As the ridiculous water levels in most rivers had dropped off, and Barry wanted to paddle the Crake, so three of us met in sunny Greenodd. Mike had checked Spark Bridge and confirmed that it was medium>high, (0.85), but still possible to get under the footbridge as long as levels didn’t increase. So a quick shuttle to Nibthwaite, and hop onto the river, which was immediately interesting, with plenty of low hanging branches to keep us switched on. At this level, there weren’t many river features, just continuous bouncy wave trains, and the occasional downed tree. Branches caused one swim and one roll, until we paused just above the main event, the Spark Bridge rapid; “Get low, stay hard left” was the plan, but the river fought back, and one paddler swam just after the Bridge. No (serious) harm done, so we finished off the trip carving through the last few twists to the get out.
Water levels had subsided a little. After consulting the Farson’s webcam Borrow Beck had risen to the top of Brian’s hit list. After the long shuttle Brian. Mike and John drag boats to the river. Low by passable. We noted several small landslides form the previous day. The First fence with small gap, saw 2 rolls! We benefited from a newly snapped fence. So only one fence portage today.
About the half way the river stipend and is more confined, increasing the challenge and enjoyment. Looping through the lead. A 0.5m fall into a small stopper push John right onto the side, which topple him in. Good roll, Very good roll, John seem relaxed. However only 10m downstream the double drop, Grade 5 inspection. might go!!!
Soon below we admire dates flood limit of the previous day some 1m above the current level. Wow.
A nice drop saw us resume the journey.
More class 3 , continuous now brought us to the cars. Only 12.30.
Soon we were sliding in the Clough at the mid bridge. Straight into the confined of the mini gorge with its tricky exit drop.
A large oak almost blocked the river.
The weir and steps at The mill were still a little sticky. As this wasJohn’s first run down the Clough we looked at the final fall an discussed possible lines. Semi boof into the eddy became the target and achieved with varying decrees of success.
A fine day out.
Loads of rain! loads of water!! river level silly!!!, any thought of an intermediate trip dismissed earlier in the week. A pity really because the introduction/beginner trips can be good fun and people seemed keen.
It was a bit of a drive around, met up Matt by the canal at Junction 26 and then Ian Mc and Chris D in Settle. Looking at the Twin Bridges rapid on the Ribble was not very promising, it would probably go at a pinch but if anyone got in trouble and lets face it, it is usually me who gets in trouble, they would be on their own and on their own for a very long way.
Next thought was the Wharfe, a river suggested a couple of days ago and dismissed as too long a drive, now it seemed like a good idea. We could look at going down to to Hubberholme to Kettlewell. Or the very top from Beckermonds down to Hubberholme.
Leaving a car in Kettlewell we haead off and the river seemed to have disappeared into fields, water everywhere. So driving up beside the top section, we found a team already coming down, that felt comforting, other people had had the same thought. Arriving at the put in it seemed a good idea to leave a car at Hubberholme just in case.
So far quite a lot of organisation or some might call it faff, but it was all worthwhile, wow – what a river.
I had cycled past the river many years ago and looked like a pavement of limestone with lots of ledge drops, for a long time I have wanted to have a go at this river – such a wild location.
When water is added to the bedrock all the drops had places were we really did not want to go into but also lines of weaknesses that could be exploited, making all drops runnable, if a bit of adrenaline was mixed into the occasion as well.
A little intimidating at first and there was a teeny bit of apprehension, but as we progressed down the river confidence increased and we really did have a cracking day.
We finally pulled into Hubberholme late in the day, so hardcore are we, we were too late for coffee and scones. Just as well had left a car at Hubberholme it would have been a long paddle down to Kettlewell especially if we got stuck in a field having lost the river somewhere or other.
Lakeland canoe club are hosting two pool sessions as part of the KMFF weekend. Learn / improve your roll and support strokes.
When: 4-5p.m. or 5-6 p.m. Saturday 17th November Cost: £12 per 1 hour session.
Included all kit, Boats, paddles, spraydecks, safety cover, coaching.
Max 10 people per session
Restrictions. Ability to swim.16+ , 14+ if accompanied by adult.
I was due to organise a river trip on Friday 28th September but as seems to be the trend at the moment – there was no water in the rivers.
There was however a good high tide but it was quite late in the day, too late to set off from Jubilee Bridge or Roa Island and still get round in daylight.
Ian rang and suggested not wasting such a good day and setting off from Earnse Bay. Sounds like a very good plan.
A long walk with our kayaks down the beach into a gorgeous day with blue sky wall to wall, virtually no wind and just a little swell.
We paddled south chatting away rounding the south end past the lighthouse, only a few seals but lots of Oystercatcher and Gull.
Stopping by the castle we had our first stop for a brew and sat in the sunshine marveling at a bank of blackberries ripening on a sunny bank under the ruined castle. Ian’s very impressive jet boil stove very quickly produced a cup of tea, I had my flask and some apples from the garden.
Down the channel and the scenery changes mood, more populated, more industrious under the bridge and watch the world go by at the slipway and onward through another change in moods of scenery as we leave the Big Shed behind and very quickly slip into the countryside again and another brew and more apples on a beach at the north of the island
Rounding the corner and through thce tide race around the northern tip, paddling into the sun, watching small breaking waves gently breaking across the bow, till finally we reached the beginning of our day and loaded our kayaks back onto the trolleys and made the now short walk back to the cars.
Now I like a coffee and a good scone and I have a confession to make – we headed off to a Costa and enjoyed a window seat with the last of the afternoon’s sunshine.