Another North East Wezzit...

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Jim Pullen
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Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:29 pm

Last year I asked you to identify Hudeshope Beck with no water in it.

Today I went on another exploratory mission on foot (still won't be fixed enough for boating for a few more weeks yet!) I popped by Hudeshope with a little more water (I'd describe it as Bob-Evans low, rather than empty!):

Image

Anyway, thought it still looks interesting! (sorry about poor quality, only had old mobile on me, instead of camera).

So the wezzit is somewhere relatively close by. I think I may have found an unrun bit of 4/5 in the northeast:

Image
Image
Image
Image

The rapid is about 50m long, probably descending 15-20m or so, with the bottom forcing the water through a slot of around 2m wide. The rest of this river also looked to have some interest being continuous 2/3 up to this point. There has been some rainfall this week, but not tons, so this would probably go quite often! I'd love to know if anyone's run it!
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:58 pm

Not a clue, good find though Jim, this looks interesting.

Edit: Got a guide for a new run which I could do with emailing you aswell soon. Just going to get some more pictures in different conditions.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by MattBibbings » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:27 pm

Not a clue but when the cats out of the bag I'm there!

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Diamond Dave » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:46 pm

So these pictures are of it at a fairly low level then? How much rain had there been?
I'm with Matt - good find, looks tasty.
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by geordiekez » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:56 am

This is doing my nut; because I'm sure I know the last photo, I'm sure I recognise it but it's buried too deeply in the recesses of my mind... Looks interesting though!

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:17 am

Hint: it's the entrance to an old abandoned quarry which now seems to be some sort of mini-geological museum for school kids! It took me ages to climb down to get that last photo. According to an information plaque - a lot of the river flows underground before the fall and re-emerges where that last photo was taken. In summer flows none of the water goes over the fall - there must be a siphon somewhere upstream, but I couldn't see it!

The ground was wet, but it hadn't been raining for the past 12 hours or so - I would hate to see what that fall would be like in high water! It consisted of a 1.5metre ledge followed by two long slides and then the slot which bends in a left-hand direction, being about 2m wide at that point. Bank protection would be impossible due to the vertical banks. Pictures 1&2 were taken from the right bank, picture 3 from the left.

Can you at least pinpoint the major northeast river that this is a trib of?
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by once young » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:40 am

It is in the Stanhope Area?
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by MattBibbings » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:42 am

Flushmere beck? Flows through Bowlees into the Tees below Low Force

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:13 pm

MattBibbings wrote:Flushmere beck? Flows through Bowlees into the Tees below Low Force
Not Flushiemere (which I think is actually Bowless Beck until above Gibson's cave). To the best of my knowledge this beck has not been run and there are no guides to it in any format.
once young wrote:It is in the Stanhope Area?
Getting a lot warmer...
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by RobHel » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:24 pm

Is it in the Skinningrove area Near Saltburn?
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:54 pm

Bollihope Burn?

Good find!

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:17 pm

Rory W wrote:Bollihope Burn?

Good find!
Bingo! And only 36 hours after Ned on Death Before portage guessed it! ;-)

It's the waterfall leading into the old quarry at NZ 034361.

I walked down from White Kirkley from which it would all be passable by boat at Saturday's levels. There's about 200-300m of continuous grade 3 after the lime kilns, but there's a riverwide strainer to contend with (would need a chainsaw), which may be passable in higher water. Also at least one sheep fence. The beck opens out as it flows through the quarry, but maintains a fast flow up to the confluence with the River Wear. Other possible put-ins would be at NZ007350 or NY986352 - both of these were too low to float on Saturday.

I also had a look at Waskerley Beck - but would probably say that one's not worth it. Grade 1/2 with one rapid approaching 3 near the bottom. It seems to be dam release, so may prove hard to predict water levels, would have gone at a scrape on Saturday with just a little water flowing over the dam, which did have an interesting looking spillway however...

If anyone gets round to doing this before me please write a guide! Hopefully some of you may go and look at some of the other runs on my to do list!
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:57 pm

Ha too slow.

Incidentally I have had a look at Stanhope Burn (I only looked at Death Before Portage after you mentioned it, honest). From what I can remember there's not much to it. Rocky 1-2 with the odd bedrock slidey slabby thing and a couple of rocky drops higher up that would need ridiculous amounts of water to go.
Image

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:31 pm

Rory W wrote:From what I can remember there's not much to it. Rocky 1-2 with the odd bedrock slidey slabby thing and a couple of rocky drops higher up that would need ridiculous amounts of water to go.
Do you have a grid ref for the photo Rory? I assume that was a very dry day?

I would expect Stanhope to be very flushy, but does have a decent gradient of ~23m/km from NY987426 to Stanhope.

