Dart Levels

The Somerset Frome and Dorset Stour and westwards
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Mark Gawler
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Dart Levels

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:56 am

By popular demand we now have the ability to embed a Twitter feed in a post!

How to add an update:
Any public "tweets" starting with #ukrgb, Dart will be included in this feed.

Update: Levels on the Dart are measures using the International Edge Ledging Standard (IELS)..
Update: An explanation of the West Dart EA Gauge can be found Is in this post.

UK Rivers Guidebook - follow us on Twitter


If you do not have access to or like using Twitter continue to post update to this thread, I'm sure someone with far to much time on there hands will convert your words in to something Tweetable!

Any comments technical or other should be posted to this thread. This thread is for river level updates only.

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Post by twopigs » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:02 am

Don't look good for next weekend .........
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Post by Mont » Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:13 pm

Surf wasn't bad this weekend, 2/3 ft and quite clean. Looks like my surf boat will be out more than my river running boat !!

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Stuart J Woodward
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Dart levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:13 pm

07 November.

West Country rivers are so low at present that the white water sections have become unrunable. There is no rain forecast for this coming wk-end. There is a hint of rain for sometime next week. With regret for our clients this coming week-end will be the fourth wk-end Canoe Control has postponed ww courses. We believe that attempting to provide a quality ww course of any kind, cannot be possible on these water levels.

Stuart.
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Post by Myles » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:25 pm

As it looks like the Dart will be way too low to run this weekend, does anyone have any suggestions about where the best surf in that area will be?

Heading down for the weekend anyway as accomodation is already booked..etc.

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dart

Post by waverider73 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:22 pm

surf is poor also, 1 ft around the sw coast.

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dart level

Post by waverider73 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:25 pm

if you go to newquay 3ft but not very good conditions

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Post by geomore » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:24 pm

The dartmoor weather station (dartcom.co.uk) is reporting 5mm ish of rain in the last hour - I don't think it's going to put things in spate (!) but does anyone reckon it will be enough to at least put some rivers (e.g the loop) up to an at least runnable (i.e boats float) condition for the weekend? Club river trip to devon this weekend and it would be nice to actually get on a river!

Cheers, George

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Post by KrisBD » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:24 pm

geomore wrote:The dartmoor weather station (dartcom.co.uk) is reporting 5mm ish of rain in the last hour - I don't think it's going to put things in spate (!) but does anyone reckon it will be enough to at least put some rivers (e.g the loop) up to an at least runnable (I.e boats float) condition for the weekend? Club river trip to devon this weekend and it would be nice to actually get on a river!

Cheers, George
5mm's not going to do much given just how low it is at the moment

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Dart Levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:27 pm

geomore wrote:The dartmoor weather station (dartcom.co.uk) is reporting 5mm ish of rain in the last hour - I don't think it's going to put things in spate (!) but does anyone reckon it will be enough to at least put some rivers (e.g the loop) up to an at least runnable (I.e boats float) condition for the weekend? Club river trip to devon this weekend and it would be nice to actually get on a river!

Cheers, George
Forecast is for the rain to pass which it has, and clear cool weather from the north west which we have (stars are out). Considering the river levels up to, to day it does not look good for the week-end. Will get a report out in the morning?

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Dart Levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:52 pm

Water levels on the Dart and all west country white water rivers are very very low.

It would seem that more people are thankfully not paddling. But there still are a number of die hards trying to paddle/walk down the rivers. Evidently last week-end there were quite a number scraping down the lower sections of the Dart.

For myself I really see no point in scraping down rivers at these levels.
If we are saying we want to paddle more sections of rivers. This is even if there are sensitive issues like breeding beds. Perhaps the sight of people paddling/walking dragging boats down rivers at these water levels is not the image we are trying to project.

At present there does not seem to be any weather change, the forecast for the west country next week is no rain.

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Post by Westy » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:30 pm

Thanks for the update Stuart. My club is taking some less experienced paddlers to Dartmoor next weekend. We have already booked our accommodation. I assume from what you're saying that the Lower Dart is too low (Holne Bridge to Buckfastleigh). Given the water levels, are there any alternatives (G1/2)? Or will we have to go surfing?! Thanks, Steve.

