Lead us into temptation

Event details Social Paddle: Kentmere Village -to Staveley Village From Memory I cannot recall many eddies and trees are an ever present danger Not one of our regular rivers, probably not a premier river but a good journey down the valley. I have done the river when it has been very low and providing you don’t mind the odd scrape on a rock it is still interesting. There is an easily portable Grade 4 section at Scroggs Bridge and the final weir would be optional

Every bit of the information is true – It is just a question of interpretation.

Brian, Matt, Mike H, Sten, Ian H, Dave, Phil C, John.

Despite being worried about water levels the rain was kind and came in – just in perfect time. I looked on my marker rock at 8:30 in steady drizzle I noticed levels had risen – looking good..  0.63 on Kent gauge at Bowston.  

All cars loaded 4 boats on each and for once no walkers at the Kentmere Institute, I can’t think why! it was a perfect day of low cloud and rain.

On with a bounce, down the narrow quite steep section weaving round trees and through stoppers – there is a nice series of little shelves.

Into Kentmere tarn with an apparently rare flock of Whooper Swans and a time to chat and listen to a John’s talk on Diatomite and why the tarn exists. Then mazed our way through the mangrove swamp at the outlet, it was still water so not too difficult – just overhanging tree branches. 

To protect the (not so) innocent from this point on, trees will not be mentioned again!! Thanks to sterling work from Sten, Matt, Mike and all – just a good story and no harm done. I must remember to advertise a White Water Training and Rescue Course in the Event Details for future trips.

Anyway back to the river. A canalised section through the factory followed by a steep grade 3 rapid, only one, but it was about 1.5 kilometres long. It was good, it was very good and the intrepid team misled by the information in the event details coped admirably.  one enthusiastic local even whistling at us. Trickiest, a small island with a tight drop on one sideGOPR0991

 

and tree blockage on the other was little more challenging and saw them throw lines used effectively to retrieve a pinned kayak. A very experienced kayaker was heard to mutter something about reassessing his skills and arranging a multiday trip to Idaho because he did not really feel ready for rivers suitable for “improvers”.

We were nearly at a easier section but the river was not done with us yet, tricking some us onto what looked like an innocent looking play wave. The wave proceeded to have lots of fun tipping a couple of kayakers out of their boats, who no doubt were looking for crayfish and fresh water mussels.

Next was Scroggs Fall, lots of head scratching and muttering. A tree in right channel of the first 2m drop. Finally avoid by using the fall on the left with a bounce but not too much trouble,

fullsizeoutput_334more steep chutes followed, until just above the second drop.

I was just at the top of the second drop chatting to Ian when he announced he had to go. Now we are all of “mature” years and over the years I have got used to our groups frequent stops and the importance of having relief zippers especially in purple undersuits – but I did think that this was a very inconvenient time for the Godfrey’s  Syndrome to strike. Low and behold Ian promptly disappears down the drop. Now it was Dad’s Army’s private Frasers turn “We’ll be doomed”. I thought I’d better follow – fortunately Ian was not being mangled around in the stopper under the fall or that could have been interesting. I have just a small boat (not quite sure why) but still I am sure Ian would not have appreciated a little lump of red plastic balanced on his head or more probably bouncing up and down on it. The group followed with differing success.

Now all we had to do was limp down the last few hundred yards – but even this proved too much for Matt’s boat. It had split it sides no doubt laughing at us. I believe he is now looking for a second hand Dancer and rumour has it a Dancer sits more securely on my roof rack than a modern boat.

Off to Wilf’s for the customary café stop, lots of happy animated faces – a good day was had by all (I think)

 

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A tale of two rivers

You wait for a good river trip, and then two come along at once….

We had 9 paddlers who wanted to come out on the 29th for some whitewater excitement. Rivers were very bare on Sunday evening, but the forecast rain materialised, and by breakfast time on Monday there were too many options. A few people had to drop out due to illness or last minute commitments so we had six, with varying degrees of skill and bravery. In the end, we split our forces, with Mike, Martin and Rachel tackling Borrow Beck at G3(5), and John, Dave and Phil running the Greta from  Ingleton at a marginally easier G2/3.
The Greta was great; lots of water, so it was fast and bouncy, with almost all the rocks covered. Plenty of fast, swooping turns, and wave trains to keep you on your toes. No real dramas – the river-wide tree we’d been warned about had gone – but Phil was so pleased at smashing through a hole that he failed to spot a horizontal tree the size of a bus which was a boat-length beyond it. First swim. But the sun came out, and the rapids kept coming too, all the way through Burton, under the bridge and on to the main event, the G3+ drop at the end. We ignored the advice to inspect and just went for it; 2 succeeded, 1 swam, again. This river doesn’t get any stars in Stuart’s guidebook, but if the river is running quickly at Ingleton, (sadly, no gauge except Wennington), it’s definitely worth doing.
Phil
Rachel first inspected Borrow Beck in 2006, so she has waited 12 years for the opportunity to actually run it.  Fortunately, we had Mike Hayward to guide us (he made the first descent in 1987 witH robin and Jim!)  The level was a little low and dropping all the time, but maybe no bad thing for our first run.  The river is shallow and bouldery for several kilometers, after which it narrows and steepens.  We portaged round the grade V, but ran the grade IV twisty section.  Unfortunately, all photos are from the easier first part.  Far too busy holding on, after that! Lunes Bridge gauge on Lune at Tebay 1.3
photo 1 – at the start
photo 2 – nice day for a paddle
photo 3 – telephoto shot captures the setting
photo 4 – after the bridge
photo 5 – grade V

