Wednesday 23 March 2016

Checking out the River Lune in readiness for our next bit of work. Saturday 19th March 2016.

What many of our customers don't realise is the amount of work that goes into running your activity sessions or Skills Training Courses. People turn up for a session; and leave at the end of it and often that's all they see. But what about the setup time? packing equipment, organizing staff and then cleaning everything up, drying it out and putting it all away afterwards!

Also, if you do a skills training course with us (or indeed - an activity) then we will never take you to somewhere that we haven't been and checked out ourselves first!

And that's exactly the theme of this post.

Photo one sees Iain's daft partner posing for a photo as we set off to reconnoitre a section of the River Lune between Killington Bridge (here in photo one) and  Rigmaden Bridge - some five miles downstream. We'll be reporting on a few days with Helen Wright & her family early next week when they join us once again wishing to do some river journeying as part of developing their skills set for paddling rivers.

The River Lune is a great place for journeying and we have taken a number of people down it over the years, but the Killington to Rigmaden Bridge stretch is new to us.

Shortly after setting off, we found ourselves at a nasty weir (a vertical head dam) that needed to be portaged (avoided by carrying the canoes past it) and then a little further on, we came to the weir in photo two, which  again, had to be portaged.

Below this weir the river flow was funneled into a narrow channel becoming quite fast. We could see this being a tricky place for novices as in medium water when this section would certainly be grade three. Over this coming weekend, it is supposed to rain, so we may avoid this part of the river and get on at the Rawthey Confluence instead!

What is the Rawthey Confluence? The answer is the place in photo three! After travelling around a mile down this rather "interesting" section of the Lune, we arrived at the place where the River Rawthey - running in from the direction of Sedbergh, joins our river. In photo three, the Rawthey joins from the right of the photo and the River Lune runs in from just right of centre. We felt that here was a good place to stop for lunch and you can see Iain's partner - Kirstin; and our friend Simon who joined us for the day enjoying lunch on the shingle bank beyond our canoes. As the weather was fine, this was a lovely place to stop.

Continuing on from the Rawthey Confluence, we found no rapids of significant difficulty as the river meandered on an only gently sloping course through farmland towards Rigmaden Bridge.

All in all, we had a pleasant paddling trip done in low water conditions which meant that even after the additional flow of the Rawthey  joined us,it was still a "bump & a scrape" in places and on a few occasions, the river was so shallow that we had to get out and push.

We saw quite a lot of wildlife, Dippers, Oyster-catchers and on the banks - many of what we believed were Otter prints though we never actually saw any. Photo four was taken only about 5 minutes before we sighted Rigmaden Bridge.  By now, we were a tad damp after briefly falling in on a rapid some way back!
Photo five sees Simon getting out just below Rigmaden Bridge at the end of our Canadian Canoe "recce" trip. Iain is satisfied that the section between there & Killington Bridge will, largely, be suitable for Helen and her family next week; although if the forecast rains bring the river level up then we might well avoid that first mile or so and get in at the Rawthey Confluence.

We may also continue along the section below Rigmaden Bridge on to Kirkby Lonsdale  as this is arguably the finest section on the River Lune for running in a Canadian Canoe - with more of areas of interest than the section that we ran today.

If you would like to try Canadian Canoeing, then try one of our half day taster sessions at only £45 per person or book our combined introduction to Canadian Canoeing and easy river journeying based on Derwent-Water and the "middle" River Derwent near Keswick for only £80 per person for a full day out; and a great one at that! Contact us here to book your Canadian Canoeing experience, we look forward to working with you!

No comments: