GUIDE TO SCANDALE BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Scandale Beck.
WHERE IS IT?: Central Lake District. It flows under the A591 Ambleside-Keswick road just north of the Ambleside. Map.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Take out at Scandale Bridge on the A591 (NY372052). Driving out of Ambleside towards Keswick you go over it as soon as you leave the town.
We walked up to Low Sweden bridge (375055) from here but on the map it looks like you could drive there (I don't know if there's parking).
APPROX LENGTH: 600 m.
TIME NEEDED: At least 1 hour including lots of inspection.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It needs to be wet but probably not too wet. When we paddled it Stock Ghyll was a bit low but looked runnable. A bit more water would have been better, but it would be hard to stop if there was much more.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees - we only had to portage one and it was below the bottom drop and easy to avoid. All the drops are a bit sketchy.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: It's very fast, continuous, and narrow with two 3m+ falls (with rocks on the way down and shallow landings) and a few smaller drops.
The first section from the bridge is steep, fast and twisty.
A 1.5m drop onto rocks is followed by most of the river going under an undercut boulder. It probably went but we portaged.
A fast twisty section around boulders leads into the first 3m fall.
Another short fast section leads into the second 3m+ fall.
Easier rapids lead over a 1.5m drop. Below this portage a tree, then easy water leads back to Scandale Bridge.
OTHER NOTES: This is the bottom of the Grade 6 run from High Sweden Bridge in the WW Lake District guidebook. Upstream are bigger and even sketchier drops. We didn't look very far. It's worth a look if the Troutbeck or Stock Ghyll are a bit low.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom and Paul, http://carlislecanoeclub.org.uk.
I've always been reluctant to get on this beck due to the guide book. Awesome paddle, glad to have ticked it of.