LCC and Covid 19 virus

After today’s guidance by the government on  reducing  social interactions LCC have regrettably taken the decision to suspend  club calendar. All club events are now suspended. This will remain the case until  we  are given  different  guidance. There will be no trip reports as the club will not be co-ordinating any trips.

In theory meeting in small groups, outdoors,  staying  2m apart, should be ok. But this would preclude lift sharing.  If you choose to arrange trips privately, then do take maximum precautions. Do not meet others if you have symptoms or have reason to suspect that you have been in contact with  someone that is or maybe affected. If you are in one of the  ‘at risk’ groups, do not meet others,

If you do choose to go paddling for exercise or  to assist  your well being  or mental health,  then be careful. Paddle well below your ability level so there is no risk of anything going wrong. It would be most inappropriate at this time to  have to involve rescue services. We would like to take the opportunity, to remind you, that to go solo paddling may not be the wisest of decisions.

We look forward to paddling with you again, on the other side of this unprecedented scenario.

LCC committee. 20–3-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wharfe Conistone to Burnsall.

Sunday  15th March

Looking at the gauge on the Skifare it was on 1.4 so Cowside Beck should be worth a look – little did I know that was the peak and it was to rapidly fall off. Driving across the writing was on the wall, the puddles just did not seem big enough and sure enough as soon as I saw the top of the valley I knew that it was not on. 0.7 and falling is far too low.

Well the Wharfe was close but running high, with Simon’s local knowledge, we decided to run from Conistone to Burnsall. The order of the day was conservative lines.

Conistone was the first rapid on which to find a conservative line, a river wide ledge. A following group caught up with us as we were running/scouting. Strangely comfortable to know there were other groups who were on the river.

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Onwards to Ghastrills Strid taking a nice conservative line down the river left and through the slide and everybody through.

The only conservative line at Linton Falls was the portage path. It was impressive when viewed from the bridge – a lot of very confused aerated water thundering off a respectable drop.

Loop scar followed, an enjoyable eddy hop down a fast gorge

Out at Burnsall and guess what – coffee and scones

Simon, Rhod, John H and Brian at a level of about 1.0 at Kettlewell

Top of the Wharfe,

It was my turn to get up early and look at the river guages. I had heard it raining in the night, everything was pretty high.

Looking at the Top of the Wharfe, it was still going up and it is a river that I do like, a bit low at 1.00 but I wondered if it would still go up a little before the inevitable drop.

Met Mark at 09:00 and Simon at 10:15 and on the river at 11:00 at a level of 1.08. Two rivers join and form the Wharfe at Beckermonds. We were at the top of Green Field Beck in Langstroth Dale.

I was a little worried because there was a bit of scraping but we soon arrived at the first nice drop and that really was the theme of the day, a little low between the drops but they all the ran well.

I wouldn’t really want to paddle the river any lower but as always, some rapids appeared where there had been none at a higher level, others were easier than at a high level, but then again some were harder.

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Finished at about 01:00 – perhaps a little later – just over two hours – nice and efficent , no great dramas just continuous darn right good fun.

 

Brian

 

Good level-Leven

As we approached the weekend river levels were dropping and with no rain forecast for Friday night the planned trip to the Duddon was down graded from Advanced to Intermediate and the rsvp thrown open to all. The Leven it was then.

10am meet was arranged via the calendar and whatsapp group at the egress, low wood, Havethwaite. 

Shuttles organised it was up to the put in and swiftly onto the river. There were lots of groups, some from far afield so parking was at a premium. Trying to stay out of each other’s way was the name of the game.

A quick play on the brick chute required a couple of rolls from Mark M and Rob then it was off down stream.

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Conditions were perfect and the level was a very reasonable 1.02m which kept all features and play waves fun. Everyone successfully negotiated Back-Barrow Bridge with Sten showing us all the cleanest of lines and boofing off the central boulder with style.

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Brian then studied the grade 5 weir again with remarks of, “maybe next time”.

Onwards to the slalom course where Brian decided a bit of practice in his new boat was required, bobbing around at the bottom of the first slope wasn’t one of them. Paul had to put a swift roll in here too.