With Andy waddington's big Wear update, he also sent me this info:

Ungauged tributaries, River Wear:

Name & Catchment area /km²

Burnhope to Stanhope: (gauged upstream catchment 98.8 km², ungauged 74.2 km²):
Killhope Burn: 28.06 combines with Burnhope Burn and Wellhope Burn at Wearhead
Westernhope Burn: 13.45
Rookhope Burn is gauged
Stanhope to Witton Park: (gauged upstream catchment 359.2 km², ungauged 95.3 km²)
Stanhope Burn: 23.32
Bollihope Burn: 30.63
Waskerly Beck: 45.13
Houselop Beck: 12.2
----- probably too lowland after this -----
Beechburn Beck: 20.34
Croxdale Beck: 40.63
Old Durham Beck: 56.84
Lumley Park Burn: 51.04
Cong Burn: 40.61

Bedburn Beck has about 31 km² where it is formed from Euden Beck and Spurlswood Beck, mostly peat moss and planted forest.

Hence why I first explored the two biggest tribs. Has anyone had a look at Kilhope Burn? I guess it would need a ton of water, but does drop ~130m over the 4.5km between NY809432 and the waterfall above wearhead.
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:17 pm

Sorry looks like I'm getting confused. Looking at the map I think the pic is actually the trib at 986410. I thought it looked a bit small. Description still right I think. Possibly getting to grade 3 in a few places. Worth mentioning that you can get a car all the way to the old mine buildings at 916414 if the gate at the bottom of the track is open (it was when I was there last year).

Old Durham Beck I've paddled up in high water in my race boat from where it meets the Wear for maybe a coulple of miles. Nothing on it but a few tree portages and some low bridges.

I've also paddled the bottom bit of the Browney, a good fun paddle in high water if only gd 1-2 with a little drop by Burn Hall. I'll get around to paddling more of it and writing a guide at some point.

Thanks for the lists, definitely some stuff to check out there.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by geyrfugl » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:00 pm

I've (rather optimistically) scheduled an "Exploration Day" on the latest SOC Canoe Section programme ... I'm trying to get some folk interested in doing some of these obscure ditches, honest ! There was a bit of muttering about looking at one on Sunday, but it wasn't as wet as we expected, so we ended up on the Tees Greta which was a bit low (and also has a large new (since last winter) tree 90% of the way across the stream a kilometre or so from the end - sidle past river left over some rocks).

BTW, if anyone is planning one of these and I'm free, I'd be interested in coming along to do video - if I'm not otherwise tied up... It would be easier midweek :-) I don't think my paddling is up to Bollihope and the like :-(

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:11 pm

geyrfugl wrote:I've (rather optimistically) scheduled an "Exploration Day" on the latest SOC Canoe Section programme ... I'm trying to get some folk interested in doing some of these obscure ditches, honest ! There was a bit of muttering about looking at one on Sunday, but it wasn't as wet as we expected, so we ended up on the Tees Greta which was a bit low (and also has a large new (since last winter) tree 90% of the way across the stream a kilometre or so from the end - sidle past river left over some rocks).
I'm surprised stuff was low on Sunday - it hammered it down on Saturday night! The Lune was releasing on Sat, so that could have been an option? Can you stick any new tree hazard info for the Tees Greta in a post here if you have time please Andy?
geyrfugl wrote: BTW, if anyone is planning one of these and I'm free, I'd be interested in coming along to do video - if I'm not otherwise tied up... It would be easier midweek :-) I don't think my paddling is up to Bollihope and the like :-(
When I'm back on the water (6 weeks maybe?) I'd also be interested in meeting up with anyone up for obscure north east ditch paddling - drop me a pm anyone! Bollihope would be fine for a grade 3 standard paddler for all of it apart from this drop - it does make for a pain of a portage though!
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by geyrfugl » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:32 pm

Can you stick any new tree hazard info for the Tees Greta in a post here if you have time please Andy?
I'm not sufficiently sure of where it was to post anything useful, I think. It is well visible from upstream so unlikely to catch anyone out. Unfortunately, since it was lower than we'd expected, I managed to pin on a rock and swim, losing a pogie, so at this point I was paddling very poorly with frozen hands and not taking as much in as I should. The tree gave an excuse for a short stop so I dipped my fingers in coffee and warmed up, but I can't recall any useful landmarks upstream of the tree... I'll peruse the map and see if I can say anything useful on that thread.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by tape34 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:14 pm

geyrfugl wrote:I''m not sufficiently sure of where it (the tree hazard) was to post anything useful, I think.....
Andy
Andy, I was going to send a note and had the same problem but looking at the river guide thought it is probably already mentioned:-

"Guy Genge...(12/03/08) ... When you pass a pleasant looking cottage on river left sharpen up, a little while after this there is a gentle left bend and a big cliff river right. The tree is in the small class 3 rapid at the foot of this cliff. Walk through the woods river left."

I'm sure it was after the cottage and it's not a river wide obstruction now (17/01/09). It is worth noting that the weir above Rutherford Bridge is now clear of any debris and the overhead tree-trunk in the gorge before Greta Bridge is still there but looks a bit lower than last year. We didn't paddle the last rapid section.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:59 am

We had a bit of a wander about today after yet another (very) low water HFLF run.

