Brown Greta

Trip confirmed as going ahead but please note this is tricky call, as heavy rain is falling for 4 hours so we will meet at venue but may have to go elsewhere or cancel. Rain is forecast to stop at 10.00 a.m. 

Please ensure you have floatation bags in the rear and front of your kayak.

Steve and Alan on their first LCC trip joined by Dan, Andy M and Mike H

20mm per hour fell. On arrival at Greta bridge was at a nice medium flow, but by the time we arrived at Burton it was flowing brown, Not ideal for the planned session, so a change of tactic needed. Higher flow paddling techniques.

After a somewhat intimidating start of the slabs below the bridge in Burton the flow was swift, but eddies still large and friendly. Reminder of crosscurrent speed and edging soon increased proficiency and confidence.

An horizon line, inspect, consider the options and visualise the run though 1m waves. More of the same, where to position you kayak in the flow brought to a portage at the now very trickily ledge and recirculating pool.

Now more open with longer boulders rapids we moved swiftly on. The sun emerged to enlighten the paddle. Dan considered the need to push through the eddy line and hen to edge.

Thanks to Andy for alternating the lead and support

Mike H

Ure kidding

Friday 29th Oct 2021

Mike H , Pete R and Mark Mc Enjoyed day out in Wensleydale.

We paddled the Widdale with 2 sheep fences, and 2 ledges to keep us amused.

The Bain was rejected with the final hole ending in a closed boil.

So on to the…. best of the day here.

Slightly less easy Eden

October 16th 2021
Paddlers: Emma, Simon, Dan, Paul, Phil (briefly)
Level: 0.67m
Route: Lazonby to Armathwaite

Unfortunately Phil managed to forget his buoyancy aid so after a chat, and getting changed twice, had to miss out this time.  The remaining crew jumped on a low Eden, but not so low as to be a real scrape.  Paul made great efforts to tire himself out catching what little surf waves there were at this level.  A small hole on the first major rapid was a good play spot.  It didn’t take too much encouragement for Dan to dive in.  I think we convinced him that a drysuit would be a worthwhile investment.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.  It’s an easy river at this level, even making the daunting Armathwaite weir a simple run down the left.  Emma had held off her practice roll the whole trip to save her contact lenses.  She nailed it just before the get out.  With such a long break off paddling over the summer, it was great to be back on the water.

Rainbow over Shap – Easy rivers; Eamont to Eden

Sunday 17th October.

After the cancellation of the last weeks Easy River trip due to there being too much water, this week  we were scratching around trying to find some!

All the gauges seemed to be saying don’t bother and certainly in the clag, rain and general miserableness that surrounded Kendal in the half light of Sunday morning they seemed to have a good point. EA Eamont Bridge 0.3!

But we were committed, and after driving over the summit we were confronted by the sight of a rainbow over Shap, and the prospect of brighter things ahead.

The group met on the bridge over the Eamont at Brougham Castle to inspect the first rapid. This was billed as the most difficult on the trip. The conversation was not about lines but more about which might be the best walking route, a scrape being the optimistic view.

On the water were kayakers, StuM and Dayna with Eric and Cat in an open boat, JohnS and AndyM keeping an eye on proceedings from their kayaks. All scraped through the first bit and we were soon enjoying one of those October “bonus days” – sunshine, gentle clear water and birdlife a plenty. For half the group it was a welcome return to a boat after some fairly lengthy layoffs.

We had expected a short trip of only a couple of hours, great as the weather forecast was less than promising – but the frequent scrapey bits caused quite a few delays as we pushed and wiggled our way along having to dismount in places. The bits in-between were delightful though and there was no rush.

No rush until we stopped for lunch and had a quick check on progress. Only a third of the way down and two hours gone already. Time to get a bit of a move on. More haste less speed as Eric and Cat managed to fall out of their boat on a particularly well placed set of rocks – much to the delight of those who’d chosen drysuits for the simple trip. No harm done and soon on the move again.

We were treated to Kingfishers, Goosanders, millions of Dippers, Herons and a couple of Swan families along the way. Once on the Eden there was a little more water and progress was steady to Langwathby.

One of those “why bother” days which turned out beautiful in the end, and definitely worth a return visit with a bit more water.

