Your best cock-up (not carnage)

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Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by banzer » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:00 pm

Following on from the best three rivers thread where someone mentioned walking out in the dark, what is the biggest disaster you've had around / getting to / leaving the river? (i.e. not the biggest swim or beating you've taken).

Mine (not that impressive) would be shutting the rear door of the van in New Zealand straight onto the creek boats inside that had shifted slightly on a hill. Two days in wet weather (Milford Sound- wettest part of NZ!) with no rear window ensued.

I'm sure someone can do much better?
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by SPL » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:22 pm

I clambered over the central rock at the bitches to drop onto the play wave and dropped my boat into the pool only to see it skip around the corner and shoot off downstream without me.
Luckily someone rescued it for me.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:06 pm

Ended up leading a beginner trip on the Tay, Stanley to Thistlebrig first time I had ever done it, but one of the beginners had been before.
It was quite high, Stanley weir covered all the way accross.
Got to Thistlebrig, thought it matched the description of the takeout - checked with my experienced beginner - no this isn't it, doesn't look like this at all.
A couple of km (of completely flat water) further on he decided I had been right after all and it had looked different because of the level.
We egressed through a farm yard and sent a driver off running to find the road and the cars...

The most paddled section of water in Scotland, and we missed the takeout!

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by DaveBland » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:37 pm

I have to confess that I have quite a few.

Leaving interior light on, causing flat battery, causing impromptu overnight camp in lay-by, causing sudden and scary wake up at 4am as truck of drunken salmon poachers VERY nearly drove over our tent [in lay-by] as they ripped in.
On upside, they had jumbo leads.

or...

Having never paddled the Dulais [Dulas?] in Wales, on a very dark and rainy weekend – armed with a road atlas for navigation [it was a while back], Colin Unwin and myself found the village, found the river which was basically pouring down a sloping field and got on. After a bit of lead switching in each of the few eddies, Colin was off and over the horizon. It soon became evident that something was wrong as the 'river' became a canalized ditch screaming between factories and under pipes and fences. I was a very close call. At times, rolling under obstacles. Eventually we plopped out into the correct river. Lucky, stupid. Deffo biggest cock-up. It think the thing we paddled was the Curry or Corry or something.
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by frazerp » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:17 pm

Had a relaxed start to the day and put on our chosen wilderness run a little late. Agreed with our driver to meet in the next town downriver and that if it got dark we'd simply bail onto the riverside railway and walk out...

A few hours later, when it inevitably got dark, we began our trudge along said railway, taking care over the handrail-less viaducts, especially when it was pointed out that there was nothing between the sleepers...

A few hours later we reached town, catching the train that had overtaken us, only to discover that there was no road (and hence no shuttle vehicle). Turned out the road had never been built, even though it was clearly marked on our map (from the late 60's). After some discussion we learned that the nearest road was a couple of hours walk away...

So, hike back along the railway looking for a small round sign in the dark and then an hour hike through the jungle to the road...

Around midnight we made the road, and our shuttle driver, sleeping in the van...

The boating as fun too.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Dave Manby » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:00 pm

1st trip down the Coruh 82 glass boats. Dixon and I drove the shuttle on the 1st day class 2 if you were pushing definitions 2 BCU SI one BCU coach and a Div one paddler on the river, We drove down the river flat but for some small irrigation dams. We got to a ford across a side creek, too deep for us to drive through so we waited. Some time later a tractor came along and towed across. We waited on the other side till it dusk. No sign. We loaded upi sleeping bags and waded back over the creek till we got to the 1st village upstream. Everyone offered us food and somewhere to stay. So we reckoned the other would be OK and returned to the van. In the morning we got another tow back across and found some the group about 4kms down stream of where they had started teaching local kids to paddle. One of the group had holed his boat - no duct tape in the the group he hauled his boat out and waited the others continued to send us back but never got to us and they were put up by a small village. The man with the hole in his boat - well he was also put up by people in the next village upstream and put on the bus to Ispir in the morning for the army to deal with. Of 4kms of class two river and we managed to spread people over 80kms!

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by clarky999 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:08 pm

Flew back to Scotland a couple of weeks back with a boat. Found out Edinburgh Airport car hire (having pre-paid) that my driving license expired over a year ago...

