Hardest river run in trad boat?

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Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:53 pm

As I get more confident in my prospector I wondered if anyone had any photos or film of trad boats running nails stuff in the UK. Whats the hardest river or rapid anyone has run?

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:52 pm

The Tellico Ledges in Tenassee has to be up there, some fella ran them last year; he managed pretty well until using his hip to demolish a thwart running the 20 footer at the take out... see from 2:21 onward here

Otherwise, I'd ask the canadians...
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Adrian Cooper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:23 am

I've seen a picture somewhere, I think Dave Crooks and Loel Collins running Fairy Glen, maybe not quite trad but reasonably long boats. Anyone able to confirm?
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:I've seen a picture somewhere, I think Dave Crooks and Loel Collins running Fairy Glen, maybe not quite trad but reasonably long boats. Anyone able to confirm?


I've seen those also; I think they did it some kind of Mad River boat, the time would suggest either an MX (~15 feet) or an outrage (~13 feet) Possibly one of the most audacious bits of open canoing in the UK for some time.

There is also a video of two people running swallow falls in its entirety in an OC2, dating from around the time shaun baker did Llanberis Falls.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Adrian Cooper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:49 pm

Probably Dave Crooks and Phil Blain. Several items for further research in this old thread

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11501&p=235425&hilit=dave+crooks#p235425

Probably not trad canoes.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby W5RAY » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:27 pm

Generally in a Trad Boat (not a whitewater specific boat) you will be doing well running Grade 3 - anything bigger and the problem is the amount of water you will take on board. It is possible to run (for example) the Upper Tryweryn running at 3/4 but you will be emptying a lot and maybe swimming on a few occasions.
The river that I like best for Trad boating fun is the Allier in France, from Chaperoux to Alleyras - 40 plus rapids in a day trip up to Grade 3 - capably for me, the other half and 7 stone mutley - although we did sink the boat completely at the bottom of the G3 rapid at the Old Roman Bridge through the continuous wave trains - not technically a swim but a float away! LOL!
In this country I have solo'd a few G3/4 rapids (Chappel, Bala Mill, etc) but you will generally take on too much water or swim. A good level is say the Dart Loop in Southern England, The Leven up North, The Tryweryn in Wales or The Garry (InverGarry) in the Scottish Highlands along with the Tay and the Spey.
It is also worth noting that if you mess up at this level in your Trad then you will probably end up with it wrapped around a rock as it fills up with in excess of a ton of water and folds nicely to the shape of the said rock - hopefully not with you trapped between the boat and the rock - aka bear trapped!
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Sickboy » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:19 am

Thought about this myself, seen a photo of a trad boat doing force falls on the Kent in good water, great stuff.

What gets me, and matey on the Tellico found this out, is why don't people pad out the thwart that you will inevitably hit if the boat stops for whatever reason, the last time it happened to me was in a mega outlander (not mine) doing a canoe shoot, thing stopped dead at the bottom, and the bruise across my thigh took weeks to disappear, let alone the skin on the tops of my toes growing back.

Plus there's always the question of when does a trad boat become a white water boat, how much outfitting can you do before you lose the trad motif? Airbags? Knee blocks? perception saddle? Can you fit a dog in it?
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:50 am

I'd say you loose "trad" when you either have a boat design which has traded manouvraility and riding over things off against speed and glide... or when you physically attach yourself to the boat.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby W5RAY » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:34 pm

A trad boat IMHO is a boat that you can put the dog and the mrs in, stand up and pole the damn thing without falling in (too much!), a boat you can put up a sail in (yawn! - but now getting it........ a bit anyway!), load up a tent and all the gummings and go off for the weekend, cruise flat water and pulling into the pub, getting out of the boat and being able to walk away (you'll know what I mean if you paddle spec boats), not being attached to the boat, no knee blocks, foot plates, bulkheads, etc and lastly it must be in RED!

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:00 pm

Cheers guys.

Anyone know of footage of UK knar in trad boats. Not so keen on US or Canada.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby ken hughes » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:40 pm

Some of my experience at that grade in a 16' Prospecteur:

High Force/Low Force in highish water; pretty rubish river for a trad boat, but got down ok.

Middle Orchy, better. Line the 5 though.

The Allen. A long boat gets through Hag Fall pretty well.

Barnard Castle to Winston in massive water. Excellent.

The Racecourse on the Tees would have been running at 4ish when we did it in big water.

