16 April 2007

Into the depths of another Gorge

Looking up Glen Roy. It may just be possible to see the parallel roads half way up the shot.

Monday rolled around with little hope of a river paddle. There had still been no real rain meaning all the rivers were dropping off steadily and the list of low water runs I had compiled before the holiday had been thrown out of the window for some reason. In one last desperate attempt I started hatching plans to paddle the Roy Gorge hoping that with it being a gorge it would hold it's level slightly longer than other rivers. However, if the gorge was going to be attempted a long, stressful walk back up the Inca Trail would be needed to avoid a scrape down the lower reaches. Therefore before any firms plans were set a quartet of paddlers, me included, decided to head up Glen Roy to try and scout the gorge from the river bank.

Looking upstream at another Head Banger and the drop below it.

We eventually parked up by Roosters Tail, hopped over the fence and headed down the sodden fields as a light mist fell from the clouds. On reaching Roosters Tail it was definitely not on, however still no real worry as we hadn't reached the gorge yet. So we carried on downstream looking at the river umming and arring as to whether it would actually go. Some of the quartet were more sceptical than others and I must admit I was one of the more optimistic in the group as installed in me was the knowledge that if we didn't paddle today I would have nothing else to do for the remainder of the day.

Eventually, we reached Head Banger where we felt that it may be possible to gauge the gorge from here better than anyway else, thus giving us a fairer representation of the level. It still looked good to go, but most of us were in a take-it or leave-it kind of mood so we headed back to the cars.

Looking for the car parked higher up the Glen.

When we turned to head back upstream we took note of how far we had walked down the river and how far away the car was; a tiny dot in the distance. We plodded back through the sodden fields as the light mist, which did nothing for the river levels, fell. We were slightly disheartened as it looked like we wouldn't get to paddle. On reaching the car we headed down the Glen to the chalets and showed the pictures of the river to the other three paddlers we had left there. It wasn't good. They weren't over enthusiastic about paddling the gorge in such low water when it could ruin the memories from the year before when we had ran it with another three to five foot of water. Eventually we talked ourselves out of paddling and headed to Fort Bill for a bit of shop.

Fort Bill was as busy as ever and the shops were as good as ever! From the hour or so spent milling around the shops I came out with a CKUK magazine to fill the rest of the day, which was spent milling around the chalets looking through the SCA Guidebook in the hope that a low water run in the surrounding area would pop up and smack us in the face.

Two days complete, one river done, another four days to fill.

More pictures can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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