High Force

Inland paddling
mikeyd
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High Force

Post by mikeyd »

So at the start of summer there was a photo of someone trying to kayak over High Force. Quite a few people called bullshit, and fair enough, but it was real. It was me in the photo, and by not owning up and fannying about I caused quite a bit of confusion on these forums for which I apologise, it was a bit of a rough time. Anyway I think it's time to come clean and then move on. Here's a little artsy film showing it . To answer a few statements and questions before they come up: yes it was idiotic and insane, I'm aware of that more than anyone. I'd been paddling about 6 months at this point so was massively inexperienced which is why I failed to escape the stopper on the entry. I don't really kayak anymore, this was enough of an experience to last me a lifetime. I was alone, I didn't want to put the pressure on any of my friends of having to pull my body out of the pool at the bottom, which arguably has many flaws as theories goes but to be fair as bad ideas go that wasn't the worst at the time. I did it in lower conditions as I was shit scared of getting jammed in a cave: I figured if I replaced my footrests with bubble wrap and wore a motorbike helmet I might survive the horrendous shit kicking from the rocks. The boat went over while I was running around to find my paddle, it got a massive dent in the tail but this popped back out after leaving it in the summer sun. As to the event itself: I capsized in a horrific stopper on the entry and lost my paddle while trying repeatedly to roll (the current was mental), after a while upside down I managed to come up the other side and claw my way into the little eddy as the stern of my boat slide across the lip of the falls. I got out, went and fished my gear out of the pool then went home severely shaken but miraculously with shit-free pants. Looking back, I'd agree with those who say there is no line. I don't know what the hell i was thinking.
I won't claim any wisdom or anything like that but all I'll say is I really felt the consequences of my actions that day; my advice for anyone who is equally inclined to bold plans is really think about what you stand to lose and think about the effect it will have on those that love you. It certainly changed my thinking and my life.
Apologies again for the original confusion.
Mike
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banzer
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Re: High Force

Post by banzer »

No need to stop kayaking dude... there are lots of us that have done pretty silly things in kayaks, or things we're not proud of. But you're right, there's no line, not at those flows anyway..... uuurgh!! Glad you're here to tell the tale. Now get back in the saddle ;-)
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harry_paddle
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Re: High Force

Post by harry_paddle »

i'm afraid i can't believe this is true. having watched the video there is nothing of anyone actually paddling it, only an array of carnage at the bottom!!!

mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

banzer wrote:No need to stop kayaking dude... there are lots of us that have done pretty silly things in kayaks, or things we're not proud of. But you're right, there's no line, not at those flows anyway..... uuurgh!! Glad you're here to tell the tale. Now get back in the saddle ;-)
thanks man I really appreciate that :)
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mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

harry_paddle wrote:I'm afraid I can't believe this is true. having watched the video there is nothing of anyone actually paddling it, only an array of carnage at the bottom!!!
Ok to clarify I didn't go over the falls, only my boat did. I got into the eddy at the top and after I clambered out, my boat went over. The video just shows me capsizing and escaping, it doesn't show anyone going over the falls because no one did...
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Poke
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Re: High Force

Post by Poke »

Since you have the footage, can you post what actually happened, rather than 1min and 40 secs of someone sitting upside down in a flat pool interspersed with less than 2 seconds of action shots from the run itself... Shots which may well still be "faked" as far as I can see!

It'd give your (impressive, if it is true) story a bit more credit than I reckon most here would be inclined to give it based purely on that video...
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mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

Poke wrote:Since you have the footage, can you post what actually happened, rather than 1min and 40 secs of someone sitting upside down in a flat pool interspersed with less than 2 seconds of action shots from the run itself... Shots which may well still be "faked" as far as I can see!

It'd give your (impressive, if it is true) story a bit more credit than I reckon most here would be inclined to give it based purely on that video...
Fair enough, still find it strange that people think I'd fake this kind of fail but I see your point. I guess people are more inclined to believe someones out there with a load of rope and pulleys making a hoax than someone just went balls out and tried it. I'll see how long the original edit will take to stick on youtube and then maybe stick it up, no doubt there'll be someone who takes a break from de-bunking the moon landing to point out the fact I'm actually a cardboard cut-out going towards a miniaturized high force ;D
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Lancs_lad
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Re: High Force

Post by Lancs_lad »

Seriously!?