With the recent storms a bit of debris had been washed down river and with the help of Sten’s folding saw I managed to cut away a branch hanging down under the road bridge, eventually. (Go-Pro footage confirmed it took 6 mins, although it felt a lot longer).

The next weir was taken in various ways; some opting for the fish steps and Fisherman’s Island was not too pushy, everyone through cleanly.

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Soon we were at the get out and judging by the look on everyone’s faces it was a couple of hours well spent.

On to the motor museum café for refreshments and a chat.

Paddlers, Mark M, MarkH, Sten, Rob, Paul, Brian and Grant.

Mark M

Friday the 13th

Improvers; trip – Classic  Lune  section, Eric, Phil, Dave, Mark H, Julian.

Friday the 13th what could possibly go wrong on our step up to some classic grade 3 water.

“yer boats the wrong size” says Dave stepping out of my shiny Club Burn in the layby – “well I’ve upsized from the medium as the Pyranha website suggested that a large may be more appropriate for the fuller figure” – hmm –  I think I was pleased to find that Dave was referring to my inside leg measurement rather than my waistline.

So with a footrest shortened by two notches, Dave and Mark H lead Julian and I out onto the water at the Crook of Lune with Phil looking on with a rye smile.

The rapids at the start gave us a chance to practice a few ferry glides and breaks in and out and for me to experience an improved connectivity with the boat – thanks Dave.

Spring had given us a “one day only” offer with warmish sunshine, and Dippers and Wagtails aplenty on the water. Soon however the first of the more challenging rapids appeared and birdwatching gave way to a more focussed approach – all safely through.

The theme of the day seemed to be commitment – what felt committed to us Improvers apparently looked a bit flapsey hapsey to the experienced onlookers. “Paddle; but I am paddling; well paddle more!”

John’s Stone was next up after a look see. All through, me last – “Commitment” whoosh, nice line through, phew, woo, low brace, LOW BRACE again, LO… bugger, bubble bubble. Thanks to Mark and Dave for the rescue and Dave for the analysis!

On to the Strid. Dave and Mark gave us a demo making everything look ridiculously easy. Then Julian and I did a follow my leader behind Dave. Whoosh and there you are. Julian’s whoosh was interrupted by an almost vertical exit from the wave at the bottom and and recovered with a very impressive roll. – Improver my a..e!

The last rapids down to Killington Bridge gave more opportunity for skills practice and for breathing and heart rate to reduce to safe levels.

A great day in all respects – very many thanks to Dave and Mark for the coaching and to Phil for organising and keeping an eye on everything.
Eric

Lower Minnoch  part 3 of 3 days in Galloway

Sunday 1st March 2020:   Ain’t it a shame to go fishing on a Sunday?

Listening to the howling wind and hammering rain through the night, one could only wonder what the next day would bring.

The morning found our intrepid adventurers on Borgan Bridge, staring up at the final rapid of Waters of Minnoch, scheming up routes to defeat its formidable stoppers in hopes of finding that graceful right line to finish.

Leaving a car and heading to the put on at Stroan Bridge, the gang spent a few more moments in imagination land, eyeing up the ferocious ‘Dog Leg’ rapid with its swirling nightmare water before electing to start the day below it.

A review of river signals and a chat about who’s got what, saw the team get on to the river.

1936B4F3-9B4D-4FA6-A77F-9679374FD5EDBattling through the flat water with occasional whipping head winds for added fun. It felt somewhat anticlimactic after seeing the start and the end of the section, although 2.5km later the nature changed.

The group were presented with an option; left, which seemed like oblivion or right; a fun bouncy rapid. Right it was. It continued like this for a while then the approach to the first big rapid began.

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It was safer to continue in smaller groups, so the canaries went first, breaking everything down and signalling instructions back to the rest of the team. With two distinct stages of the rapids established, the first pair entered alongside a huge boulder, crashing through waves and evading rocks before edding out and signalling the rest of the team’s decent. With everyone collected in eddies after cruising the first section, the funky fast left swooshing finish was tackled in a similar way with one swooping down first and providing protection for the rest of the gang as they styled their way past.

There was barely a minute to chat about how excellent the rapid was before the next big one presented itself. The gradient was steeper, it was difficult to see down and there was a thick mist spitting from a menacing looking bulge. So, to the bank to inspect. The choice was clear, tree or rock? A line was established as was a plan. Once again, the canaries would test the way (with varying degrees of style) and put on bank protection for the next group.

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There were irritatingly clean and dry lines, bumpy lines, backward and partially upside-down lines. All made it down successfully and proceeded to their positions to provide cover for the rest of the team.

With everything in place, the rest set off with the first boat carving its way on line for the crux move but then, abruptly, there was a stumble.

Within a second, a green Mamba crashes up onto a monster rock splitting the flow, and suffers a horizontal pin. A shout rings out and movement can already be seen below. The next boat is on it quickly, managing to swerve but still suffering a glancing blow. A grunt saw paddler freed from boat and a short wrestle would see boat freed from rock, which was collected promptly at the bottom. A casualty no more but Lord of the Rock by right of conquest. A calm face looked out from the rock pondering the path of least resistance back to the bank.

Meanwhile, on the other bank, rescuers had descended a mossy scramble, and a rope was ready to be thrown to swing the Lord of the Rock into a conveniently placed eddie 5 meters downstream. Slightly less convenient was the powerful jet of water to cross before achieving it or the unpleasant swim that would undoubtably follow if it was missed. To aide success a catcher was deployed in the eddie to pull in. A line was cast and we reeled us in a ‘big un’. Unphased, the merry band of paddlers scuttled their way across the rocks back to the boats to continue on their way. Fortunately, the only injury sustained was a green Mamba with a ‘Glentrool smile’.

After hardly any time at all, the river turned left and a bridge that sparked memories from the morning loomed just in front. The group descended Borgan Bridge like wacky racers, and what an outstanding rapid it was. The majority would choose twisting and turning toward the right line for a fluffy flourish but one would go the pointier left although, it has to said, successfully.

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With everything packed away, an ace weekend drawing to a successful close, all eyes watched up from the bridge one last time, looking for phantom boats skipping across imagined lines.

NB

The overwhelming majority of paddlers in this team have attended professional safety and rescue training and continuation training, which was clear when dealing with a potentially serious situation efficiently and therefore keeping it a minor incident. If you play on white water, you have a responsibility to your friends and cohorts to undertake safety and rescue training. There are many excellent providers in the Lakes. Additionally, you can request training from the Club and they will be happy to help. 

Paddlers Pete R, Mark H, Brian, Mark M, Dave G, Ian Mc

Dave G

Penkiln Burn, part 2a of 3 days in Galloway

Saturday 29th February 2020: Well the rain God shad been kind, too kind, the slowly rising rivers of the night before  had become Noah like luges ,with snow on the hills. Our possible targets too pushy , too dangerous, grade 4/5 in spate, is not necessarily conducive to safe return of all.  So logic kicked in, we would try a rivers with no gauge, that we had not paddled before. Are we mad! No cunning, a smaller catchment, and it had not rained since 4 a.m, so levels might just be falling .

A short drive from our accommodation in Creetown saw us in Minigaff. smiling at the perfect  water levels,medium flow, lots of water, clear eddy lines. Short inspection form a bridge by old mill of a 3+, on the drive up, showed rocky but green tongues.

At put in, Mike discovered a small split in the hull of his kayak,  collective thinking and some sticky tar tape, melted and applied, soon found a temporary fix. Nowt’ like on the job training.

The river started off nicely with small boulders to avoid, soon an event horizon, 2m ledge, far right along. along curly wave, or right down a wide green tongue.

From the top only far left seems an option- the probe, tested the team followed. Very soon after we were inspecting Lady’s Linn falls, a two tier 3m fall. Most boofed the ledge in the middle.

More grade 2+ rapids soon led to a tree portage, an d Queen Mary’s bridge, where the river started going,  brilliant grade 3, for doodle son meters, all bouldery and flowing with fine eddys, all in the sun, what a joy.

