Rothay

 Wednesday 16th Oct 2019

After our Roa Island seakayak adventure on Mon 14th Oct, John J and I were up for a paddle on Wed 16th.  I mentioned it to a few folk at the Film Night on 15th, and Phil said he would put it up on Whatsapp.  Late Tues night, John and James S responded so there were 4 of us on the Rothay the next day.

Despite rain in the morning, the river levels were low so it was a bit scrapey at the start.  The highlights of the trip were the sun coming out and the Rothay playwave, where we spent a long time playing.  John J and James were in our club Piranhas, which performed admirably. 

Mike P

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River Annan in an Open canoe

two day open canoe trip with one night wild camping: 25th – 26th September 2019 It was a small group of adventurous paddlers who took on the beautiful River Annan this September.  A very small group.  (Just the two of us if we are completely honest – Andy and Tom!)

We put on at Johnstone Bridge to a river swollen by recent rainfall and with a nice flow to help us on our way.  After a pleasant hour or two of canoeing between scenic wooded river banks the character of the river began to change. It widened and the current became almost imperceptible.  At the same time the landscape changed to open grazing lands and we were exposed to the strong south-westerly winds which really slowed our progress and made the next few miles quite arduous.  Once through these however we were back amongst woodland, its shelter and all the wonderful wildlife that it supports. 

Our camp for the night consisted of hammocks and tarps set up in a peaceful riverside wood.  A small fire (well – a Swedish log) and a dram of Scotch kept us toasty and warm as we chatted the evening away.

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Next day we set off early.  The river was flowing nice and strong again in this region and whereas the first day’s travel had consisted of paddling almost exclusively on green water, the second day’s paddling took us through a number of grade I and II rapids.  There was nothing too serious but just enough to add some fun while traveling through this very scenic section of the river.

At the infamous Brydekirk Weir we got out on river right to inspect it to find that there was a torrent of water pouring over the shallow edge of the weir which can otherwise serve as a mini-portage area.  No chance of drifting slowly up to this and simply lifting the canoe over it then.  To make matters worse there were three hefty tree trunks stuck in the bottom of the weir just below us.  Leaving only one sensible option, we took to ‘Shanks’s pony’ and portaged our camping gear and boats to a place downriver of the weir.

After a short rest and coffee we were off on the last leg past Annan, under the road bridge and through the last of the white water – the broken weir that is visible from the B721.  We had no trouble paddling this at this generous river level. 

DSCF8445 Our pace then slowed as we battled against a stiff head wind for the last 500 metres as we made our way up this tidal section of river to the get-out point, Annan Harbour.  The get-out itself onto the slipway was uneventful as we had timed our arrival to be close to high tide.

The day ended with me learning something new about transporting two canoes on a single car by placing them both on their sides.  Tom bolted on his vertical kayak bars to aid in this and I must say it worked a treat; the boats didn’t move an inch on the drive back to the start point. 

Looking back, the second day of our trip would be good to re-visit as a one day paddle as it contained most of the ’interesting’ water.  However, there is something deeply refreshing about spending a longer period of time in the outdoors, and especially spending a night outside.   That makes the two day trip the winner in my eyes every time, despite the period of adversity it entails.  I’ll definitely be back to do this exact trip again!

Andrew

Sea kayak Trip Roa Island

 Monday 14th October

A total of 12  sea kayakers set out from Roa Island on Monday 14th October on a trip organised by Mike Sunderland.  This was trip 2 of 4 of his introduction to seakayaking, and there were a range of abilities present from novice to experienced paddlers.

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High tide was about 12:30, so there was a decent flow as we got going on the water at about 10:00am.  We paddled up towards Jubilee Bridge past the entrance to the dock system.  An intrepid paddler tried to paddle through, but the ABP sentry thought otherwise “You can’t come in here”, he shouted.

We made it to the bridge, and parked just upsteam to sample the delights of the Ferry hotel.  Some had beer, some had coffee, some nobly made sure the kayaks didn’t wash away in the still-flowing tide.  