Image

Image

Anyone run Hudeshope Burn yet? Looks like it could be well worth exploring if it ever warms up and rains properly again. Have been and had a look at Bollihope with no water too...

Image

Taken last year some time but still not got round to having a go. If anyone fancies it, or anything else around here give me a shout. The other photo is the one the guide used to call Euden Beck, now, correctly, Spurlswood Beck. Looking at the guide it's amazing that anyone could have got there with boats on the roof with less water than there was today! Might be worth a look above and below though with a bit of water? Though likely to be full of trees.

Also heard good things about Waskerley Beck flowing into Wolsingham. Anyone had a look at this?

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:12 am

Hehe reading the rest of this thread, I think I was paddling with Guy the day we came across the tree he's talking about on the Greta. It's now long gone. For the last year or two, up until the last time I paddled it (a couple of weeks ago with Andy above) there have been no must-portage trees although they seem to move about from week to week and there's always a few to dodge. DEFINITELY the BEST GRADE 3 in the North East with a bit of water! If not the best in Britain (Need to paddle one or two more key contenders before I can be sure of this! Provocative statement definitely intended, I'd like to see the mid-grade river that could challenge this, maybe the Lower Sesia with all it's clean round bouldery flarey moves? Or the Onde on a good day before it got all sharp and pointy? Beats the Allen/Keswick Greta/Lune/Lower Roy/Upper Conwy/Tryweryn/anything else I can think of around the same grade hands down. My new favourite grade 3. If you didn't love it the first time, run it a wee bit higher (doesn't really need that much water), if you still don't love it give up on class 3 and never run anything less than a 4+!

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:59 am

Nope, still not run any of them! The combination of time, rain and paddling partners still hasn't coincided, but am always keen for a weekend paddle if anyone's available when they're next up?
Rory W wrote:Also heard good things about Waskerley Beck flowing into Wolsingham. Anyone had a look at this?
I think I mentioned that I'd looked at this at the same time as Bollihope. There's a bit of 2/3ish at the bottom, but don't think there's much else of interest. Also Dam release, so may be difficult to get the levels required.

Liking the "Bob Evans tribute" photos above by-the-way! ;-)
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Paul L » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:08 am

Hi ran the Tees Greta about two weeks ago.The tree been mentioned If I remember rightly is about half way down, looks like a total blockage but once you get a bit closer its easily passable on the left.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by SwamP » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:36 pm

Guy's what's the trip time from Edinburgh for these? 2-3 hours?
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Ryan P wrote:Guy's what's the trip time from Edinburgh for these? 2-3 hours
Probably more like 3-4hrs, although pretty straightforward - follow the A1 south and turn right when you see a river!
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by SwamP » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:42 pm

Hmmm so no reason why instead of another ill fated Roy Bridge weekend we shouldn't head for some N.E. new to us boating...

Cool!
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:44 pm

Ryan P wrote:Hmmm so no reason why instead of another ill fated Roy Bridge weekend we shouldn't head for some N.E. new to us boating...

Cool!
Depends what you want really. Most of these smaller becks mentioned above will only be up when there's a ton of rain and there's very little over lower-end grade 4. A lot of the stuff listed above would be for local-boater novelty value.

Unfortunately, there's very little above grade 3 in the North East unless you get some decent rain. If you do get down on a wet weekend though and want good 3/4 runs I'd suggest looking at the following:

Upper Swale (a bit further south, but a must if you're in the area!)
Upper Tees (will go low, but so much better high!)
Eggleston Beck
Greta
Flushimere Beck (if roads flooded!)
Upper Wear (from the waterfall, needs to be high)
Rookhope Burn
Nent (possibly, still not looked at it myself!)
Upper upper South Tyne (and Ashgill Beck)

There's a fair bit more in North Yorkshire, but that would increase your travel time. I've also heard the Upper Coquet is worth a blast which you'd pass on the way down.
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Ok any guesses on these two...

1.
Image
Image
Image
Image

2.
Image
Image

First one looked like it might be worth a look, fairly constant gradient for quite a long way, probably a couple of miles of continuous ish 3/4 with enough water. Second one probably not worth the bother unless you happen to be there with a boat. Obviously both would need ridiculous amounts of water.

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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Jim Pullen » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:36 pm

Hmmmm, interesting!

First one Deepdale Beck?
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Re: Another North East Wezzit...

Post by Rory W » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:26 pm

Just noticed this thread again looking for anything on Bollihope. Ran it this evening after work but didn't do the gorge. Up to that point it's pretty continuous, adventurous grade 2-3 (quite a bit of barbed wire, trees and fences). Gorge has a tree in the second drop and the bottom slot looked unpleasant and there's a pipe flapping around in it. Definitely goes but a bit filthy. Would like to have another look low to see exactly what is going on under the water. Anyone done it yet?

Of the pics above, the first lot are of Middlehope Burn above Westgate. Seen pics of it with water in and it looks good. Can't remember what the 2nd lot are, will have to have a look when I'm back on my computer.

Have walked Deepdale Beck. A couple of interesting drops higher up but mostly gd 1-2.

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