10 December 2007

Stepping up

Went paddling for a change today. The river we decided to head for wasn't in the Lune Valley and it wasn't in the Lake District for another change, instead it was out in the east, over into the Yorkshire Dales, Wharfedale to be precise. We decided to meet at the car park by the River Wharfe in Linton and then went to have a gander at Linton Falls - grade 5 in high levels according to the Guidebook - which was running high. It was bigger than one of the other paddlers had ever seen it. I thought it looked a goer and after our plans for the trip had been made I thought I might give it a go at the end of the trip seen as we could take out above or below it.

Looking upstream on the opening flat sections of the river.

The first three miles or there abouts of the trip were mainly flat water with the odd grade two rapid. This was nice, even though it was easy, no thought needed, paddling because it was cutting through the Yorkshire Dales meaning we had stunning views on either side of us of limestone topped rolling hills. Eventually however, we were heading to the bank to inspect Conistone Falls.

One of the group running Conistone Falls.

Re-packing a throw line after executing a rescue on the falls.

The river then carries on it's flat nature as it carries on making it's meandering descent through Wharfedale until we found our selves at the top of Ghastrills Strid. We had a quick peek and then ran it. Some of the group took easier lines than others, but it was a successful descent. Two weirs followed. We all ran the first one and then headed to the bank once more as we had reached the take out and the next weir would lead down into Linton Falls. I headed down to the falls to inspect whilst the other paddlers called it a day and took their boats back to the car. They soon arrived at the falls to act as safety and photographer for me. It took me a while to sort out my lines, 20 minutes, before heading back to my boat to bomb off the falls.

Getting ready to place the final stroke as I go over the first drop.

Landing the boof at the bottom of the first drop.

Lining up for the slide.

Falling down the slide into the pool above the bottom drop.

Powering away from the slide to get my line in sight.

Dropping into the bottom drop just about hitting the line.

Hitting the stopper at it's weakest point.

Bouncing into the rock behind the stopper.

Paddling away from the bottom of Linton Falls.

Good stuff.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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