mikael and the other two guys in the Palava that had accompanied us since Lilla Nitten.

Henrik who knew the sudden waterfall behind a bend of the river paddled first and jumped of his packraft in the strong current to catch the BayLee1 and the Palava from going over the waterfall.

The soaking wet Palava guys decided to camp at Brattforsen and Mikael simply pulled his non-functioning packraft out of the water and walked the remaining four kilometers back to basecamp.

Henrik, now along on the river, continued South after a short portage at the waterfall.


Another Broken Packraft

Just after leaving Brattforsen behind, Henrik discovered that thare was a hole in the bottom of his packraft. Cold water sprinkled into the packraft and though he had waterproof cloathing, the cold was pretty disturbing. He spend the last kilometers sitting on top of the stern of the packraft to prevent freezing his balls off.

All’s Well that end Relatively Well

Mikael and Henrik arrived back to basecamp at the same time. The stove was lit and soon the warmth started to spread in the tipi.

We made some pulled beef, drank some warm Glögg (mulled wine) and reveled in our misery.

We had  broken two packrafts, lost two GoPro cameras and with them an entire winter packrafting movie, but our spirit for adventure is still there.

Until next time.

This is the small hole in the packraft.







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