We split into two groups to head back, the Walney coasters and the Piel Island explorers.  The Walneyites had some hard work against the tide initially, but were rewarded as the tide switched by seeing 30-40 seals off the South coast of the island.  The Piel explorers initially took the eddies close to the disused shipyard slipways, then headed down the central channel as the tide switched and explored the Piel castle ruins, trying also the front door of the pub, sadly shut.

Both groups met at Piel and had an exciting ferryglide back to Roa Island at about 3:30pm.  A grand day out, thanks to Mike S for organising

Mike P

Improvers trip. Lune/ lower Rawthey

Alex invites LCC to the Lune. Monday 14-10-19

The idea was for a few of the clubs improving white water paddlers to organise a training session with the help of the more expert club paddlers.
Not wanting to be left out, five more experienced paddlers joined us at Killington Road Bridge over the Lune. They headed off to Crook of Lune for the standard to run down to Killington Bridge.
The Improvers, Alex, Sue, Duncan and John S under the guidance of Phil, headed 500m up the river to find an interesting play location.
An hour of play and learning under Phil’s instruction all went well, breaking in and out of the flow, crossing the current to eddies on either side of the river.
Time to run back down the river to meet Mike H at the bridge, three of us got bit carried away in the faster flow and decided that a cooling off swim was in order. Phil and Duncan ably sorted out the mess, watched by Mike from the bank. Good swimming in fast water practice.

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Alex had to head back to the real world, leaving 5 of us to move on to a quick run down a stretch of the Rawthey. With a couple of cars dropped at the get out by the Railway Falls, we headed for the put in at Sedbergh New Bridge. Great water level for us improves, guided by Mike and supported by Phil we made safe progress over weirs, grade 3 rapids and many hidden rocks. All enjoying a great stretch of beautiful river. The last challenge was the two level drop at Railway Falls. Mike and Phil demonstrated professionally, Duncan made it look like he’d been doing it for years, Sue made a very brave attempt, John thought a walk was a wise end to a great days paddling.
With much thanks to Phil and Mike for looking after us all.
Cheers,
John Speakman

Hindburn

Sunday 06-10-2019.

The advertised trip on the calendar for Saturday was postponed until the Sunday due to lack of water (as I had arranged it, I had the entitled prerogative to change it, with responsibility comes power! Awsome!) and the prospect of rain due overnight on Saturday / Sunday morning was encouraging as it would give more choice of rivers to paddle. 

So not knowing how the forecast rain would affect the water level the decision made was to meet at that old favourite of canal side at Crooklands, then have a quick chat regarding best options, I had it vaguely in mind that the Lune catchment offered choices, so 8 paddlers (Ian McC, Mike H, Brian C, Sten S, Mark M, Chris D & Andy M) took off to the village of Wray to check out the possibility of the Hindburn a river that a few had not run before, yep it was running! Cars re loaded and the shuttle followed taking us all to the get-in.

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The get in was a fun start with Mike H attempting to help Sten seal launch with a prod from one of the boats being passed over the fence, followed by me not paying enough attention after launching and taking a swim ☹.

 

 

Well the paddle improved as we set off in a rotating configuration of paired up paddlers, a good system that aims to avoid any bunching and it proved worthwhile later on.

The level 0.85 or thereabouts not as high as expected with the rain but a good runnable level although dropping as the trip progressed

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Well the happy bunch continued down the river enjoying all that this grade 3 had to offer with slides and drops on what turned out to be a warm bright day, excellent weather for paddling!

