03 December 2007

Three more rivers. That's eight in four days.

Once again I was putting on the river. It was a bit of a mission before reaching the river because even after all this rain we are still having problems finding it in the rivers. On the way north we looked at five different rivers to see them all at their base flows so with the only real option available to us, the Upper Lune, we headed on to the get out to kit up, man up and get on the river. During all this period we were getting phone calls from two other paddlers about paddling options and we eventually met up with them at the get in for the Upper Lune, under the huge railway viaduct.

The put in for the Upper Lune is down a road, which you are not allowed to drive down so normally we carry the boats down, which isn't the nicest prospect as it goes up and down regularly and it's a serious incline and decline. However, down the side of the road is a small beck, Low Gill in fact, which I have looked at in the past and pulled my nose at. Today I did not. One of the paddlers we met at the put in was doing it so I just followed him on down the beck. It was amazing, really steep, with drop after drop with little time for thought in between and it all finished with a slide down into the Lune. I got spun on the slide and finished it off backwards but it was all good.

The other paddler leading the way down the staircase of drops.

Following the line down the drops.

Looking for the boof stroke to take me over the drop.

Once the successful descent of Low Gill had been done we joined the rest of the group and headed off down the Upper Lune which was at a slightly higher level than eight days ago so it was slightly different but nothing outstandingly so to warrant a paragraph or two. The river was still the same grade.

Surfing a wave before entering the mini-gorges.

Cartwheeling a Pyranha H3 in one of the mini-gorges.

Looking down on a paddler as they make a successful descent of the Strid, the crux rapid on the river.

Once we had made a successful run on the Lune new plans were hatched for a second river. The river in question was the Kent. A familiar river to me, but it was expected to be high so a smaller group, including myself, headed off for Scroggs Weir. On arrival we were met with a lower than expected level, it was still slightly higher than average, but it wasn't tanking down like we all had expected. Anyway we headed for the river and set off for a quick blast to round off the day.

In the gorge as we take a breather.

Paddling through one of the gorges looking to make an eddy.

Surfing the wave found in the middle gorge. In a play boat spins and blunts could be achieved. In a creek boat not a lot could be done apart from high crosses and such like.

On finishing the Kent we got changed, loaded the vans and headed for home whilst reflecting on another superb days paddling with good company on some quality Lake District rivers. Even though I have done the Lune and Kent countless time I still don't get bored of the rivers. I enjoy the fact that I know the lines for the rapids so I can bomb off them without inspection, but even today I found new lines just because of the people I was following down the river. I found a new boof spot on the Kent which is at the end of a channel which comes off the river and saw the impressive central line on the L-Shaped weir being hit with style and then there was the descent of Low Gill. Just perfect.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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