Got caught out about 10 years ago by massively rising levels on the Upper Dart just as it started getting dark... Got out on the wrong side of the river and had an adventurous stroll in the dark to find a road

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by davebrads » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:58 pm

Jim wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:06 pm
... on the Tay, Stanley to Thistlebrig..... !
Not my cock up, fortunately, but on the same section. There was a large group of us, and it was VERY high. The whirlpools at Campsie Linn were massive and very scary, I can't remember what Stanley Weir was like, but there was a lovely surf wave at Hellhole Corner and a few of us stopped to play while the majority of the group headed off downstream. When we finally got tired we moved on down to Thistlebrig and played a little more without sighting the group. We were a little p'd off as none of us knew where the get out was as all the drivers were in the main group, but fortunately there were a couple of local paddlers who showed us the path up to the car park. Anybody who's done this section will know what a pain in the arse the climb up the footpath is, and we were tired and there was a lot of muttering about how rude it was that none of the main group had stayed behind to make sure we found the get - off. When we got to the car park there was no-one there, just the cars! None of us had any keys to the cars so all we could do was wait in the cold as the darkness descended. Finally a car drew up and one of the main group stepped out. They had missed the get out and paddled a couple of miles further before realising, having to hike across some farmers fields and under a railway bridge to access the road where fortunately somebody gave one of them a lift back to the car park.
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:27 am

davebrads wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:58 pm
Anybody who's done this section will know what a pain in the arse the climb up the footpath is,
Best not join us for a WWR training session there then, Fraser has an amazing ability to position cars to get the maximum number of runs in for the minimum number of shuttle trips, 3 back to back runs (with climb up to the car park each time) tends to be the minimum...

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:40 am

Another memorable cock up would be the day that having been paddling OC1 quite a lot I dragged my kayak up the Allt a Chaorainn to meet some friends who were already there (on a course). Having checked it was OK for me to paddle with the coached group I got into my boat at the top of Ecstasy and tried to put my deck on. But I couldn't find it. After a few moments I realised that not only had I not put it on, I hadn't even put it in the car (don't need a deck in OC1...).

I wasn't dragging my boat up there and not getting on, what's the worst that could happen?

Well, after running the entrance fall the boat fills up and sinks. The coach lent me his deck to finish the rapid but it wasn't really practical to borrow it for the others, so I didn't do the rest. I did the paddle out from below Chasm, and sunk again crossing the Etive to the car.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:23 am

Taking 15 hours to do the half hour portage on waitaha, the description just says get out left & get amongst it - we stayed amongst it until the following morning & reached our car to find a note requesting that we called the police before they came looking for us...
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by davieq » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:14 pm

As Jim W's post. We ran Stanley- Thistlebrig in high water, completely missed the get out, but we went all the way to Perth City Centre, got some funny looks egressing at the Minch, luckily hitched a lift back to Thistlebrig....Jock Young's wife Tina, very kindly stopped for us....felt very sheepish having run this section on numerous occasions.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by davieq » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:24 pm

Paddling slalom in the late 70's, weekend away then was more or less a p*** up with maybe a Team Run on Saturday and Individual runs on Sunday. Arrived in Selkirk (Fairnilee Slalom) I was appointed car key holder. After going for chips ( I wasn't old enough to drink ) I realized that I had locked the van keys in the ignition.... cue a massive boot up the a***e from my "coaches", Saying that never did that again. :)

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by paddlersteve » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:26 pm

Many, many moons ago, paddling in the Alps as a University Club trip , although I forget the river. It was the clubs first trip out there and I was the only one who had paddled out there before. I would diligently read the guidebook each morning and push everyone else to, though they rarely did.

I misread the guidebook description as being "flat to the out for the final 3km". What the guidebook actually said was "flat out for the final 3km.

Many of the group would have taken this chance to egress had I read it right (or had they read the guidebook!). As a result they were tested and pushed far more than planned.

Lesson learnt - READ THE GUIDEBOOK AND DON'T RELY ON OTHERS

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by TheEcho » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:35 pm

Wasn’t me, but I was on the trip... recent club trip to North Wales coincided with Storm Callum. The plan was to be off the water by the time the worst of the weather hit.
There was indeed carnage on the normally straightforward grade II Glaslyn section, but the qualifying cock up afterwards was that the shuttle driver got back to find the road around the put in flooded, driver attempted to retrieve car anyway, car went through rapidly rising deep bit and stopped working, car last seen on a low loader presumed written off, various groups cut off from each other as road between them now impassable, standing around in car park in torrential rain and paddling kit for hours on end.