If you want people to believe you why make such a stupid/crap video. Put up the raw footage of the event.

mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

Lancs_lad wrote:Seriously!?

If you want people to believe you why make such a stupid/crap video. Put up the raw footage of the event.
Hey man it's not often I get the opportunity to make a naff moody film! If you watch it upside down it's a whole different story about a dude raising his paddle victoriously in a cloud of heavy mizzle... Only kidding, heres the raw footage
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harry_paddle
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Re: High Force

Post by harry_paddle »

mad! mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad




completely bonkers!






glad you're ok :)

mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

harry_paddle wrote:mad! mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad




completely bonkers!






glad you're ok :)
cheers :)
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yabbadabba
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Re: High Force

Post by yabbadabba »

Keep the video safe as it was a time when you had the balls to do something insane :-)

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Randy Fandango
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Re: High Force

Post by Randy Fandango »

Good Lord.....
Probably the most fortuitous capsize I've ever seen :-)
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Lancs_lad
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Re: High Force

Post by Lancs_lad »

I am still calling fake.

1) You dont swear/scream once.
2) I can't believe anyone is that stupid.

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DaveBland
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Re: High Force

Post by DaveBland »

Balls: 100%
Stupidity: 95%
Remaining cucumber cool: 110%
Paddling skills 22%
Climbing/rock-hopping skills 78%

Ability of boat to come through falls unscathed: Astounding.
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Xan
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Re: High Force

Post by Xan »

All I will say is you've lost it to even consider doing that.

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banzer
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Re: High Force

Post by banzer »

Balls: 100%
Choosing the right put-in: 0%.... shurely you either run the whole lead in rapid from the top, or you put in on the nice flat eddy above the fall! go back and try again LOL
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mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

banzer wrote:Balls: 100%
Choosing the right put-in: 0%.... shurely you either run the whole lead in rapid from the top, or you put in on the nice flat eddy above the fall! go back and try again LOL
I think there were a few things I scored 0% on, high brace being one of them... Anyway when I pondered over it for months and months I realised the first descent goes to the incredibly lucky fell whoever acccidently got washed over it and survived and did it that without a kayak so I think all points go to him
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MK123
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Re: High Force

Post by MK123 »

Did ye? Aye?

mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

Lancs_lad wrote:I am still calling fake.

1) You dont swear/scream once.
2) I can't believe anyone is that stupid.
This made me smile. So a bit of background here might help: despite being shit at paddling, I've been climbing for a good 6 years now and spent the first 4 soloing. Used to do some pretty grim stuff on the mountain crags around Cumbria and most famously amongst my friends I fell off Pillar Rock, didn't scream then either (managed to catch a ledge only a few meters down so its was fine and then I went back a few years later and finished it off). I also got stuck on Gable Crag once amongst a load of moss and shite and the hold I was pulling up on popped off and sailed through endless space, that was gnarly. Similar thing with a hold happened on the slab up Grasmoor Gully and nearly knocked me clean off, cut my knee up as well. I stopped when I got a girlfreind and started leading instead but doing stupid and dangerous stuff has just always been what I do, and though I've often been shit scared I don't freak out because it gets you nowhere. I only survived the things I survived by staying calm and having the worlds busiest guardian angel watching over me, I accept a lot of it was luck not skill. Here's my blog actually which recounts a few of the climbing stories in relation to my art http://thekrakensleepeth.blogspot.co.uk ... tains.html. High force might end up on there one day but only just got round to telling my family so all in due course. If you still don't believe it then thats ok with me, you probably never will but it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. I did it, narrowly escaped, thats what matters. Anyway I'm considerably less mad now, can't do something like that without it changing you.

