On Wednesday this week we went white water rafting in Morzine on a jaunt down the River Dranse, which lies between Morzine and Lake Geneva, with the lovely Nat and Jeremy from Frogs Rafting.
Nat is British and Jeremy is French – between them they offer private or group rafting trips on the Dranse and the nearby Giffre. The pair started Frogs Rafting last summer and they’ve gathered quite a following in Morzine! We did the slightly longer and more difficult ‘pro raft’ rather than the ‘classic raft’ and we were in the water for over 2 hours. If you haven’t rafted before, I’d probably recommend the ‘classic’ trip. Frogs provide the wetsuits, shoes, helmets, life vests and paddles. You arrive in your swimwear and they kit you out quickly – there base is on the road to Thonon, about 20 minutes in a car from Morzine. Then it’s into their minibus and back up stream, where Jeremy spends 10 minutes going through safety stuff. After a practise paddle downstream for about 15 minutes, it’s back out, back in the van, back further upstream and back in the water. Parts of the trip do throw you about the boat (I narrowly avoided falling out several times!), you do get splashed in the face and there will be lots of whooping and screaming. But it is great fun and with Jeremy in the boat I felt we were safe at all times. There are some big rapids which bounce the raft against rocks but by contrast there are also calm, shallow parts of the river where you can jump off and swim in the currents. When the water gets a little more sedate Jeremy points out the surrounding rock formations and how they contributed to the river’s flow. There’s a load of wildlife to see too.
White water rafting is one of those activities that you can do whatever the weather. In fact, the forecasted series of rainy days in Morzine this week were actually our inspiration! But it turns out the sun came out after all. Oh, and there’s a common misconception that the river is bloody freezing when you’re rafting. Despite it’s source being melting snow high up in the mountains, the Dranse really isn’t that cold and with a wetsuit on I never once felt chilly.
A ‘pro raft’ on the Dranse with Frogs Rafting costs €47 per person and you should allow 3 hours for the whole experience. The ‘classic raft’ is priced at €38 per person. Frogs also offer cano-rafting (a cross between canoeing and rafting where you’re in sole charge of the boat!) and gorge walking.