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Post by Hedgepig » Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:27 pm

We ran a club trip to the South West at the weekend and as Stuart says the levels are stupidly low. Thankfully there was some surf for people to enjoy. To give you some idea here are some pictures of the Dart and the Barle when we went to look at them just to confirm how low they were:

New Bridge
Image

The "flow" under New Bridge
Image

The old get out at Holme Bridge
Image

The Barle at Tarr steps
Image

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Stuart J Woodward
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Dart levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:14 pm

Westy wrote:Thanks for the update Stuart. My club is taking some less experienced paddlers to Dartmoor next weekend. We have already booked our accommodation. I assume from what you're saying that the Lower Dart is too low (Holne Bridge to Buckfastleigh). Given the water levels, are there any alternatives (G1/2)? Or will we have to go surfing?! Thanks, Steve.
At the moment the ww options are non exsistent. This must be the longest period of dry weather at this time of year ever?

All rivers in the west country are really unrunable. This week there is due some light rain then may be some heavy rain this coming week-end??

The water table on Dartmoor at the start of october was very high, but without rain for over two months? However the surface of the Moor is very hard and any rain river levels will rise fast, as seen a couple of wk-ends ago. You may just get lucky?

But if levels stay this low this coming wk-end please do not paddle the rivers. For me paddling is my love and my business, if I am not on the water running courses I loose money. But you will not see me running courses or paddling with friends on low water levels.

Do a coastal paddle.
Paddle down a estuary to a pub lunch.
If there is surf.
Bring your mountain bikes or walking shoes.
Save your money for a trip to the Alps in the summer.
S.J.Woodward

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Post by Westy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:50 am

Are there any sections of the Exe that hold up when there's no water elsewhere, and that off some WW interest? As we've actually managed to mobilise the club and have paid for accommodation I'm reluctant to cancel, as we only usually have two trips per year as we're a small club. Thanks.

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Re: Dart levels

Post by Mike Mayberry » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:32 am

Stuart J Woodward wrote:
At the moment the ww options are non exsistent. This must be the longest period of dry weather at this time of year ever?

All rivers in the west country are really unrunable. This week there is due some light rain then may be some heavy rain this coming week-end??

The water table on Dartmoor at the start of october was very high, but without rain for over two months? However the surface of the Moor is very hard and any rain river levels will rise fast, as seen a couple of wk-ends ago. You may just get lucky?

But if levels stay this low this coming wk-end please do not paddle the rivers. For me paddling is my love and my business, if I am not on the water running courses I loose money. But you will not see me running courses or paddling with friends on low water levels.

Do a coastal paddle.
Paddle down a estuary to a pub lunch.
If there is surf.
Bring your mountain bikes or walking shoes.
Save your money for a trip to the Alps in the summer.

And that should be the same for anywhere where the water is low, not just Dartmoor.

It is no fun to scrape down a river in low water and it is exactly this kind of thing that can destroy the fish spawn on the bed and contribute to the 'fisherman's hatred' of the paddler.

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Post by Chas C » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:14 pm

Westy wrote:Are there any sections of the Exe that hold up when there's no water elsewhere, and that off some WW interest. Thanks.
Probably not - I paddled the lower Exe from Four Pynes into Exeter four weeks ago at the South West Canoe Show, it was paddleable then but only just - I'd expect its very low now.

Try surfing - you have a choice of either South or North coasts.

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Dart levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:47 pm

Even the traditional introduction sections on the Exe, such as Tiverton to Bickleigh and then Bickleigh to Thorverton are very low. Really not worth the trouble.

However there is a front moving in with rain for this week-end. We may just get lucky. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast.

But at the moment all west country white water river sections are not runnable.

Hope for rain.

Stuart
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Post by Terryg » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:18 pm

Down there this last weekend and even the surf was non-existent.

However, the weather was great for walking, so we walked the Upper Dart and the Plym, and invaded the local cream tea shops.

Had a good time despite the lack of water.

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Post by R4 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:38 pm

Forecasts looking up for the weekend

If the rain all goes to plan there should be a good level for Sunday.

