New gorge descent, Yorkshire

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banzer
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New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by banzer »

Tonight in the gathering gloom I knocked off How Stean Gorge in the Yorkshire Dales with a massive team of fellow ditch enthusiasts.... er so that'll be just me then.

It's almost certainly a first descent (if Ryan P is reading, it's definitely a first descent)... because it's almost a kilometre of tight gorge, sometimes barely wider than a boat and up to fifty feet deep. So it's not the sort of place most people would think of bringing a kayak. A really sweet 2m boof to drop in, then it just starts getting deeper, with little slides and chutes and only one portage around a slot that was about 18 inches wide. Then halfway down it widens and becomes a bit more mellow, with some cool slides that would just keep on getting better with more water. The only escape on the whole run is a cave river right at the halfway point that goes into complete darkness before you fumble your way out. Needless to say I wasn't taking many photos but here's one looking up at the sky, and one of a drop halfway down:

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Here's one from a canyoning trip this summer showing the boof entry
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Hobbit boating at its finest! It's a great wee canyoning trip too, no ropes needed. Thanks to Andy Gardner (very apt) for helping me shift a huge tree in there a few weeks ago.

Rich
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Mark R
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by Mark R »

We're not worthy...fantastic!
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Betty
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by Betty »

Not sure if this is a first decent, I know it was run about 20 years ago by a guy who worked at Bewerly Park. He did it first in an inflatable thing in quite high water and was going to go back with his kayak. He was called Andy, can't remember his second name. Think someone did it in a Spud in the 90's.

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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by banzer »

Fair enough, Ryan will be pleased! A spud is the perfect boat for it.
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SwamP
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by SwamP »

Love your missions bro!

I've got a 1st D in mind. Just waiting for flood conditions to nail both grades of it! :-D
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by Jim Pullen »

Nice one Banzer, thanks for the invite too, but was already on the nursery run!

I've probably got one last chance to update the eww guides I've sent Franco - do you want to update your rubber ring guide for this ditch?!
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by banzer »

Ryan are you back boating? Hope so. You're dead right about 'both grades'. This one is a scratchy 4 when at a low paddleable level but a 6 if high owing to the complete lack of get-outs and tree risk!

As for that Guy in the Spud in the 90s, he gets around doesn't he? Firstly High Force, and no doubt a lot of Scotland too... well done sir.
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by Strad »

that looks fun, in a scary masochistic kind of way.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by Neptune »

Banzer,

That looks like a great little weez and so much fun. Please invite me along if you have any more of these little adventures planned and get a guide up on UKRGB please so others can enjoy this little gem.

Peter

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SwamP
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by SwamP »

Nah man, not in a boat yet. Latest dislocation on my good shoulder did long term damage.
Don’t get me wrong, with physio I’ll be able to get back to a level to do these silly race things and become one of the new age ‘nae baws, good video editors’ that steal the lime light in Scotland these days.
‘Each to their own’ – but I’m reluctant to become either to be honest and I just don’t get the enjoyment I need from their grades, portages and repetitive rivers. Without de-prioritising my family and putting a silly wee sport before them, I’ll never keep my ability up enough to paddle the grades I do enjoy.

That said, the new house has a grade 2 river (both grades) in the deeds which, when in flood will produce a wee playwave a few times a year; I’m afraid this 1st D might go to Eog & Dom who’ve already been eyeing it up and choosing their lines and rescue points….would I be surprised if some guy called Andy ran this in a topo…no!! haha 
This will most likely be the limit of my paddling from here on in….Unless you’re up here again on another exploration mission. I’d be well up for that banter 

Take it easy and best wishes to your awesome wee family!
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by dbarron »

where did you start the run and how much water was running down the gorge

did you speak to Stan at the how stean activity centre guess he would be mad enough to let you run through the gorge no problem

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banzer
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by banzer »

Ryan- glad Dom and Eog have picked their rescue point, they're gonna need it, right pair of numpties.

Dbarron - I don't know Stan sorry, I usually go after work when there's no-one around. It was flowing well but not honking. The lower part of the gorge was getting scrapey, though it was dropping all the time. High water would be a pretty full-on run I imagine. At some point the chute-into-cauldron drop might just turn into a horrible no-way-out eddy on river right, who knows..? There's no-one going to fish you out, that's for sure!
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dbarron
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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by dbarron »

sweet did you get on In the public gorge or upstream near a small foot bridge that crosses the river

if in at the bridge does the large tree still cross the gorge before the public section and create a large fall where the river has backed it up with silt and mud (like a Dam) ?

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Re: New gorge descent, Yorkshire

Post by banzer »

At the top under the footbridge. There are currently no large or significant trees in it; I have steadily cleared some over the last couple of years and a big wedged stump further down got washed out to a safer place.

I think I know the area you mean where the water gets backed up behind a rock dam (perhaps there's a tree under there somewhere).... it goes on the right. In fact that picture I posted of a fall in the dark is that drop. The landing is shallow!
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