Lesson learned - when the weather forecast says lots and lots of water coming out of the sky, plan for not all of it staying in the rivers.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by gp.girl » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:21 pm

Not telling my fellow paddler to put the car keys on his person rather than in the boat when he mentioned it. I ended up chasing and only just rescueing it on the upper Tryweryn and I really shouldn't be chasing boats on that sort of water.
I can roll :)

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by stonercanoe » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:10 pm

Back in the day, mainland Greece. The maps we had were shocking. Ran one river. Next river, next valley. You had a 3hr 200km drive to the next get on.
As if by magic a brand new road appeared. 100 % brand new road funded by the good old EU. Looked to go in the right direction, up and over to the next valley, instead of down and along.
Off we go, we are the only vehicles. Hit the snow line, then the first small snow drift. Using paddles we dig it out. Hit the next one, dig it out, on the 3rd muggins runs up the mountain and comes back saying that is the last snow drift. Excited off we go. Over the mountain, hit the next watershed, hit our river, keep going.
How lucky were we, great new road! The river is too small to boat, we get to within 5km of our get on, have to cross the river, get to the bridge, IT WASN'T BUILT!!!!!! Guessing some Greek contractor had been paid to build the bridge and not gotten round to doing it! Had to go all the way back, and go the long way round.
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Duncan Stewart » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:19 pm

Probably when trying to go for a cheeky wee after work blast on the Kiachnish last September. Apparently jumping on a 7km gorge run that goes miles away from any roads and none of us knew at 7:30pm wasn't the best idea I've ever had. Funnily enough, it got very dark as we were nearing the end of the main gorge section. As we could no longer see a hand in front of our faces we decided that 'just sending it' to the get out was arguably not the best option with another grade 4/5 drop in the way. After a long, sad and wet trudge across the heather back to the car, which we eventually reached at about 11:30 I'd love to say we've learned our lesson but we probably haven't... To make it better I had the joy of driving up to Inverness that night in the pissing rain for an 8am start in Raigmore the following day!

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:50 pm

I seem to recall about half a km into the Kiachnish Neil suddenly started looking for the car key. We stopped and he checked on his person and in his boat. I remembered seeing it on his boat when he was getting changed, so he had to walk back to the put in and search around on the ground for it. Luckily it was there!

Much worse was a summer evening trip on the Etive, I can't remember whose car it was, probably Neil's but if you just unlocked the boot with the key instead of using the remote or using the key in the drivers door, the alarm would go off and the immobiliser would stay on. Unfortunately someone other than the owner had the key at the takeout and opened the car, only needing kit out of the boot, that's all they opened. Now summer evenings in Glen Etive would be pretty apart from the swarms of midges blocking out the sun and biting every exposed mm of flesh (in your ears and eyeballs!), we spent quite an unhappy time hanging around trying to work out how to make the car go. The other thing about Glen Etive, in those days anyway, was that there is no mobile reception, eventually we decided to grab the service book out of the car and shuttle everyone up to the Kingshouse to drink beer and scratch midge bites whilst the driver called the manufacturers helpline to find out how to reset the immobiliser, which was acheived eventually with much loss of blood to vampiric insects.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Northern Blue » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:58 pm

Over the summer, I loaded my kayak on to my high top camper in preparation for an evening paddle, 20+ miles away from home and as I was meeting a friend for a dog walk halfway there, I locked the Karitek roof rack with padlocks. On reaching the meeting point, with the other 3 paddlers, it suddenly dawned on me that the padlock key was on my other set of keys.... at home.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Franky » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:02 am

I posted this in Faff last year but I'm still quite proud of it:
------------
Paddling is about being in it together, so when planning to drop all your keys in a river on the first morning of a trip, ensure that your passengers' dry kit for the whole weekend is in your car at the get-out, and that at least one of them has their wallet in it too. Don't fasten the Aquapack containing your keys to the hook inside your BA pocket - how's it going to get in the river that way? Stuff the pocket to the brim for the full spring-load effect when you rummage for a Mars Bar - which you should do next to a large rapid where you won't hear the tell-tale plop that would salvage your weekend.

Ensure you're in an area not covered by car locksmiths, so that when the AA arrive they have to smash your car to bits to let you in.

