River Greta

North of the Severn drainage, west of the Pennines
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Mark R
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River Greta

Post by Mark R » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:47 pm

Last edited by Mark R on Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Monkey Magic
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Post by Monkey Magic » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:00 pm

Today/tonight very big should be good tomorrow...

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geyrfugl
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Post by geyrfugl » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:58 am

In http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... hp?t=40523 it was reported that there are several tree hazards. Is there any update to this ? Like steve t, we've got the Greta on our programme for October 25th, and we have one or two paddlers we don't know that
well, wanting to come, although I don't believe any are beginners.
How easy is it to protect or portage these ?

I'm guessing that the sharp sweeping corner 100m below the Wall
corner can be protected from the left bank and by paddlers in the
eddy, river right just below the hole. The others I'm having trouble
visualising - I can only remember one weir ! Is the second one in the
channel left of an island which can be avoided by going right of the
island ?

Andy

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callwild
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Post by callwild » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:57 pm

Unfortunately not been back on the river since my warning post but would imagine they are still there.( Perhaps I'll have quick look for you if I get time).
All trees can be avoided fairly easily if good group control is kept.
They may look different now as less leaves.
The first one after the start could be avoided river right and is on swift flowing but flat water.
Trees on sweeping bend after wall playhole as you say could be protected but there is actually plenty of room here if led river left avoiding play stopper, and a huge eddy on the bend itself. Trees branches are in current which could be swept into if capsized on stopper river right.

Last big tree accross half of river is easily avoided river left but if anyone capsizes just above it could be awkward. The first weir is obvious on river left as you run down more natural rapid on river right under a railway bridge. The tree is a couple of hundred meters below railway bridge.

You are right, the second weir I refer to is often missed as again it is run normally over natural rocks river right of an island.

last set of tree branches ( which will have less leaves now) are well after Forge stopper and on entrance to town. Most water flows under branches and this route is usually Ok but could capsize a beginner. With proper group control they could be led over rocky shelves river left but just have to judge on day.

All are a bit awkward to portage but just need to keep aware rather than paddling in a random free for all.
hope this helps
Stu

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geyrfugl
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Post by geyrfugl » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:25 pm

Thanks for that. It looks as if the paddlers we don't know very well are
not going to be able to get lifts up, so I think we will have a group with
no beginners and all known to each other, which will make it a little less
stressful :-)

I'll report back - hopefully with some pics.

Andy

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steve t
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Post by steve t » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:58 pm

Stu - Thanks again

Andy - Maybe see you on the river, we'll be the ones faffing about with no sense of urgency ;-)

Steve

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callwild
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Post by callwild » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:12 pm

The Greta is now clear of the main tree blockages mentioned in my earlier posts.

1st one has been swept to the left bank.

One below 1st weir has been removed or swept away.

Tree branches on entrance to Keswick appear trimmed.

So mostly clean easy lines again, except bend below the wall play hole and there is plenty of room there.

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by will_sheaff » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:56 am


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Jim Pullen
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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by Jim Pullen » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:08 am

Alan Brenton wrote:There are currently warnings circulating in Cumbria regarding scaffold washed from under one of the bridges on the Great during the huge November flood.



We paddled the river today (November 22) in highish water. At this level we paddled under the bridge without issue – in very high water clearance would be a problem.



Clearly the obstruction previously reported has washed away. However, it is there somewhere and is likely to become uncovered as levels drop.



So, no need for panic but paddlers should be cautious on all Cumbrian rivers until new hazards have been spotted.
I must confess to having paddled this myself on the Saturday afterwards. We were very cautious due to the signs Slime had put up, but saw no evidence of the scaffolding in the river at these high (~1ft above the white line) levels. I would still urge caution, especially at lower levels, untill it becomes apparent as to where all the metal and woodwork ended up!
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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by Pete K » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:39 pm

Descided to have a walk along this river to check it out ahead of a future trip when I've remembered to bring my kayak. The guidebook refers to the white mark on the bridge as a good minimum level. It was around a foot below today (7th Jan 2011) and in walking the whole river to the park in Keswick I don't think that there was anything that couldn't be run in a kayak, all be it a little stoney in places but do-able. 6 inches below the line would probably be lowest level it was worth running it at. Another few inches and i'd consider running it in the canoe.

The gauge at Greta Bridge in Keswick was showing about 1.1 metres.
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ho ... ionId=5060
The gauge at Threlkeld was about 0.6 metres.
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ho ... ionId=5140

Anyway, main point of the post:

New tree danger: Approx NGR 313248, just after iron railway bridge shortly after the get on.

