Saturday, 28 March 2009

Booftastic in the North East

Photo by Tim Burne

A little while ago we headed up to the north east of England, found a waterfall on the upper Wear and hucked our meat.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Rock Climbing in North Wales

Last weekend I thought I'd try something a little different from kayaking and I headed up to North Wales with Tim and Mo to do some rock climbing! We had a great time, climbing on the Milestone Buttress on Tryfan and Tryfan Fach. Here are some of the photos.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Two New Rivers, One Weekend

The final sheer sided gorge of the upper Wnion

The weekend in North Wales for me saw two new rivers paddled - The Dwyfor and the Wnion. The Dwyfor was described in the guidebook as a bigger and better Tryweryn, however the low water levels on the Saturday meant we were unable to experience everything the Dwyfor has to offer. Alistair, Oli, Derek and myself finished the river a full ninety minutes before everyone else which gave us time to watch the local village football match that was being played at the take out. I was remined how dirty village football can be when a pub style brawl erupted on the pitch amid some of the players!

The rain came on Saturday night and we decided to paddle the Wnion on Sunday, which turned out to be a great paddle. The last two km of the upper Wnion offer really good grade 4 read and run, nothing too pushy with clean drops. The final few hundred meters is through a sheer sided gorge before the river opens out. Unfortunatley Ant suffered a blow to the face that resulted in him knocking half a toothe out on this section - Get better soon Ant.

Me on the Wnion gorge, photo by Derek Wong

Mark Wardle getting ready to enter the gorge on the Wnion

Spooky wood on the Dwyfor

Harry Wood admiring the fleet

A rare sight in North Wales - snow covered mountains!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Architects go Surfing!

Chris, Sarah and Tia

On Saturday Chris Lees, Tia Randal, Sarah Bromley and I headed down Croyd beach in Devon for surfing. We were pleasantly surprised by the temperature of the water and had a really good day.

Chris having his first ever paddle in a kayak

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Scotland New Year

New Year means the annual Imperial trip up to Scotland. This year we stayed in Roy Bridge outside Fort William. While in previous years we have always been lucky with good water levels, this year there was somewhat of a drought in the UK over the Christmas period with there having been no rain in weeks. This meant all the rivers were at an unpaddleable low level apart from the Spean gorge. Funnily enough on the first day when we paddled the Spean gorge it was the highest I had ever paddled it due to the man at the Laggan dam accidentaly switching one of the overflow pipes on! I should also mention that it was freezing. I think the air temperature was below freezing for most of the trip, with ice forming on all our river clothing and even our hair!

However the rest of the trip there was no water, we managed a couple of scrapy runs down the arkaig, but nothing else was running. The trip was still a real fun though - we did quite a bit of walking and inspecting dry river beds and the Ceilidh on new years eve at Fort William was so much fun as usual.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Adventure Paddlers Weekend

Tom Haywood on Euthanasia Falls, The Dart

This was the weekend of the annual Adventure Paddlers Weekend organized by Gene 17. This involved kayaking in Devon with a series of lectures on the Saturday night, held at the River Dart Country night. Tom, Joe and I decided to drive down on the Thursday night and get a run in of the Hoaroak Water and East Lyn, before meeting up with Imperial Canoe club on the Friday night.

We were met by a nice medium level on the Hoaroak and East Lyn, two rivers that I had paddled almost a year ago to the day, but in massive spate! This meant we were unable to paddle the gorge section on the Lyn due to it being too high. However this year we managed to paddle it. We also walked up Hoaroak Water, a trib of the Lyn and found a series of interesting drops.

On Saturday and Sunday we paddled a very cold Dart. It was really good to get some of my friends from Imperial down the upper, who had never paddled it before.

Joe Freeman hucking his meat on Hoaroak Water!

Me on Hoaroak Water

Me on Hoaroak Water

Tom entering the Lyn Gorge

Firing it up on the gorge

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Lower Prysor

On Saturday Tom and I headed up to North Wales to meet Patrick Clissold and Tom Laws for some boating action. Unfortunately as usual the water level was very low. Undetered we decided to have a look at the lower prysor, as some of the drops go in low water. The first large fall at the get on is Rheader Du. This intimidating fall begins as a 30 metre slide into a ten metre waterfall at the bottom. After spending extensive time looking at it we decided to leave it for another day.

The rest of the river was a gorge walk with a boat save three really sweet draops into a vertical sided gorge. The first drop is a six metre waterfall into a large cauldron. We all came of this drop buzzing and remarked how similar it was to right angle on the etive. After this followed a really smoothe slide and a further smaller drop. Although the river was far to low to paddle other than these three drops we all felt it was worth it, and it's a new river to tick off!