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Martin

‘B’ are best

Saturday evening, the club hosted a Canoe Polo tournament at Kendal Leisure Centre, featuring seven teams from clubs around Cumbria including Copeland, Penrith and Duddon.  A total of 102 goals were scored in 21 games – the lifeguards said it was great fun to watch!  Lakeland B ( Robin Frances, Andy L Mike H , Mike P or Mike F) were the narrow victors, beating Penrith B by a single point.

Penrith A Penrith B Penrith C Lakeland A Lakeland B Copeland Duddon
Total Points

14

16

5

14

17

10

8

Total Goals For

23

20

4

18

22

8

7

Total Goals Against

17

10

20

8

5

19

23

Goal Difference

6

10

-16

10

17

-11

-16

Position in League

3=

2

7

3=

1

5

6

 

Something new. Tuesday 23rd Jan.

The sea trip was cancelled due to gale forces winds, but it rained. So the venue change dot a river.  Lots of snow melt also brought the rivers up well.

We headed for  River Leith, near the M6 just north of Shap.  Plenty of water, but maybe a bit more would have been even better.  There were two tree portages in the first section, and other low trees and bridges, but all the nine sheep fences had gaps, so that was lucky.  The crux section was good grade III and excellent.

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Time for Tees

With very low water levels in the Lakes, four paddles (Matt, Sten, Brian and Mike) travelled to the River Tees to paddle the section from below High Force down to Newbiggin.

We happened to find it at a nice level of 0.7 which I would describe as a good low level, especially given that most of us hadn’t run this section for a number of years. The first 100 yards or so were a bit of a scrape where the river is wide and relatively featureless but then the first notable rapid is reached. The Dog Leg or S-Bends where the water funnels through a narrow channel with a series of 5 drops forming stoppers which were successfully negotiated by all.

Horseshoe Falls soon follows which is then followed immediately by Low Force, a 4m waterfall. Horseshoe Falls is renowned for producing a strong stopper so it’s important to make the line to avoid been upside down in such close proximity to Low Force. Matt B and his boat almost disappeared but Horseshoe Falls was negotiated with success, ready for the crowds waiting at Low Force, which is the main event of the trip and a bit of a tourist attraction. At this level, there was a lovely boofing ledge which assisted with the ‘launch’ from the top of the falls. All ran the drop successfully, some plunging deeper than others with Mike ‘seeing bubbles’. A further few ledge drops follow, interspersed by easier rapids until the get-out and the rather long walk out to the car is reached.

A successful trip enjoyed by all, followed by the usual coffee and cakes.

Lower Derwent 9/1/18

Due to low water levels pretty much everywhere, this week’s Midweek Paddle was on the Lower Derwent from Bassenthwaite Lake down to Cockermouth.

Six paddlers (Dave & Phil from LCC, Sue Simpson who is an ex-LCC paddler from a few years back, and three friends from West Cumbria CC, Heather, Pete and Mike), met in glorious winter sunshine at Peel Wyke and set off down the river; cold day, but no wind, and a kilometre of flat-water at the top of the lake kept us warm.

There are a few very modest grade 2 sections, but it’s mostly grade 1 water, and no-one had any dramas. The river was high, and running quickly so 14km flew by and we were off the water mid afternoon. More a moving-water trip than whitewater, but the scenery is fantastic, and made up for the lack of adrenaline. Hoping for some rain soon….

 

 

Gangsta on the Lune

Dave has just bought a new Waka Gangsta and was keen to test it out, so he and Phil  paddled from Crook of Lune down to Killington New Bridge. Weather was beautiful, with lots of blue sky and sunshine, but air temperature was hovering about zero and the water wasn’t much warmer, so we didn’t hang about for long at the top. The gauge said 0.52 which is definitely low, but apart from some bump and scrap on the first kilometre, it was very pleasant paddling, heading down into the sunshine. The Guidebook mentioned the Strid had “pinning potential” in low water which got our attention, so we got out and had a very long, hard look at the slot. Eventually we agreed to run it – after all, what could go wrong? – and found it exhilarating but straightforward. Phil promptly celebrated by falling in on the easy grade II section well below the difficulties, but managed to roll back up; first ever combat (sic) roll! We decided that some of the “Waka magic” must have rubbed off on the Remix, and headed for the exit at Killington Bridge. Buoyed by our success, we decided to paddle a short section of the Kent, from Scroggs Weir down to Sedgwick bridge. In low water, this was lovely paddling, with no dramas, but plenty of adrenaline in the Gun Barrel Gorge. P.S. Dave is very happy with the Gangsta.