Down time on the Gelt!

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JMT
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Down time on the Gelt!

Post by JMT »

Finally got to run the lower Gelt (managed the upper section with my frozen shoulder) last night. Injury has been preventing me from doing it since I moved to within a few hundred metres last year. All went well initially with the drops below the bridge at Highnam going reasonably well (a very quick roll was required).
Things took a slightly different turn under the road bridge (NY542562). Stuart's White Water Lake District warns that this drop can be pretty nasty, but on the day it looked runable. Entering the drop I had to perform a support stroke which meant I lost the momentum to keep me on line and found myself heading for the ugly undercut wall on river left. I was pushed under the undercut and held in a more or less upright position. David and Tim were on the bank with lines, but could only just see the top of my helmet under the surface. As I tried to free myself, they realised they could not reach me from above and quickly set up a live bait line. My efforts to free myself only took me deeper and attempts to reach up to the surface for something to grab proved fruitless. I was now aware of the need to take breath becoming quite urgent and found a small ledge next to me under water. Pulling for all I was worth on this rock eventually moved the boat just enough to allow me to haul myself up and out of the boat. The pressure on my legs as I slowly moved upwards became quite alarming and the spaydeck was being held between the boat and the undercut and would therefore not release at first. I had considered trying to cut the deck but decided the small amount of movement I was able to gain from the leverage on the rock ledge was a better plan. As soon as I was free the rescue team grabbed me and looked mighty relieved to see me! It’s good to know your paddling team can be calm in a crisis.

All is well that ends well as they say, but if you are running the Gelt take heed of the warnings it’s not a nice place to spend down time.

PS Tim has spoken to Stuart today and he has said that he wouldn’t run that drop now as its character has changed.
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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andy
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Post by andy »

Sounds like you had a rough ride Mike. Well done to the rescue team, sounds like they acted swiftly and with good judgement. Keep me in mind if you're doing anything else in the coming few days.

PS. Spoke with the Penrith & Border MP last week who is raising the profile of the access campaign in Westminster. He promised to keep me informed of his progress through regular correspondence. I won't hold my breath!

Regards

Andy
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Post by Mark R »

Urk.
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Post by JMT »

andy wrote:
PS. Spoke with the Penrith & Border MP last week who is raising the profile of the access campaign in Westminster. He promised to keep me informed of his progress through regular correspondence. I won't hold my breath!

Regards

Andy
If you get any joy in that area I'll be amazed, but good job trying anyway. Send me contact details, I don't have yours as my phone died!
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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Patrick Clissold
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Post by Patrick Clissold »

Sounds awful, glad you made it out in one piece!
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

Thanks Patrick.........me too!
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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You Daft B@stard

Post by guy »

That has always looked awful. Was the river very high?
My local river 10 miles away from the Gelt never came up at all.

Did the others give it a go after?... No! I'm not surprised.

The rest of the river is pretty good though isn't it.

Guy

ps Can I borrow/rent your capella at the week end
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

Guy

The river was high enough to run the drops below the bridge at Highnam, but not very high. Probably a good medium level. I think a bit more water would have been good............but I always say that!
I looked at the drop tonight and the level was down quite a bit.....it did look a bit gruesome as the undercut was in clear view. As you say the rest of the river was very good.

No problem with the Capella, give me a ring...........just don't drop it!!!

See you soon
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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Liam Kirkham
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Post by Liam Kirkham »

Not nice. Glad your Ok.
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

You're right there Liam. I wouldn't like to be in that position again.
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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Gelt

Post by callwild »

HI Mike
Glad you are still with us. Sounded very nasty and confirmed my suspicions!
When I ran this years ago with Kwanty the river was very high and he had just done it the night before so we ran it all on sight, a memorable blast. At the road bridge corner I remember rail riding the large slab dropping into the hole and disapearing totally to pop up 10 or so meteres down stream in the narrow gorge.
Not sure what I had experienced I went for a look in low water to see a slab of rock 12" thick sticking out a metre or so into the pool. This would normally have been at head hieght but was totally submerged on our run. Lucky we didn't get it in the face I thought then. After that, when researching the guide I had another walk along in low water to find rockfall from the cliff abvove had gone into the pot and the undercut which had been sticking out had moved also making a horrible pile of rocks and possible pins. As I told Tim not one I would do nowadays.
Not believing in saying don't do something I tried in the guide to warn and put people off yet stopped short of saying don't do it.
I also say "Love it or hate it, survive it and it was fun, come to grief and it was nasty" which was it for you?
also I say " several gibbering wrecks have emerged from the depths of this run wondering what they have just experienced" so join the club!!

Another Gelt story.
When Kwanty was doing his first run, the night before I was with him, he was getting out to inspect the triple drops at Hynam and slipped back in. Flushed down the gorge under water the whole way he popped up in the calm of the bottom pool face to face with a fisherman who had the fright of his life, as there seemed no way a person could have got into the pool without him noticing.

I missed your phone message as I'd left my mobile in the car.
So glad you got free when you did.
Stuart
Last edited by callwild on Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

Stuart

Wish I had been there to see Dave swim (which let's face it, it was a swim), sounds hilarious. Nigel Timmins said every time he has done it someone has had an epic and wed. night was my turn. Think I'll give that drop a miss next time. Still a great river trip and comes up really quickly when it rains heavy.

Good luck with the new business, but do you allow yourself time off for paddling trips?
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

Mike Tinnion
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Patrick Clissold
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Post by Patrick Clissold »

I notice there is no write up to the river Gelt on this website. Anyone have any photos/footage of it?
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Post by Grumpy Fisherman »

Patrick C wrote:I notice there is no write up to the river Gelt on this website. Anyone have any photos/footage of it?
I was just thinking the same. It sounds like fun...
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Post by Mark R »

I've a feeling I have a guide in my backlog, I'll check.
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Post by andy »

There are some photos of Tom Botteril on the Gelt on The Carlisle Canoe Club Website

http://carlislecanoeclub.org.uk/photos/ ... 05/1.shtml
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

Patrick C wrote:I notice there is no write up to the river Gelt on this website. Anyone have any photos/footage of it?
Here is a link to some images of it. http://carlislecanoeclub.org.uk/photos/ ... 05/1.shtml
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

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Post by Patrick Clissold »

Is is just me or is there a tiger in this photo?

Image
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Post by Grumpy Fisherman »

That is definitely, 100% for sure a bear.
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JMT
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Post by JMT »

Patrick C wrote:Is is just me or is there a tiger in this photo?

Image
That's Ben and I think the postman thinks he is a Tiger!!!
Keep pushing for fair access to all rivers (or better still, just go and paddle them!).

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Post by Pyro »

Grumpy - give me a shout if I'm headed back up home. It's about half an hours drive away...

I paddled part of the Gelt a couple of years back (after having gazed at bits of it while orienteering in the woods), and remember one of the guys having a nasty experience with (I think) the same drop. (I portaged...)
His comment when we asked what happened was something to do with a "man-eating horizon line"

Never seen tigers in their the woods, but there are a couple of wee caves so they could have been hiding. Orienteers will tell you that Gelt Woods has it's own peculiar microclimatic weather though, and possibly even a magnetic abberation known as the 'Gelt Pole'...
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