15 November 2008

Old hunting grounds...

Like I said yesterday I was paddling on the Leven today and that's what I did. I met up with a paddler at the garage in Newby Bridge, quickly changed vehicles, and then met up with four more paddlers at the get in. We got changed and blasted off down river as the shuttle had already been sorted. I've done this river a fair few times now, but don't think I have done it in over ten months what with working in Scotland and France, so even though it was a familiar run I was looking forward to the journey downstream. I also think it could have been the highest that I have ever done it; that added to the interest.

Getting on the Leven just outside Newby Bridge.

Playing in the Brick Chute Weir to the left of the brick chute.

Three on a wave.

On the lip of the weir just upstream of Backbarrow.

The main interest on the Leven is without a doubt the section from Backbarrow Bridge to Haverthwaite and it was only over the last winter that I started running this section regularly. Prior to this my early escape from the river could be accounted to strictly following the access agreement, where supposedly 'permitted' access ends at the bottom of the racecourse section.

My line on the Backbarrow Bridge fall wasn't the greatest by any stretch of the imaginiation. I was too far right, meaning that I missed that vital rock platform to boof off to skip over the nasty, grabby hole at the bottom. As a result I ended up watching the bow of my boat go up and over my head as I got looped, then spent a fairly long period of time under water before finally managing to roll up just downstream of the hole. Afterwards I was told that it looked like I was getting nicely bashed against the side of the bridge and pulled back into the hole.

On previous trips down this section I had always portaged the next weir because I could never really work out a line from the river left bank. However, today I stepped up and ran it as I was able to follow the other's lines and be guided somewhat from the bottom.

At the bottom of the weir downstream of Backbarrow.

Once finished on the Leven, in order to make the hundred mile round trip to the South Lakes a bit more worthwhile, two of us went and hit up the Kent. Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures, mainly because we quickly blasted through all the rapids and hit the lines well. I had another upside down moment at the bottom of Force Falls, but rolled up.

Whilst on the river I met, for the first time, one of the guys that I'll be boating with next week during the UniYaker selection weekend in Wales.

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

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