28 August 2009

Carrying up the Caldew

Looking up the Caldew Valley with Bowscale Fell to the left and Carrock Fell to the right.

The Wednesday that has just gone was one of those Wednesday's. One of those Wednesday's where you do nothing for most of the day and then suddenly everything is all go. I had one very similar to this the other month and the result was pretty much the same; I went kayaking in the evening.

Walking along the Cumbria Way in the direction of Skiddaw House.

When plans were first hatched it was decided that we would head over to Mungrisdale to paddle the Caldew, then on reassessing the situation we changed plans to the old faithful, Aira Beck. To be honest I wasn't too chuffed with this change because my summer paddling has either consisted of Aira Beck or the stuff I did over in the Alps in June. However, when arriving at Aira Beck it was high, and we decided to head over to Mungrisdale in the hope of the Caldew being in a similar vain.

Breaking into the flow high up on the Caldew.

When we pulled up besides the Caldew it was flowing well and it was definitely going. This put a smile on my face and after gearing up and organising a shuttle I was able to strap the boat in and start walking up the Cumbria Way using the secret weapon.

On the lead-in to the Picnic Pool.

The half-an-hour walk up the valley was with out a doubt worth it, and to be honest I have had more gruelling, morale draining walk-in's before, but it seems that I have always been rewarded with memorable river descents.

Today was certainly one of those descents. The Caldew was fast paced, continuous, good humoured grade 3/4 fun, which provided plenty of excitement. There was just one rapid, which we had to think about, and this was the Picnic Pool, but a quick inspection and a smidgen of safety saw us through the rapid and on downstream.

Sliding down into the Picnic Pool in the hope of punching through the meaty stopper at the bottom.

Since then I've been busy working, hence such a late posting, and that's how it's going to be until Wednesday, where fingers crossed, the weather will prove as useful and allow me to get out and play.

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

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