The Nith; awkward in places, but great atmosphere.

The Gary in Scotland (well the guide does say 3-4!).

Allan Water near Stirling; the weir was interesting.

No pictures though sorry folks, just thought you would want to know they go.

Had a thought about the Roy Gorge......................

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby RapidMediaTVGuy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:43 pm

Since I'm from Canada I've got to ask why you aren't keen to know about North American descents? I guess we don't really have that many rivers here anyway.....

Big water IV's get run on a regular basis on my home river in 'Trad' boats.

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby ken hughes » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:12 pm

That would be because we live in the UK Dan ;-)
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks Dan. North America is too expensive to get to on my present budget, maybe when the little ones are older.

Ken, sounds cool. I am unfamiliar with most of the English stuff you've done but know some of the Scotish stuff from kayaking. I'm sure I did part of my 5 star assessment on the Gary.

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Green.media » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:06 pm

There is a video some were of someone running right angle on the Etive in a fairly trad boat id guess 13-15 ft ish not sure if it was saddled though...

Things are more than do able providing there arn't super tight corners or tight slots to get through, as lets face it there about as easy to turn as cross channel ferrys.

I do want to try to get my OC1 (an esquife zoom so hardly trad) down the upper dart this coming year but thats just a want and if it will happen is another matter.

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby W5RAY » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:14 pm

My 16' Trad canoe is an Esquif Prospecteur and it turns on a dime - I guess the 4.5" rocker front and back helps with that!
I would go with the sentiments that anything could be paddled in a true trad boat but...........

a. you might not stay in it on the way down
b. you might not survive
c. your boat will probably get trashed
d. all of the above

I still maintain that a good grade 3 or soft 4 is the limit of a true Trad open otherwise you'll have to stop and empty the water out and IMO that isn't running the rapid successfully.

A true trad is one with no saddle, no straps and certainly at least 12' or thereabouts - ie Old Town Pack is probably one of the smallest but is only a solo boat!
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Adrian Cooper » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:16 pm

I agree Ray, once you get onto grade 4 it tends to be surviving rather than good controlled descent. I can't think of a reasonably long grade 4 rapid which would be sensibly run in a trad, plenty of single features and drops. I really enjoyed the Allen boulder gardens but I think they fall into your stiff grade 3 soft grade 4 category, likewise the Tees racecourse in high water.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:25 pm

large-ugly-greeny wrote:There is a video some were of someone running right angle on the Etive in a fairly trad boat id guess 13-15 ft ish not sure if it was saddled though...
There are 2 open boat etive vids of note, one is a in a Prelude and looks controled, the other is in a 15ft plastic trad boat and looks frankly painful.

I do want to try to get my OC1 (an esquife zoom...

You don't make life easy on yourself do you :P
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:41 pm

There seems to be quite a bit of talk of OC1 or spec boats but I just think they are pointless. Decked C1 or trad boat but OC1 just seems like a pointless exercise.....and yes I have paddled a few. The Spanish Fly is an absolute dog.

I'm trad all the way. Wenonah Prospector 15 at present but it isnt very dry!

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby W5RAY » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Ah Boop!
You need to get yourself a paddle in an Esquif L'Edge! Absolutely awesome and capable of more than I can paddle her in at the moment!
For me? It means I can paddle harder and rougher rivers without the fear of bashing the crap out of my trad boat.
Being a kayaker as well, the skill involved in paddling oc1 is I think greater.
Perhaps real men paddle with half a blade!
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:00 pm

Boop wrote:There seems to be quite a bit of talk of OC1 or spec boats but I just think they are pointless. Decked C1 or trad boat but OC1 just seems like a pointless exercise.....and yes I have paddled a few. The Spanish Fly is an absolute dog.

I'm trad all the way. Wenonah Prospector 15 at present but it isnt very dry!

Cheers


They have some fundimental advantages, not least that they're significantly more comfortable than the average C1 so there are plently of people who paddled C1 all their lives who transition as they loose flexibility or circulation with the ravages of age; You also have a much greater carrying capacity than a decked boat so for white-water wilderness tripping (which I'll grant is largely a north-american pass time) they're better than either the C1 or the Trad Boat (which is limited in the type and severity of whitewater it can run); Wenonah recently released an OC1 designed for just that purpose, nimble and forgiving on whitewater, whilst having the glide to paddle nicely on extended flat sections.