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The rapids kept coming, until an island, go left, very rocky, steeper, then steeper and water funnelling, then steeper again, oh!  it’s that bridge, smiles grew, waves increased steepness increased, fun! what fun!

More nice garden 3 brought us the final problem, a 2m ledge, green tongue’s into a slidey hole, or boof far left off a ledge. , then all sorts of boily to bigger boulders. tacky. Dave used his shiny new saw to clear a branch from this lead on the boof line. Brian went centre, the rest followed with variation on a theme, Mark deciding to go right of the largest boulders, whilst Ian decided a closer inspection was more worthwhile.

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500m more metres and that was it done. a peach, a big juicy peach.

Paddlers Mike H, Pete R, Mark H, Brian, Mark M, Dave G Ian Mc

Mike H

 

 

 

 

 

Big water of Fleet, part 2b of 3 days in Galloway

Saturday 29th February 2020:  Level 1.3m

Painful water of fleet

Leap year and only one thing to do, after a fantastic morning on Penkiln Burn it was a leap over to the Big water of fleet. Rain through the night had put everything up, possibly too high but Big water was good to go at a level between medium and high.
The put in at the Viaduct was chilly to say the least but once on the water, concentration on the river helped to ease the paining warm the hands.

After a short flat section things soon started to liven up. Soon we were into the thick of it with good, steep, continuous, bouldery grade 3/3+ rapids. However after only about a kilometre on the water disaster struck.

Whilst negotiating some tricky boulders Pete was unlucky to have suffered a shoulder dislocation. Ian managed to single handidly extricate Pete from the river to the bank. With Pete’s boat making its own way down stream and Brian, Mike and myself in chase- Brian hauled it ashore in 200m.
Once everyone had had chance to evaluate the situation it was decided that Dave and Ian would walk Pete upstream towards the road. Pete was happy with this and whilst walking out his shoulder popped back in much to his relief and those around him. Ian provide moral support. Special thanks form Pete. The expletives reduced somewhat thereafter.

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Mike, Brian Mark H and myself were left to get the other three boats down to a section of river that we felt was ideal to retrieve later on. With this  time was ebbing away. Boats and paddles hidden in the woods just above a grade 5 fall we put back on below this to complete the river.

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Everyone thinking of Pete we tried to enjoy the continuous grade 3 which then eased to grade 2 before flattening completely at the finish.

65786783-F35A-4B2F-A695-4F77671B8531As we approached the egress it was very pleasing to see a smiling Pete, Ian and Dave waiting for us. After plenty of chit chat and discussion on the afternoons events it was off to collect the other boats. What looked like a relatively short distance on the map proved to be a1km cow trodden, poo filled, steep and very muddy field. With the rain/ sleet and strengthening winds this turned out to be a lot harder than first thought. Finally back at the cars everyone wet and muddy it was back to the hostel for coffee and a clean up and reflection on what could have been a lot worse.
A great day on great rivers with a great team working together for each other, well done all.

Paddlers Mike H, Pete R, Mark H, Brian, Mark M, Dave G, Ian Mc

Mark M

 

A cautionary note from Pete

This is what happened. I was able to review events thanks to Mark McGuire’s Go Pro footage taken from behind:
Very continuous, fast flowing and shallow gd3 rapid on the Water of Fleet. Mike had briefed us and emphasised the need to point down river as far as possible due to the danger of getting stuck on submerged rocks. I guessed, as this was given particular mention, that they would be an increased hazard on this stretch. I was behind Mike, enjoying what is a superb set of continuous rapids. Read and run. Inevitably there was the ocassional need to cross the river, adopting a more angled approach.
It was during one of these ‘traverses’ R to L that I pinned on a submerged rock. I was leaning slightly upstream to aid the turn. This meant the instant stoppage, combined with the powerful, fast flow, I was pinned mid capsize. Eager to right my vessel, I punted hard off the river bed with my expensive paddle.
All I really remember is something suddenly moved (perhaps the boat slipped over the rock?). I felt a particularly painful pain. I capsized…..and with less than zero prospect of rolling I jumped ship.