Well that's everything I have to say on the matter really and that's everything I came here to explain so I'll be off to potter about and do some painting, I probably won't come back on here so I hope everyones questions have been answered. Thanks to everyones nice messages, much appreciated. Have a great week everyone :)
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mikeyd
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Re: High Force

Post by mikeyd »

mikeyd wrote:
banzer wrote:Balls: 100%
Choosing the right put-in: 0%.... shurely you either run the whole lead in rapid from the top, or you put in on the nice flat eddy above the fall! go back and try again LOL
I think there were a few things I scored 0% on, high brace being one of them... Anyway when I pondered over it for months and months I realised the first descent goes to the incredibly [lucky fell whoever] acccidently got washed over it and survived and did it that without a kayak so I think all points go to him
*lucky guy who
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pkenya
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Re: High Force

Post by pkenya »

See the previous discussion here -
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 3&t=102954.

I just don't understand. Your either very bad at making the right decision, or an exceptional con artist. I'll be honest, I'm not sold.

The original picture is no longer online - anyone remember what it was? Poke?

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banzer
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Re: High Force

Post by banzer »

I don't understand what the difficulty is believing that someone might want to have a pop at this. Cauldron Snout has been done... that's much bigger and involves bouncing off ledges. Rhaeddr Mawdach has been done.... that's pretty big and involves bouncing off ledges. The world record stands at 186 feet. Yes HF looks ugly, but it's not too big a jump of the imagination. I still reckon that someone will do it at a fairly high flow within the next few years.
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Lancs_lad
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Re: High Force

Post by Lancs_lad »

banzer wrote:I don't understand what the difficulty is believing that someone might want to have a pop at this. Cauldron Snout has been done... that's much bigger and involves bouncing off ledges. Rhaeddr Mawdach has been done.... that's pretty big and involves bouncing off ledges. The world record stands at 186 feet. Yes HF looks ugly, but it's not too big a jump of the imagination. I still reckon that someone will do it at a fairly high flow within the next few years.
I have never seen it in person, so besides the ledges why is it so ugly? I hear mentions of caves etc

Would the left hand side be better?

Image

Centre line?

Image

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banzer
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Re: High Force

Post by banzer »

wow... never seen a photo of it that big.... still prefer it to Mike's level though! Centre line, if you can make it!!
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Randy Fandango
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Re: High Force

Post by Randy Fandango »

Well I say hats off to you.
You're clearly as mad as a box of frogs but I like it when people think big.
I'm very glad you fell out at the right moment and came to your senses :-)
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Poke
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Re: High Force

Post by Poke »

Well, I'm convinced that you gave it a pop after seeing that footage.
I had no idea from the original stills quite how close you were to going over the lip.
You are one lucky guy!
Mental!
Glad you survived to tell the tale!!
pkenya wrote:The original picture is no longer online - anyone remember what it was? Poke?
The original picture is just a still from the unedited footage... About 2:15 or so on this video...
banzer wrote:Cauldron Snout has been done... that's much bigger and involves bouncing off ledges.
Haha. really? Cauldron Snout is bigger? If all the drops on Cauldron Snout are taken in isolation, and were on a more accessible river, they'd be run as a matter of course. All except the last one anyway. Not knocking anyone with the balls to link them all together, but High Force is in a different league!
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morsey
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Re: High Force

Post by morsey »

Conspiracy theory equals: Rope tied to rear grab loop to pull boat into eddy!

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Poke
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Re: High Force

Post by Poke »

morsey wrote:Conspiracy theory equals: Rope tied to rear grab loop to pull boat into eddy!
You'd have to be pretty mental to do that just as a prank... some pretty immense consequences if you get it wrong?
There's no doubt in my mind that a dude did an inverted break-out into the eddy right on the lip of the main drop, then swam, and freeclimbed out of the pit.
Whether the breakout was rope assisted or not, swimming right there is not something I'd be rushing to do! haha.
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Jim
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Re: High Force

Post by Jim »

There have long been rumours of people getting geared up to do it and bailing out for various reasons (one lot were apparently arrested for their own safety), but unless you are very very good at faking videos this is pretty convincing to someone who hasn't been there for over 15 years :-)

Looking at the opening shot where you pan accross the downstream view, I wouldn't have fancied your chances of making that eddy upright and paddling, although actually getting over the lip might be harder than it looks based on the boil to the left and the flow direction to the right.

You came pretty close to a Darwin award there (even if the whole thing was rigged and there is a hidden safety line on you the whole time). Congratulations, I think.

So much better than that recent thread about some pro-paddler deciding not to run a fall, although the net result is the same, the fall didn't get run :-)

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