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Dart levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:56 pm

R4 wrote:Forecasts looking up for the weekend

If the rain all goes to plan there should be a good level for Sunday.
All rivers low at the moment. Sat is still not looking good but there is heavy rain forecast for early Sun morn.

With the surface of Dartmoor being very hard at present, any rain will wash into the rivers very quickly. Expect rivers like the Erm, Plym and Tavy to rise very fast.

Lets hope for some great boating at last.

All the best.

Stuart.
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Dart Levels

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:59 pm

Rain at last????

The Met Office are forecasting heavy rain moving across Dartmoor Sat afternoon?

This rain is to persist into Sun?

Met-check are forecasting no rain on Sat heavy rain all Sun?

The heavy frost this morning froze what water there was leaching into the Dart, making levels are even lower.

Temps are meant to rise toward the week-end alongside hopefully, these rain bearing fronts?

All the best.

Stuart.
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Today - sunday

Post by Darryl » Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:01 am

Dartcom reckons it's dumped 27mm last night, any ideas whether this has done anything? is it worth the trip up today?

Cheers,
Darryl

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Post by Le_bambino » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:03 am

Have it on fairly good authority that the dart is still dog low. The moors must be soaking the rain straight up. However its still raining. Whether this will make a difference later on I dont know.
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Post by KrisBD » Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:03 pm

Le_bambino wrote:Have it on fairly good authority that the dart is still dog low. The moors must be soaking the rain straight up. However its still raining. Whether this will make a difference later on I dont know.
The Dart is now covering about 90% of the ledge at New Bridge and going nicely (as seen at 1.05) as is the shuttle service which is fantastic.

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Post by Le_bambino » Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:04 pm

Thought it might come up this afternoon. Hope the rain keeps up for and early morning blast down the upper tomorow. Hope everyones having fun.
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Post by JohnK » Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:32 pm

KrisBD wrote:The Dart is now covering about 90% of the ledge at New Bridge and going nicely (as seen at 1.05) as is the shuttle service which is fantastic.
Thanks Kris!

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Post by Mark Allen » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:02 pm

we have just go back from a suprisingly high trip on the dart!!! all the slab was covered so a great paddle was had!!! bring on more rain!!!

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Quandry on the Dart today!

Post by gonepaddling » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:22 pm

Well being the source of the "fairly good authority" quoted earlier I thought I'd share a few thoughts on what happened today.

I was at Holne Bridge this morning at 8:30 and it was very low. Rocks showing under the bridge. By 9:30 there was little change, if it had risen it was only a couple of cm... It was the same story at Dart Meet.

So I gave my report to my mates, but waited an hour or so before deciding, as I was there anyway, to get on and run the loop. It was paddleable, but low, and definitely not a heap of wild fun!

However when I got back to Holne Bride at about 1pm - thanks to the awesome new (free today) shuttle - it was amazing to see the change. The water was at a really sweet level, lapping the ledge, and apparently later in the afternoon it rose higher still.

It goes to show that predicting *when* water will get into the river is a bit of a dark art.

So I'm sorry for those of you who choose not to paddle today, based on the poor water report in the morning.

All I was able to do was tell it like it was. Sadly, and with hindsight, the afternoon was the time to be there and have a great run, but we just didn't know that in the morning. It could equally have turned out that, given that it hasn't rained for ages, the moor simply soaked up all the rain and the level never rose at all.

Happy Paddling...
Steve
Go visit NZ - I lived there for three years and had the time of my life on some of the most spectacular and beautiful exciting rivers you can imagine!

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Post by geomore » Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:01 pm

On our drive up to Dartmeet at 10am we passed an army of kayakers with kayaks on roof shaking their heads....The east dart was empty but An inspection of the get-in showed the west was bringing a lot more water. A quick change and the levels had risen 6 inches or so at the upper get in. We blasted down in an hour, and by the time we reached the first ledge, it was tanking! (A solid Medium Level) What a great run! After a blast down the loop we were greeted by the shuttle minibus!

I believe the dart is dropping now. Unless there's more rain I reckon it will drop back quickly to low but just paddleable levels. When's the next proper instalment of rain?

George

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