The L to R bit is important in the analysis. It’s my left shoulder that dislocated, which was the lower of my 2 arms during the punt. In kayaking it’s normally the upper arm that goes (take note ‘High Telemark Pete’). The rule being, on a high brace, keep your inboard hand lower than it’s corresponding shoulder. I think a combination of the boat moving suddenly; my lower arm perhaps being extended away from the boat and big pushing forces (ie me trying to right myself) caused the dislocation.

Pete

 

 

River Urr part 1 of 3 days in Galloway

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Friday 28th February 2020: 

The main diet for most white water kayakers is to head to Scotland’s west coast and Fort William. And yet, a veritable feast of rivers is to be had closer to home in the Galloway area, otherwise known as ‘Burn’s Country’. It was with this in mind that two cars, and six paddlers, met at Southwaite Services, the most northerly service station on the M6, to make decisions.

Sometime later, we arrived at the River Urr amidst a perfectly timed sleet and wind squall to accompany our getting changed. This was followed by Ian performing a most spectacular seal launch, which can only be compared to practicing fast-jet landing techniques on Mike H’s deck!

 

Undeterred, there followed a gentle start, led by Mike H, and the first rapid, The Teeth of URR, a distinct narrowing of the river. Requiring a tricky and precise manoeuvre, made simple by Mike and Brian, Ian and Pete exercised caution at this early point in the trip, whilst Mark M furnished us with his version of Captain Webb attempting to swim Niagara Rapids, only with significantly more success!

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Running the river at 0.89 and rising on the gauge allowed us to enjoy several boulder gardens and ledges running at Grade 2-3 and requiring good route-finding skills. Interspersed calmer sections brought us eventually to the tree-infested jungle section before a slightly more challenging Grade 3+ prior to egressing river left at an old road bridge, the gauge now on 0.98.

It was then onwards to Creetown, and our accommodation, where Dave G joined us. That night saw us dining at the convivial Laird’s Inn, where the technicalities of steak and ale pies with tops and bottoms exercised imagination, discussion, the waiting staff and also the chef! Mark M was gently counseled for pie-related anxiety syndrome the following evening on learning by that time all pies had left the building.

Paddlers Mike H, Pete R, Mark H, Brian, Mark M, Dave G Ian Mc

Mark H

Lower Rawthey

Sunday 1st March
A last minute paddle Sunday.  I had been watching the calendar all week expecting someone to post a trip up.  With the “the Usual Suspects” away in Galloway,  come Friday there was nothing listed.  So to and fro with Dave H and we had a plan.  Clough, Sunday.

Water level was looking good Saturday morning, without much forecast for Sunday.  Drat.  Luckily the heavens opened and we had plenty of options.  I’d not paddled the Clough before so deferred to Dave to organise the group.  5 of us at the get in.  With the Rawthey gauge on 1.5,  usual faff and a decision to instead run the lower Rawthey as the Clough was pretty high and a couple of our group weren’t 100% confident.

Turns out, the Lower Rawthey was a great choice.  Nice and bouncy in places.  The first weir grabbier than expected.  We were expertly guided down the river by Dave, with Chris (newcomer to LCC) showing us how it’s done on Railway Falls.  The rest of us got out to take a look/watch Chris who easily navigated the smoothest line.  That’d be the line we’re taking then!  I took an interesting line on the first drop and got turned around.  Decided to go with it and ferry across avoiding the big, rather violent looking hole below.  All through without much drama.

Finding a nice wave further down, we had a bit of a play around, ferrying across and surfing.  I managed a bit of rolling practice (totally intentional I asure you).  Onward to the easy get-out at the end through gusting wind on the flat.  All in, a short, but enjoyable trip.  All thoughts of heading up and doing the Clough after were forgotten in Lieu of a warm fire and some brownie points.

Paddlers: Dave H, Andy M, John H, Chris W, Simon L.

 

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Oystercatchers were starting to move onto their gravel-bank nesting territories – Spring is coming!

Paddlers; Simon L, Dave H Andy M, Chris W,  John H

 

John/ Simon