Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lakes March 2014

Lake District report 14,15,16-03-2014

Ali, Bill, Trevor, Rob, Adam, Keith, Chucky, Norm, Zaf, Sandy, Brian

Ali, Bill, Trevor, Keith, Chucky, Norm, Zaf, decided to take the day off work and head towards the Lake with an early start. However, Keith’s new paddle wagon decided to have a puncher. Delayed by an hour or so, Keith, Chucky, Norm, Zaf got to Force Falls, just in time to see Bill Ali and Trevor finishing their run. Keen to get there kit wet. The groups decided to run Force falls again. Nice short run from above the bridge, through the L shaped weir on to Force Falls. All got through, some with style and grace other with brute force and ignorance.
Changing quickly, headed to the Coniston Holly Howe Youth Hostel. Call of “are we there yet” changed to “could do with a beer”. Booked in we headed to the Black Bull, acceptable amounts of beer was consumed that night. I used a tried and tested method, starting from the left of the bar and worked my way to the right of the bar. Thus making suring, a beer would not be missed off accidently. Needless to say, details of the night are slightly hazy.  
The Group was split into those that snored and those that allegedly did not. Brain, give all the snorers ear plugs. So this group had a really good nights sleep.
Early morning rise, after breakfast we headed to the Leven. Inspecting Backbarrow Bridge we knew we were in for a treat. Onwards to the get in, (http://youtu.be/Kd7TVij22vA) 
the first feature is a walled in weir with an inner shoot also walled in which contains a green wave. Many tried to get on to it. sounds of “dowink” - boats colliding with brick wall were heard many a time. Adam decided to show us how it is really done by placing his paddle on top of the wall and hand surfing the wave. Brian rolled and soon it was time to move on. Few more small and big weirs followed and we reached Bachbarrow bridge.
There were two schools of thought. Straight down the middle or Left to right.
Running it Left to right we all hit the slab of rock at bottom of the feature, which kicked the boat really hard into the bridge wall. We all got through safely. With only two having to roll.

NEXT Weir MUST be portaged. River LEFT.

There followed some more features. Some say Bill rolled on one of these however I cannot verify this.  All I can do is admit to two rolls of my own and let video evidence speak for itself as to who did what to whom. My version, Ali pushed me back in to the weir causing one of the rolls. ( I really must learn to edge properly). The other was on a fish ladder. Mistakenly thinking the slot in the middle is designed to allow easy passage for kayaks. NOT. Lesson learnt.   
A good two and half hour run later we got to the get out.
Waiting for the shuttle Norman and I managed somehow to catch a headache-each. Thinking of groups safety we decided to sit out the next river.
Whilst waiting, Norman found this magical cure for both our splitting headaches. And we were right as rain by the time the group got back from there flat water paddle on the Kent.
Back to the Hotel. We reviewed the video evidence, had food, consumed small amounts of beer and went to bed.

Up the Next day with not much water about we ran the Leven again. A swim and few more rolls followed. Rest as they say is history. 
Fab weekend. Thanks to Rob for organising it.