07 December 2007

Some more paddling adventures

It was another day off for me so naturally I headed for the river after receiving a phone call saying there was some paddling to be had. I jumped at the opportunity like usual, packed my kit up and waited for 8:30 when the transport was coming round to my house to pick me up. We headed north once again, like we have done on all the previous occasions, and met up with some other paddlers at a lay-by where some were sampling the delights of the 'Bacon Butty Van'. A plan was hatched, we kitted up, and were on the road again heading for the Greta which flows out of Ingleton. Cars were deposited at strategic locations along the river until we eventually reached the put in.

To get on this river boats and kit had to be lifted over a five/six foot wall before climbing over yourself. On the other side of the wall is a rather steep hill which is hard to descend whilst carrying/dragging your boat so after finding a suitable spot I got in my boat and slid off down the hill. For one worrying moment I didn't think I would stop before reaching the river which could have proved a problem as my deck wasn't on and my helmet wasn't fastened.

Sliding down to the bottom of the hill.

The Ingleton Greta is a continuous grade two run, which requires a fair amount of water to be runnable. We caught it today as the water was dropping off so in places it was a bit of a scrape, but all the same it was fun as you weaved in and out of protruding and sometimes submerged, if you spotted them quickly enough, rocks. There was the odd wave to surf, but the best part of the river is when you look back upstream to be left with views of the hills which look down on Ingleton.

Looking upstream to the fells over Ingleton.

Surfing probably the best wave on the river.

Running one of the natural weirs. These are quite common on the last stretches of the river. This particular one can be quite savage in high levels but can be run straight into the river left eddy.

Once we had successfully descended the Greta me and another paddler hatched plans for a second river. This river was the Hindburn, which is incredibly hard to catch in condition so we were a bit on the optimistic side seen as there hadn't been any real rain since the night before and rain is needed for the river to go. Anyway we sorted a shuttle out with one of the other paddlers before they headed for home and then got on the river, which was just about runnable. Not a lot happened on this river. We ran the rapids, we didn't catch that many eddies and we didn't surf that many waves as the level was a bit to inappropriate for that kind of thing.

However, the main event on the Hindburn was entertaining. We got out to have a gander at it first then team ran it. We took the first and second drops on the right. The second drop gave us a bit of airtime as we bounced off the ledges. All was good so I headed back to the top for my second descent and some pictures. It wasn't as sweet as the previous time. I got spun just before the first drop which meant I ran that backwards. Luckily I managed to turn it around and send the bow over the second drop first for the bouncy ride to the bottom. It was just a shame the camera had run out of battery.

The main event on the Hindburn.

It was then just a case of descending the rest of the river, packing up and heading for home. I'm going out in an hour or two to help run a River Safety course in the local swimming pool. Weird I know.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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