Pick a day when it's ****ing with rain from dawn to dusk.

For bonus points, lose your house keys too, so that you have something to do when you get home. Make sure the spare set of keys you left with a friend isn't available because you locked yourself out earlier in the week.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by PaddyW » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:49 pm

Several over several decades and can't decide which is best:

1) Setting off too late in the day for first ever run of Upper Dart in 70s in slalom boats. One boat written off near the start, two of us carried on and had to walk out in total darkness, carrying boats up steep bracken towards road on river left. Nearly hypothermic by time we got back to Newbridge. Car driver was about to call out mountain rescue. Other paddler stuck at Dartmeet, jumping up and down in a phone booth trying to keep warm!

2) Left my car keys in another car at the get out of Findhorn Gorge. (No aquapacks in those days just BDHs). Other car owner left his keys at the get in by mistake. Cold, exhausted group at the end with no access to cars. Somehow eventually managed to break in and get keys and get into warm clothes!

3) A mate tried to drive down to the Noce gorge get out in an expensive BMW. Decided it was too steep and burnt out clutch trying to reverse out. It was supposedly last day of the trip and Sat pm. It took several days to get new clutch and we missed days at work as a result.

4) Shuttle cars left upstream instead of downstream on a Walkham trip. Fortunately other paddlers at get out were going to Tavistock!

Several lessons learned.

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by DaveBland » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:22 pm

Worst non carnage cock up a paddler can make?

...dating/marrying non paddler.
dave

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Mark Gawler » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:50 pm

Ignoring the numerous car key incidents over the years including the one caused by taking a spare key to avoid a car key incident. Most of the cock-up I've been involved with involve a certain Mark R, I don't blame him its just I paddle with him a lot.
I will exclude incidents outside our control like spedding 12 days in Deli because of an Icelandic volcano.
Two recent learning experiences whilst paddling with Mark:
  1. When planning a Thames Tideway trip, remember not to do it the same day as the world's largest rowing event. On the plus side there are plenty of riverside pubs in London to wait the three hours for the river to re-open. Paddling through London in the dark was worth it (all be it slightly scary). The author of the guide to the river wouldn't have made such a school boy error would he?
  2. Tidal planning is an important aspect of a Sea trip, so don't set off from a different place from where you plan to leave from without adjusting you timing. For example if you do happen to set off round the Isle of White at 3AM in 30 minutes East of your intended launch pont don't be surprised when you are 1/2 mile short of the Needles to find a strong tide against you. On the plus side we paddled 25 miles before breakfast and were back home mid morning (good for brownie points).
Mark Gawler

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:23 pm

DaveBland wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:22 pm
Worst non carnage cock up a paddler can make?

...dating/marrying non paddler.
Or in fact a paddler, as once you have kids who's going to get on the river?

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by DaveBland » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:45 pm

Quite correct.
Amend to "Not staying single".
dave

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Chalky723 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:31 pm

Jim wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:50 pm
I seem to recall about half a km into the Kiachnish Neil suddenly started looking for the car key. We stopped and he checked on his person and in his boat. I remembered seeing it on his boat when he was getting changed, so he had to walk back to the put in and search around on the ground for it. Luckily it was there!
We had the same on the Upper Dart - luckily the key was still there when we got back as well!!

We didn't realise until we were at the Country Park though...

D
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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by frazerp » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:09 pm

Somehow decided our 1:200,000 map of the country was good enough and put on an interesting looking section at the only bridge. A few km later river disappeared under boulders as it dropped down a cliff. A bit of a hike delayed us and we eventually hit the damsite and decided to bail as it was getting late. Got a lift up to the road in the foremans truck, which didn't amuse the gate guard who had flatly refused us entry earlier in the day when we suggested putting on below the dam.

Eventually hitched a lift back to our truck on a tourist coach by pretending to be protesting ecowarriers.

Section unlikely to become a classic.

Frazer

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by Strad » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:49 pm

clarky999 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:08 pm
Flew back to Scotland a couple of weeks back with a boat. Found out Edinburgh Airport car hire (having pre-paid) that my driving license expired over a year ago...
Did exactly the same thing heading to Canada - arrived at Ottawa airport, licence was a year out of date
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: Your best cock-up (not carnage)

Post by P00nslayer » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:30 am

I left the car keys on the back deck of my director at the Dee before the slide down the hill. Realised what I'd done at serpents!

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