Duddon take two

Advanced peer river trip 10/10/20

The sound of rain through the night had me excited. The prospect of a good selection of rivers to choose from in the morning would not only make my job easier but simplify the WhatsApp group chat. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and to only see low or scrape everywhere the prospect of running the Leven again was looming. With no other choice and nothing updating I reluctantly amended the calendar to meet at the Leven egress. No sooner had I done this and ‘hey presto’ the Duddon pops up green with a very healthy 0.75 later to peak at 0.77. A very hasty back track on the calendar, update on WhatsApp and an agreed time to meet and we were sorted.

Meeting at Duddon bridge with all four making there own way there it was a pleasant surprise to see Dave G and his friend Tom have exactly the same idea. As the number was a nice round six, it made sense to paddle together. Shuttles sorted with mitigation ( Sten making his own arrangements with Angela) we were again at the Seathwaite put in. 

On the water with glimmers of sunshine and a gentle warm up of boulder gardens followed by a drop past ‘the waterworks’ brought us to our first challenge, Jills Folly.

Having personally avoided the right line the day before, the extra water was covering a tricky boulder sufficiently, so this was today’s choice. A mix in the group of left and right lines had everyone down safely, even though Tom was determined to show off, pirouetting on a boulder 😁.

So far so good then. Well the next section is a fun boulder garden run culminating in a rush of water through the tight gorge. Unfortunately Tom and Matt both went fish counting, tripping up on hard to see boulders delayed things slightly, but no harm done and we soon on our way. 

With the main run into the gorge enjoyed by all, we continued on to Ulpha where a short break was taken.  The level was holding well, even though it had visibly dropped a bit. (A boulder I use as an indication was covered on the way up to the ingress was now showing).Continuing then we were treated to some lovely flowing rapids, play waves and more 🌞.

As usual the next big challenge is the run into Rawford bridge.

With everyone pausing in the eddy river right to discuss lines it was again a mix of choices. An exhilarating drop for any ability, had everyone successfully through, except Tom who couldn’t make his mind up which side of the large boulder he would go. A swift rescue with no harm done to man or machine meant it was just his pride that took a beating. A challenge for anyone but as it was Tom’s first time on the river he did very well. 

One more testing rapid then to negotiate with complete success and onto the egress at Duddon bridge. Three hours of fun went by in a flash. 

Great company and a nice catch up.

Paddlers Sten, Mark H, Matt, Dave G and Tom

Mark M

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