It's worthy of note that without the inventor of the OC1, you'd be paddling a composite or strip-built canoe... Royalex canoes (and the process to mould them), were an innovation of Nolan Whitsell's, an innovation inspired by his desire to run harder things in his canoe; Indeed where you're looking for the upper limit of what you can do in a trad-boat, he was asking the question "why not" and producing solutions to the answers he found...

If you want to push the boundries of what's possible in a trad-boat, how is that different from wanting to push the boundries of what's possible in a boat with a hole in the top, or in a boat with one blade, or in a boat Period? - Think about your own motivations before you call other people's disciplines pointless.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Three Coats » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:42 pm

...Thankyou Josh, you saved me the tedium of replying! :-)

Oh, and before you ask Boop, I do paddle trad boats too, and not too badly at that!
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:30 pm

And here's me thinking that I'd been overly harsh...

Have you bought yourself some Robsons yet sally, you know you want a Quantum... :P
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Chris Bolton » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Three Coats wrote:..Thankyou Josh, you saved me the tedium of replying! :-)

From the opposite perspective, I would say thanks, Josh, for being the only OC1 paddler so far who has been prepared to explain the benefits of OC1, rather than insulting the questioner. As C1 paddler for the last 25 years and trad canoeist for the last 5, I've often thought about trying OC1 but have been put off by the contempt my polite and sincerely meant questions were treated with. You might ask why not just try it and find out for myself, but I get few enough opportunities to get out on the water and I try to pick things I'm likely to enjoy.

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:42 am

If you ever want to try an OC1, I'd be more than happy to loan you one... In spite of enjoying paddling them immensely, I've had to admit that paddling C1 is much more convenient as a day-to-day creekboat and living I wales it's rare for me to even touch my playboat, so mine are temporarily living at home.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Three Coats » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:09 am

Sorry Chris must of missed something or do you have two user names that you use?
Wasn't aware that you'd been subject to some abuse/contempt etc from OC1 paddlers! In fact I don't think I've 'insulted' anyone for a while so maybe as they say 'today is your day'... ;-) (tongue firmly in cheek by the way)

The problem is that a lot of use use bulkheads instead of straps, that's why you could try Joshs' boat but probably not get into mine...sorry if that seems offensive but unless you're 5'4" and about 130lbs you may find my boat a tad uncomfortable...

So if I've insulted you recently please accept my sincere apologies and...well I was going to say 'man up' but that would be REALLY insulting wouldn't it?
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:05 pm

Now I'm confused and I don't feel insulted, I'm not that delicate.

Maybe I'll take Josh's advice and try one of those ugly L'Edge's. What can I say, I've paddled most types of boat and most competative disciplines and found that the OC1 was around the least appealing and satisfying. If that gets some folk's bent out of shape then sorry but thats how I see it.

I had an offer to try a L'edge so thats what I'll do and report back how I find it. Its been a while since I had a go in a spec boat so you never know.

Back to the point of the thread. Hardest rivers/rapids run in trad boat. Any additions greatfully received).
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Suffolk Rich » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:52 pm

Again not in this country but sort of back to the original question. South Nahanni last July, the Rock Gardens from Moose Ponds in high water levels. 60km of continuous grade 2-3 with some pushing grade 4. This was tandem in a trad boat with gear for 21 days. This was probably pushing the limits. We were using spray decks so that may be cheating. Most of the rapids we had to run as we saw them from the boats. We also had a broken sat phone so no way of calling for help if things went wrong. Certainly the most exciting and challenging white water I've paddled.
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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Boop » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:32 am

Suffolk Rich. Puts UK boating into perspective that! Sounds awesome but alas I am UK bound for now.

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Re: Hardest river run in trad boat?

Postby Chris Bolton » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:29 pm

Three Coats wrote:Sorry Chris must of missed something or do you have two user names that you use?
No problem, TC, it wasn't you! I was perhaps reading too much into "the tedium of replying" and mentally linking that to replies I and others have received. I was quite shocked at the time as apart from that I've always found single paddle boaters particularly friendly. Pleased to see it looks like that was 'water under the bridge'!

TheKrikkitWars wrote:If you ever want to try an OC1, I'd be more than happy to loan you one...
Thanks Josh, I'll keep that in mind. Noting TC's comments, I think I'm near enough your size.

Chris

Sorry for the offtopic.
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