Being where it is there is always the potential of trees and avoiding them, we had to portage around a couple and the rotating pairs worked well and allowed space to react in the event of an issue however we unfortunately had one or two involving tree debris in the river which resulted in a rescue and the curtailing of the trip for one paddler at the nearest road bridge with an strained and painful leg muscle and broken paddle, 

The jolly saunter down grade 3 soon halted at the farm bridge the last get out to take a look at the grade 4 triple drop so the off we trudged to look at what lay in store for those that fancied it, I not having done the Hindburn before and considering my shaky start decided not to chance it having done fine since! So along with others for their own reasons portaged this bit leaving Mike H and fearless Brian C to run it and to be honest they made it look straight forward, no regrets and useful seeing others run it, so next time it is for me.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo the portagers re-joined the river a 100 metres down stream to continue the straight forward run to the Roeburn confluence clearing a few larger ledge drops and the final weirs towards the egress at Wray.

 

 

 

So, a quick change and shuttle to collect the other cars and most importantly the 8th member from where we left him with his boat and broken paddle!

He was fine and hobbled in to joined us for an apre paddle coffee & scones at the bridge café,

Excellent day guys.

Ian

When tenacity pays off

Sunday 29th.  1993, Mike H researches a rarely if ever paddled river section. Need lots of water and a strong  team to attempt it. 3 times thwarted over the years the by high winds forcing closure of the A66.

Not often the opportunity arises but 7a..m on Sunday 29th Sept. gauge was on 0.48 low- but the ground was saturated from 2 days of heavy rain and it  had poured all night- heavily. By 8.00 the river had risen to 0.8. We were on.

Mike H , Brian Rob and Mark left a car at the get out before yomping  across the moor to the get in, just below a sheep fence. Yardstone beck, only  3 boat wide. Tight meandering bends, constant control needed, though not at all dangerous, Like a fair ground ride, even a weird arch in the middle of nowhere.

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After 1km Aygill joined, doubling the volume and width. Still lots of meander and fast grade 2 to the old railway bridge where the grade upped to 3 and the waves increased  in size and slides stared, nice easy angled slides, some with large stoppers, all easily avoided. One lower section stopped by a double fence in the final stopper. On one double slide Mark found himself sideways playing, or was it being played with!   – only foiled when his paddle snapped!

 

Soon afterwards fall on OS map. After a sudden scramble when and an eddy failed materialise on a long bend, 100m of slides followed, then more 3 and more slides.  just a delight then more 3 to God’s bridge where LES applied, the last eddy syndrome -make the eddy or die, a the  river  flowed underground through at the natural ‘God’s bridge. ( In all 4 fences to portage on the supper section)

We took the opportunity to scout the next gorge section by foot before  paddling it to yet another fence. Below this a double slide past a larger hole. Then, sublime slides , then a steeper slide 3 hbigger standing waves, move left (or right) down a slab, more slides and holes to a  normal bouldery rapid and a final S bend. 500m of WOW.

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We were brought back to earth with a nasty river wide hole at the next bridge followed by 700m of portage due to trees in the river, and. a final bar fence before  the junction with Sleightholme Beck.

The volume now doubled, the river in spate, very fast. The first bridge after the confluence held another fence, which we sneaked by. Caution. to a ledge which proved easy.

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A tree tunnel that we should never have entered but brought us to and eddy> inspection again, then a death ledge – with such a nasty recirculation river wide. The final portage lead tin 400m and the relief the egress and food.

Not often you get to paddle a possible first descent- (unless you know better).

Oh yes the gauge peaked at a level of 1.2  just as we got of the river at 4.30pm.

Mike H

 

Upper Wharf

Mike H , Brian, Mark H, Ian Mc, Grant met on high and rising river levels, we took the decision to travel to the Upper wharf to avoid all possible tree hazard.

On arrival the river was high but not in spate- perfect, ( Kettlewell gauge 1.24).

A short drive along the single track road toward Low green field, and then off down thenarrow but flowing Green Field Beck. A few rocky  slides brought us to a 2 m fall.

 

 

Rocker class 3 sections followed to the confluence with Outershaw Beck, where The wharf actually starts. Down Langstrothdale – what a fun ride, with  more than a few testing sections.

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Mike H , Brian, Mark H and Grant