The tree looks to have snapped this winter, a big one, and dropped down straight across the river to the far bank. There is a gap under the right hand side that could be carefully sneaked through in low water but at the white mark level it would be a complete blockage. Above surface on the right and below on the left. take great care and portage on the left.

Pete Knight
TrueGritInstruction.com

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by andy wa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:02 pm

Paddled this today, good high level i think, it was at the white line at the get on, EA website for Threlkeld said 1.10m.

Tree hazards have gone.

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by DanJ » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:04 pm

River Greta (Kesiwck). The water levels are now falling after the highest levels ever. There has been loads of debris from caravans, trees and anything else on the river banks washed down stream. Of real concern are the bridges. Some on the section of river between Thrlekeld and Keswick have been washed away totally. Others have had damage caused. Lots of the well known waves, rapids and holes will have changed. There is a major increase in strainers etc. So take care.

Specific reports are coming in of the location of the first missing bridge upstream from Low Briery. There are large bits of bridge metal showing on opposite banks. It looks like it is still largely intact lying diagonally from one bank to the other about 10m downstream of the stanchions.

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by Kayacb » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:05 pm

how bad is the debris now?

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by DanJ » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:04 pm

Not paddled the river myself since the floods but others have. I have heard it described as straightened out and with new rapids. Obvious hazards are around the bridges and some parts of the bank are liable to move. Lots of strainers and mid river hazards. Have seen one of the caravan bases in the park in town but not sure where the other is. The first bridge after the get in has a door hanging on looking like it wants to fall off some when.

The remote gauge is apparently not working,

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Re: RIVER GRETA (Lake District)

Post by Samol » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:47 am

Ok so reporting back from a paddle on the Greta last Sunday the 10th of Jan 2016. It was about 1.55 on the gauge. The river is quite different in a few places, some rapids have completely gone & others changed. The Magnetic rock has gone. Be aware there are a lot of fallen trees in the river, mainly jammed on islands and the outside of bends, once some of these have gone it will make the line choice a lot easier. It's obvious where the two bridges have gone from and any hazards are easily avoided. The bed rock rapid before the sharp right hander has changed and is much better, a few excellent waves in there! There's a couple of bends where the river has carved a new path at least a rivers width further over than before. The next big unrecognisable bit was the weir just above the caravan park bellow the A66. the river has carved a new path taking the footpath with it and the weir has gone leaving an easier open rapid. Dropping down towards the Forge Bridge the rapid above was similar taking the route to the right of the island as the left cannel looked jammed with trees. The forge wave it's self seemed a little washed out as the river right eddie has been opened out with the line of tree ready to get you after the wave gone! Continuing into town there seemed to be the odd huge boulder in raids that looked familiar but in general seem to improve the run. Through Town not much has changed another foot bridge was washed away to the left and the small weir next to the park has gone. I'd like to go back again at a slightly lower level when picking a line would be more crucial plus lower level might expose the amount of debris still in the river which is quite evident on the banks all the way down. I hope this helps to anyone venturing out.

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Keswick Greta - a Bridge on your head?

Post by Slime » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:09 am

I live nearly next to, and like many local paddlers, regularly kayak the Greta.

Can I clarify some notices that some may have seen -

One of the remaining railway bridges, across the River Greta, at NY 304 245 - (one that looks okay) was damaged in the big flood in December. The Lake District National Park are responsible for the railway footpath and these bridges and in a recent report the consultant engineers advised them that it could collapse at any time. The LDNP are naturally concerned at this new danger - I have talked to Cath Johnson at the LDNP and she says that they naturally want to warn paddlers of this new danger and to discourage the less certain from paddling it. She stresses that there is no intention to "close" access to the river, whatever any temporary inappropriate notices may say.

If you start your journey at the usual canoe access point at Threlkeld then this dangerous structure is just over a km - the third railway bridge you come to - where the railway footpath crosses from river right upstream to river left downstream . The LDNP advise that you portage here to avoid going underneath this bridge and the danger that it could collapse on you.

As you may be aware, two further bridges collapsed in the big flood and are in the river - but these are more obvious hazards. Hill sides and banks have collapsed and there are lots of whole trees and debris such as bits of caravans in the main stream of the river. I think the consensus amongst local paddlers is that the river is now very different to what it was before the flood - it is at least half a grade harder and much more committing.

I personally think the Greta is now like some Alpine or Himalayan river. We local paddlers are quite excited to have this new exhilarating river on our doorstep! But it's one that you definitely don't want to swim on - besides a significant risk of entrapment in tree debris there is now apparently a risk that two hundred tons of steel bridge might land on your head!