Thanks again to everyone for the company and especially to Andy and John for leadership.   

Rugby practice

October 10th

A sunny Sunday morning, warm and Misty.
Two improvers taking advantage of the teaching skills of two of the clubs top paddlers. If you get the opportunity, jump at it.
An hour and a half on the weir by the rugby club, learning, practicing and experimenting. No drama only fun and enjoyment.
Then a short trip from Meal Bank back to the Rugby club weir. Level a touch low, interest a touch high. Details not revealed to protect the less experienced. Great fun though.
Many thanks to AndyM, MikeH, EricD, JohnS.
A morning well spent!

Lune Rising

2nd October 2021
River Lune
Paddlers: Simon L, Mike P, Harvey, Duncan, Mark M
Level 1.0m – 1.1m

After a chat and a faff with road closures, all 5 of us were ready to go.  It was a pleasant change to have plenty of water to float the first 500m of the Lune from Beck Foot.  It’s usually a bit of a scrape.  Most of the early rapids were washed out, replaced by a bouncy wave train.  This was fun at least, if not the challenge we were looking for.

Approaching the first big drop by the broken foot bridge I signalled everyone to take a look.  They hadn’t recognised the entrance, Mark commenting that the bridge had moved downstream.  I’m not sure that it had, but it certainly looked different at this level.  The narrow challenging drop changed into a huge wave.  The main eddies below completely washed out.  It was easier than usual, but you certainly wouldn’t want to take a swim there, it would be a good while before you would be able to get out.  Everyone blasted through without issue and onward it was through the gorge.  On a brief stop to rearrange my throw bag, Mike commented that we would be approaching the gorge section soon.  He hadn’t twigged that there was no gorge section today and we were already well into it and above it!

Approaching an obvious obstacle across the river cautiously I hopped out to take a look.  A river wide blocked due to a tree.  Clearly long dead and likely washed down from further up.  I preferred to portage, although there was a sneak past far right.  Not hard to hit, but you wouldn’t want to miss it.  Mark was sitting in an eddie on the opposite bank.  On ferrying over to portage, he didn’t quite catch the opposite eddie fully.  I’d situated myself by the gap between the tree and the bank (just in case) and guided his boat backwards through the gap.  One through.  Harvey had walked down to take a look and was confident in making the gap.  I stayed in my spot and he made it through without incident.  Duncan, Mike and I portaged.  Just as I was getting my spray deck on, the tree moved, then broke free completely heading down river, past me and the others all sitting safely in eddies out of the way.  Another blockage formed below when the tree securely lodged on another set of rocks.  This time luckily a clear path through each side of the river and the tree was behind us.  Hopefully not to be seen again this trip.

With the image of the tree fresh in our minds, we were extra cautious making our way down for further hazards.  Luckily, that was the end of the drama for the day.  The strid was a boof off the far right rock, with mixed success.  Duncan putting in a particularly impressive boof effort and Mike showing the benefit of the Machno bow and buoyancy.  The two weirs past Killington were impressive and scary.  A good 4m tow back on the first and Stangertwaithe Weir looking massive.  There was a line through far left, but any mistake putting you in the main flow would be deadly.  We portaged both (as usual).  The rest of the river was a splashy wave train of less challenge than usual but with more risk.  Still fun and a great day out.

Beginners river – Lune, and a little Film Festival secret!

13th October 2021.

It’s becoming a bit of a custom to run a trip the day after the film festival.

With new member James having put together all the LCC film and photo clips used the night before, and having travelled up from Cheshire to see his handiwork on the big screen it seemed only fair that he should get a paddle thrown in.

Thrown in he rather was, having not been on moving water before. A small group, James, Dan, George, Kate and Eric assembled at Devils Bridge under the now Nationally Recognised expertise of MikeH

With not a great deal of water about, conditions were perfect for James to get the feel of things whilst the rest of us worked on breaking in and out techniques and getting to places we wanted to be without visiting places we didn’t!

The morning’s two hours soon disappeared and Mike declared it was time for a trip down to Hornby so we set up a quick shuttle whilst the “Remainers” were sent to the famous Devils Bridge butty wagon for supplies. Why did we chose the day the damn thing wasn’t open!

Never mind, on down the river and James soon ticked up his first rapid without incident. It was all a little bit scrapey but nevertheless nice to be out on a river again after what seemed like a bit of a drought. With a headwind and very little flow there were a few sets of aching muscles, or at least aching places where muscles should be.

No incidents to report but Kate was introduced to the spot where her boat had been found wandering all by itself after it’s previous owner had misplaced it.

So with James looking much more confident than a few hours earlier we declared success and headed home.

But what of the Film Festival secret – well;  when we asked James to put together the film clips and stills for the intro, Mike’s presentation, interval and outro of the Film Festival evening we didn’t really explain just what it was all about. So when I said, “bit worried about how it will look on the big screen” his view was, “It’ll be fine”. At this point unbeknownst to us he thought we were in the upstairs room at the Factory Tap, with at best a big TV and about 20 club members – well he’s from Cheshire you know! So on the night when he turned up, walked into the Brewery Arts foyer, saw the crowd and then the auditorium it was a bit of an “Oh f” moment. But all’s well that ends well on both counts, thanks James for the films and happy paddling in the future.

Surfin (not) USA, Workington

Wednesday 13th October – a grey windy day in Workington, not exactly the huarache sandals and baggies beach scene, but surf there was, so surfin we went. The original plan was for a group paddle from Workington to Maryport, though of the original signed-up group, only three of us made the venue (Mike Sunderland, Rhi Davies and me, John Soady). Might have been a bit of competition with a LCC beginner river white water event on the same day.

Anyway, after a couple of km paddling along the coast with beam-on surf we agreed this wasn’t fun, so playing in it rather than fighting it seemed the thing to do. There was a westerly 4 pushing a 2ft swell, which kicked up to about 3ft of breaking surf over the sand bars where the Derwent meets the sea. It was fun for an hour or so until the arm muscles started to complain. Mike and Rhi then headed to Maryport for tea and I went on a fruitless petrol station hunt, eventually finding one 40 miles later at Ambleside

Arnside – Bore wave

Friday 8th October

After the dry summer and recent floods , what would the channels out in Morecambe  bay be like? It’s the channels which compress the incoming tide and push up the wave.

4 old hands, Mike, Sten, Brian, Chris and 2 newbies Peter and Paul meet on Arnside  prom. On a perfect autumn morning. The kayak split was 4:2 also, 4 river boats to 2 sea kayaks There was plenty of river water in the channel on the paddle out, an indication of the recent floods. Amazingly though, we ran out of depth on the approach to Holme island forcing a short walk to find deeper water. The paddle out continued with much chat and descriptions of what to expect from the borewave for Peter and Paul’s benefit.

Plenty of water but no depth!
Mike and Paul surfing away from the rest of us 🙁

After 1.5 hours paddling out we met the borewave, very wide and mainly a standing wave. Mike and Paul where in pole position for the breaking wave and enjoyed the first surf the rest of us could only paddle behind in quite confused water. Finally we caught up and got some surfing in, but only close in to the high sandbank, a little intimidating given the shallow water in front of us, just waiting to trip us up. Lots of confused water followed with many standing waves and also waves coming at right angles across the sand.

Chris and Pete

So, far from a classic Borewave but enough of an experience for Paul to rate it brilliant.
Here’s to next time and narrower more defined channels and perhaps less floodwater in the bay.

Crook of Lune to Killington Bridge. Grade 3+

Saturday 9th October

Ian C. Mark H. Mark M. Sten S. Brian C. Pete G.

We met at the get out at Killington Bridge at 10:00 then made our way to the put in. On the water by 10:45

Level on the Killington gauge was 0.62m at that time. A good level for a leisurely trip down if a little scrapey in places.

We proceeded with plenty of time for playing and attempts to clock up as many eddies as possible on a given stretch.

We got out to take a look at the Strid which was looking less menacing than it can do. Brian ran it so successfully he decided to go back up and do it again.

We all managed it with varying degrees of rotation, inversion and swimming, but no major dramas.

Plain sailing for there down to the bridge. There is a tree in the river just above Killington Bridge, clearly visible from the bridge. Not a problem at the levels we had but be aware of it.

We rounded the day off with coffee and cake in Sedburgh.