05 October 2008

Elbow Pads and all...

I think in the last post I mentioned that a job for the weekend would be to replace my neck seal on my dry suit. Well, to be perfectly honest, I never managed to replace the seal as I didn't have the seal (they're in Preston) and I had no glue. However, I did go to Brookbank Carlisle to try and rectify the absence of glue, but they were all out as well. The trip wasn't all that unproductive mind; phone numbers were exchanged with the staff in the chance that a trip was on the cards the next day. It was bucketing it down and I had cycled the seven miles to the shop!

Anyway, I got a text message that evening, plans were to hit Langstrath Beck, and all I had to do was have my kit ready by 8:45 to be picked up and whisked off into the Lakes. In true boater fashion we never got to Langstrath Beck (fears of lack of water) and instead headed east to Swaledale with a paddler we had met in Penrith. On the way to the Swale we had a cheeky look at Swindale Beck in Brough, it was too low, before eventually reaching Wainwath Force. We kitted up, ran the shuttle and got onto the river for the quick blast through the Swale's Keld Gorge. This would be my first proper river trip in a long time where elbow pads wouldn't be laughed at. The last time they were out could have been over two months ago when I paddled the Tummel up in Perthshire.

Boofing out on the right hand line on Wainwath Force.

Lined up and locked in for the slide down Rainby Force.

On the second half of the unnamed double drop just after Rainby Force.

A bit of creek boat freestyle in a hole.

On the second half of Catrake Force.

Pulling on a big right-hander to boof out through the main chute on Upper Kisdon Force.

Tucking up on Lower Kisdon Force in an effort to save the back from impact with the rock shelf.

Walking out from the gorge to Keld.

This was my second descent of Keld Gorge and it was roughly the same level as my previous visit. Everything went well, and everything was ran with success. I near enough had a dry head day apart from the line I took on Upper Kisdon, which took me straight through the chute of water coming off the ledge protruding in the middle. On getting back to the car at the top of the gorge plans were made for another river. First of all it was going to be the Belah over by Kaber and then the Upper Eden over by Aisgill. We managed neither, but did look at the Belah and dismissed it as too low before heading for Carlisle and home.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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