So in summary This is a different and harder river to how it used to be.

Please make a careful assessment of these new risks before paddling the river.

Have a safe and happy paddle!

Pete Knowles
Rivers Publishing.

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Re: River Greta

Post by lakesboy » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:55 am

paddled saturday with group and the gauge is definately not working properly, it said 1.25 medium on rainchasers BUT upon arriving at get in the water was below the white marker on the bridge and the trip was scrape at best. with the new changes water needs to be at least 5cm above the white line to be a good trip. all new river features/changes etc were fine and free of any debris.

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Re: River Greta

Post by callwild » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:01 pm

lakesboy wrote:paddled saturday with group and the gauge is definately not working properly, it said 1.25 medium on rainchasers BUT upon arriving at get in the water was below the white marker on the bridge and the trip was scrape at best. with the new changes water needs to be at least 5cm above the white line to be a good trip. all new river features/changes etc were fine and free of any debris.
I have to totally disagree with this post.
The Brundholme river guage is working just fine, as we have checked the physical reading on the stick with the electronic read out on the EA and given on Rainchasers as being exactly the same.
What has changed is the Rainchasers advice as to what constitutes the different levels of Scrape , Low , high etc.
Tim Burne has made a first stab as to how the new calibration guides refer to what may be found on the river post Dec flood and these have been advised by local paddlers with experience at all levels pre and post flood. They are however a first stab and are not set in stone.

The White mark at the put in on Threlkeld corresponds now to 1.3 on the guage and is a good medium level with some powerful water in places.
1.23 is 9" below the white mark and is still a good low level. It is nowhere near a scrape at this level so confirming that the new 1.09 is probably about right as the transition from scrape to Low.
More input is always welcome on this but to say that the trip was scrape at 1.25 in just not realistic and to say the water needs to be 5cms above the line for a good trip is purely personal preference and not helpful advice.
We paddled today at 1.23 and never bottomed out anywhere on rocks or scraped !! It was a good low water trip with the new rapids offering great technical paddling. Much more of a slalom course course in places to find a clear route but that's what makes the Greta such a good river whatever level you paddle it at.

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Re: River Greta

Post by Poke » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:54 am

Not living locally to the Greta it’s hard for me to tell. I put a note in the river guide on rainchasers a few weeks ago saying that the gauge calibration is very much preliminary.

I have had a few reports from people though saying that they’ve paddled it at 1.3 and its been a scrape, with others at 1.25 and it’s been fine. I’m not sure if this is because the gauge is a bit temperamental (i.e. 1.3 on some days is not the same as 1.3 on others), or just because of people’s personal opinion. I know that a couple of sections of the river are wider/shallower, therefore might feel more scrapey, even though the rest of the river is fine – I don’t know if this might be further fuelling the divide in opinion?
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Re: River Greta

Post by lakesboy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:25 pm

simple really on the 25th Jan WE found the gauge saying medium on rainchasers BUT when we arrived at put in it was below white line indicating that the gauge was not showing the actual river level, and it was a scrape .....SO if it continued like that it would make a proper trip 5 cms above the white line, nothing was indicated that this is actual versus reality my post had nothing to do with personal preference, ability level, previous gauge levels etc etc..... only trying to help! :) :P

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Re: River Greta

Post by Poke » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:44 pm

!
lakesboy wrote:simple really on the 25th Jan WE found the gauge saying medium on rainchasers BUT when we arrived at put in it was below white line indicating that the gauge was not showing the actual river level
It is possible that the gauge hadn't updated from the day before. The level was ~1.2m (the top end of low) for most of the day until ~6pm when it rose a bit.

Before the floods medium was the white line was at about 0.95m, and the 'medium' range was: 0.9 - 1.1m.
Based on the information I have, since the floods, the white line is at about ~1.3m so medium was increased to 1.25 - 1.45m to keep everything relative.
I suspect that the white line may actually be ~1.35m, so assuming that the gauge has settled down, maybe the calibrations all need another 0.05m adding to them?
Thoughts?

All input appreciated by the way :-) Thanks!
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Re: River Greta

Post by Slime » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:52 am

TWO DAMAGED RAILWAY BRIDGES HAVE NOW BEEN REMOVED.

The Lake District National Park and contractors have done a good job to remove two damaged bridges - one of which was a dangerous syphon. One remaining bridge is fenced off and you are advised by the authorities against paddling under this as it "is in imminent danger of collapse".

Trees remain a very real hazard and as has been noted - general opinion is that the river is now a more committing and difficult paddle than before the big flood of December 2015. Also a lot more fun!

Happy paddling,

Pete Knowles.

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