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09/11/14 - Leven and Kent

Club trip write-ups

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09/11/14 - Leven and Kent

Postby Pyro » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:38 pm

It's been a while since anyone updated the river blog, so here's a quick write-up of today's trip:

Paddlers: Simon, Will, Carrick, Rob, Alice, Chris, Sam, Benji, Ali, Tom W.
Other people joining us: Laurent, and a few of the Lancastrians.

We headed up to the south Lakes for the day, since there'd been a bit of rain over the past few days that had brought things into nice top-end-of-Medium conditions. After a remarkably faff-free van pickup and loading we headed to Newby Bridge for a run on the Leven, a first time for a few paddlers and a welcome return for a few more of us. A quick inspection of Backbarrow as we ran the shuttle showed that it looked pretty chunky but wasn't as grabby as it looked - online gauge said 1.19. We set off and paddled as a single group, dropping to 1-by-1 for some of the more interesting bits, the first drop below the Brick Chute and the Graveyard section. Everyone seemed to be paddling well and we made really quick progress down to the first slide weir, where Simon and Carrick went ahead to run Backbarrow and set up Safety/Camera positions.

The run in to Backbarrow was nice and clear, though the rooster tail on the drop was giving a bit of a kick to the right and the hole below was giving a bit of a kick to the left, so paddling hard and watching your edges was important. A couple of people took rolls (Will, Laurent), a couple took little swims (Chris, Alice), and Rob managed an interesting little pirouette manoeuvre coming out of the hole, but everyone seemed happy, so we pottered on. After the portage and the broken weir below (Note - left means LEFT, Benji...) we slid down the next weir and onto the long bouncy bit down to the main road bridge. Another weir and then time for confusion through Fisherman's Island - a bunch of us in the left hand eddy, a few piling straight through and a general mish-mash of bits of everything. Everyone stayed upright, though, which was nice.

After food, drink and the shuttle, the Frenchman headed off to get some work done, and the Lancastrians headed back to Lancaster, so we headed to the Kent, which was at a lovely medium-ish level (about 0.61). We unloaded quickly and set off from Prizet bridge, and really quickly made it down to Gunpowder Gorge. Alice took an unfortunate dunking on the first drop, but after a short swim and a very good bit of rope work (Note - Simon can get a line across the river to someone first time...) she was soon reunited with her boat and kit. The speed of rescue seemed to irritate Tom W, who was having a lovely time playing in the top hole in the meantime.

More good paddling and we were soon over the gauging weir, down to Repeater and the L-Weir, which prompted one or two "hell, that was bigger than I was expecting it to be!" comments. Simon and Carrick again ran off ahead to sort things out while Will briefed everyone else about what was coming up. With two people (one camera, one safety boater) ready below, people started appearing over the lip of Force Falls, with various looks of concentration/consternation/outright fear on their faces. Will and Rob both managed cracking rolls considering they were both hindered by being in the left-hand undercut at the time. Tom pushed even harder left and bounced a less-than-graceful curving down the pile of rocks, but remained upright. Alice completed a slightly soggy hat-trick, getting pushed deep by the fold on the left and resurfacing upside-down. Oh, and there was much wiling and gnashing of teeth because Will's briefing had consisted of just telling people to stay left. All happy smiles below, though, and we met Alice's parent at the get-out as well.

All-in-all, an absolutely cracking day on the river. Well done everyone, pics will follow on the Facebook page once Simon and I get through editing them.
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Re: 09/11/14 - Leven and Kent

Postby Robbing » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:22 pm

"All that is left is a weir and a little bimble to the get out"..........hhmmmm

Nice write up. :)
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Re: 09/11/14 - Leven and Kent

Postby Jamie » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:31 am

stay left is more of an instruction than I ever give on force... Sounds like you guys could have used a reminder in the CLAP principle? Center Line Always Possible/Preferable.

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