16 August 2009

Isn't it great...

when everything falls into place, meaning that you get one great day of boating in after such a long spell without: that is what happened yesterday.

I have been blessed with four days off from work and on Friday whilst driving home from work, looking forward to the short break ahead, it started to rain, and when I got home I had an email asking about paddling the following day. I replied with a great big YES and when I awoke the next day, ready for my days boating, it was still raining. Great.

Approaching Crammel Linn on the Irthing.

Plans had been hatched to meet at 9am in Keswick besides the James Bond Museum, but they where changed; according to the Met Office, the majority of the rain had fallen over the borders. After rehashing the plan we soon found ourselves dragging boats through the moors in the general direction of Crammel Linn on the Irthing. I've mentioned this drop before and said, on that occasion, that it was one I wanted to do and to put it simply, it still is. On looking at the biggest fall in the region I didn't feel up to hucking my meat off the drop so I put on below and headed off downstream back to Gilsland.

Hucking off Crammel Linn.

Once off the Irthing it seemed rude to pack up and go home; there was so much water around. We called in on the Gelt, on the way back west, which looked a bit low so some phone calls where made in the hope of discovering what the Lakes had in store. We were greeted with the news that everything along the side of Ullswater was up and that is where we headed. Our first port of call was Aira Beck, a beck I have done twice before, where we were greeted with a raging torrent. Naturally we put on and headed off downstream.

At the bottom of the Seven Sisters.

Somewhere on Aira Beck.

As always with Aira Beck we had the mandatory portages and as always the tourists, admiring the falling cascades, asked whether we were going to paddle over them. We smiled, replied 'no' and continued our portage.

Fantasy lines on High Force, Aira Beck.

By the time we had finished Aira Beck it was late in the afternoon and energy levels were low. The day had been fantastic, made even better by the fact that the water had arrived just as I started a mini-break from work. This has now set me up for the remaining three days away from the trees; I think I'll head off walking this afternoon and camp up around Stickle Tarn and finish the walk off on Monday. Tuesday might see me get out on the rock for a spot of climbing.

More pictures can be found here.

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

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