Another successful Lakes Trip.
Despite the lack of water forecast, we still managed to get out paddling, every day we were in the lake district. Out of the accommodation & on the road by 9am, gave us most of the day to paddle. Then on most days, back mid afternoon, to hang up wet gear in the super drying room, before heading into Keswick, for a rummage around the outdoor shops & then in search of another pub, for dinner & a drink.
Grades differed from 2 to 4 & rocks were plenty. I think the most desired paddling kit that most are now after, is a pair of elbow pads, due to the large amount of bruised elbows, on most days. But lots of smiles all round & lots of new rivers, added to the paddling list.
Below is a small collection of photos, of the trip. A small group of us headed up early on Thursday, to paddle in the afternoon, whilst others began their trip, either on Friday or Saturday. of the 9 paddlers on the trip (one had to pull out at the last minute sadly, we had 5 GoPro Cameras on the trip, ranging from the Original HD version, to the recent 3). Therefore we should have a good video for your viewing pleasure, hitting your screen, soon.
Thursday – River Leven – Medium
Out of the 4 of us, we had never paddled this river before. Although myself & Jake had watched a couple of online videos & I had read the lakes guidebook description a couple of days before hand, including some of the notes to my mini map. We made it down the river without too much issue.
We found a group of paddlers getting on the river, as we rocked up. By the time the shuttle was off, they were on the water & heading downstream. After a spot of lunch, the shuttle was back & we were ready to hit the water. The water was cold & I was the only one brave enough to give the first wave a surf, before the group headed down. Reaching Backbarrow bridge, we had caught up with the other group, who were expecting the drop from the bridge.
I said I’d head down first, since I knew a vague line, from lots of previous reading/ watching. Made it down without a hitch. Pretty clean line in fact & the audience on the bridge, cheered (which was nice). Ian followed, shortly by Jake & then Bob. Ian & Jake found the elbow rock & we waited at the bottom of the drop, while the other group ran the drop.
Whilst waiting around, we found a tunnel on river left. Sadly we didn’t have the energy to grab the head torches from our kit, so we made use of the camera flash, to see further down the tunnel. Eventually the other group came down the drop, with a few upside down boats. Once they were under control, we decided to head on down.
Portaging the G5 weir, we carried on & finished the rest of the river in good time. Getting changed, we were greeted by numerous Jet planes, flying over. Once we were all sorted, we headed over to check the Get on/ Off for the River Crake, for the next day, before heading back to Keswick.
Friday – River Crake – Low
Hitting the Get On, just before 10, we were greeted with the cold weather. Not messing around, we rounded up our kit & got the boats off the roof, so the shuttle could get underway. A new day & a new camera mount to play with. Some slight mods, from previous attempts & a new angle for me, was underway.
Starting off in the lake for the Crake, was a good warm up. Finding the mouth of the river, wasn’t too tricky. A couple of tree branches to navigate around, lead us to the river. The first decent rapid was an easy maneuver for the whole group. The next series of rapids, wern’t too much of an issue, either.
The last rapid was enjoyable. Sadly there was little warning of it, so my camera wasn’t on. However I suspect the other 4, may have at least captured some of it. The Get off followed & after warming back up, from the cold winds, we packed the cars & headed off to the Get on, for the Leven (again).
Friday – River Leven – Low
Unloading the boats, the shuttle was off again & we pondered what the level would be like. Shuttle back, we got on the water & headed down. The cold wind put all of us off, from playing on the first wave, so we carried on down.
Reaching Backbarrow bridge, we peeled out of the eddy in group formation & made our way down the drop. Definitely a lot lower than yesterday, was revealed particularly from the rock on the left hand side, that its head was visible, from the water line. As it was lower, more light made it into the tunnel, so we could see further into it. Noting too special to report sadly though, apart from a rusty ladder leading up, somewhere.
Portaging the G5 drop again with little water now pouring over the edge, it became clear that it was a rapid you wouldn’t want to mess up. The GoPro Boat mount started to become loose, so while Mr. Page tried to fit a broken paddle he picked up from the bank, I took the mount off & returned the camera to my helmet.
Eventually reaching the Get out, we loaded the boats onto the cars & headed back to Keswick.
Saturday – River Eden – Low
Joined by James & Dave at the stroke of Midnight, with the essential 25m extension power cord, we headed north to the Eden, in the morning. Upon finding the Get on car park, we then spent 10 minutes trying to find the gauge that the book described.
Without any luck, we judged the river level & assumed we could float under the bridge. Shuttle started & we then began comparing paddles, since James had bought a shiny pair of carbon cranked Werner Players. Shuttle was back & we were getting on the water, as we found two more paddlers turn up.
The river in general was a nice grade. A few more higher grade rapids would have been preferred for me personally, but I guess you can’t have everything. Floating down, we saw some faces & text carved into the cliff, on River Right. Unusual, but rather interesting, we stopped for a quick read, before arriving at the final rapid.
River Left looked passable, but rather dull (to me). All the action was in River Right for me. Dave popped out for a quick scout, while I scouted from the boat. I could see two rather munchy stoppers in the middle, but a possible clean boof, River Right. It all looked ok, so once Dave had checked it all out, I ran the right line. No problems for me. Hit at a more diagonal line & therefore missing the smaller rooster, which meant I swept into the eddy, without too much hassle.
Scottish Dave was up next. Heading more left & into the middle channel, he peeled onto the rooster tail, which then pushed him into the main flow. Luckily he had the speed to hit the first stopper. Although it did slow him down to the second, causing the nose of the burn to raise, dramatically. Some quick paddling moves & he was out of there in a flash. Ian & Jack seemed to have made their own way down on River Left, so they also had front row seats for Dave’s near miss.
The rest of the group headed closer to the right hand side of the bank. Some missing the boof, which therefore meant they hit the rock, below them.
Finally it was a short paddle to the Get out, River Right. Carrying the boats & kit to the pub on River Left, we packed up the cars, before heading into the pub for lunch.
Sunday – River Kent – Low
Making our way out of the bunkhouse, with all cars packed before 9, was impressive. What was even more impressive, was we’d then got off the Kent before 12 & were on the M6 for 12.30, for most of us.
River wise, the Kent was a little lower than in the previous year, so we missed out Scroggs Weir & got on at Hawes Bridge, which skipped all the scrapes & dull flat water. In the previous year, we had missed out force falls, as we didn’t know it was there. But this year we ran the drop. I headed off first again, with Scottish Dave in the eddy above, passing on communication, back to the group.
Everyone made it down the drop upright, using the middle line. Although for some, there were a few more bruised elbow’s. Grabbed the eddy for the Get off & then the Zippy Conga was invented. You saw it here first!
Thanks for Phil & Jackie, for the shuttles & Bob for sorting out the accommodation & James for the 25m Extension Cable.
Until next time…