Q. re Lee Valley

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Gazza
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Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:14 pm

Got my Lee Valley Assessment this Saturday morning. Looking forward to it, other than being slightly nervous of making a paddling buffoon of myself by getting mullered or generally showing how out of practice my paddling prowess is, but I'm sure it'll be alright on the night ;-)

Anyway my wife and kids (2 and 4) are thinking of coming along for the morning. Can you walk straight into the main country park/forest from the whitewater site and/or is there a nearby playground you can walk too ?

(obviously this being preferable for her than spending the entire time trying to keep two live wire boys well back from the edge and/or being badgered by me to get photo's of me busting some phat moves/getting spanked *delete as applicable).

Thanks,

G

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by scottdog007 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:22 pm

Yes you can walk into the park area, walk throught the woods or along the canal. Great paths for cycling as well. I heard there was a kiddies pets zoo somewhere there as well, though I have never seen it or know if it is still running.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:36 pm

There is a kids play center about 5 mins drive away in waltham abbey called the firehouse. It has a big red american fire engine that kids love.

http://www.firehouseplaycentre.co.uk/

Hays Hill farm is also close by

http://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/go/farms/
This is the only pets area I can think of as the one in cedars park only has a few small birds, agin a 5 min drive from the center.

this place is next door if they are old enough, i think it is still open for the season

http://www.royalgunpowdermills.com/

Waltham abbey has an orchard out the back which is public lee valley land so you can pick as much frouit as you like as long as you don't damage the trees.

The center itself is safe and has staff on duty on the bankside. There are lots of grass areas although some are fenced off at the moment from the olympics.

The balcony area is safe for kids and closed off from the water just watch the gate is closed. the park area around the site is massive and good for walking. There is lots of bird life to see as it is a nature reserve, bring a ball and bag for blackberry picking and some food to feed the birds and you wont be disapointed.

Let me know if these work for you, or give me a shout back for other ideas on whats open and where kids can go.

There are park maps and information about the local area at the WW Center reception

Gary Archer

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Gazza
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:06 am

Cheers both, and thanks for all that info Gary.

Having looked at the sat image on google maps and your info re. fenced off areas in I'm a bit more chilled. Plenty of space for them to go off for a walk in the surrounding grounds.

Is that orchard you refer to walking distance from the centre, our eldest loves pikcing blackberries. ?

Some good tip offs re. the farm and play centre too - I now see a way forward on future weekends for a morning paddle, :-)

Thanks again

G

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:33 am

Yes the orchard is in walking distance it is just around the back of Waltham Abbey.

Turn left as you come out of the centre and head for the square church tower with a big clock at the top of the road. the orchard is around the back of the church in the gardens. The balckberrys are just outside the gate of the WW center and all over the park, you will see what i mean whn you get there.

Waltham Abbey is a proper medivel market town with some nice cafes and tea shop by the church yard and a market on most saturdays. the high street is pedestrianised and the libary has a kids section too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltham_Abbey,_Essex

Brookfield farm is a retail center close by with a huge M+S store plus other outlets if your wife wants to do some shopping, and of course just for you there is also brookbank just across the road, with lots of gear and a nice big sofa with TV and dvd palyer to take care of the family and keep them comfortable so you can extend your shopping time... ;-)

What time is your assement, as I will around the course on saturday ?

Gary A

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:19 pm

Cheers - thanks Gary. I see it on google maps now.


I'm paddling at 10am. I'll be in a yellow Riot Booster with orange Werners - unless I have a moment of madness and take the Enigma for the assessment instead - ok maybe not ;-).

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:21 pm

Your family might find the course pretty interesting by itself - there are always lots of kids around the Olympic course on the big walk ways over head. The rafters provide a lot of comedy screaming, falling in and swimming. Watching a kayaker get rafted over is probably also amusing to watch if you've never had it happen to you (I've only been munched by fellow kayakers on the Legacy course, and that's uncomfortable).

A brief plug (is this allowed?) - I've done a photo guide to the induction on Tumblr, because I was terrified before I did the legacy induction and wished there had been clear info of what to expect! http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/31795563162/lvlegacy
LV induction guide: http://tmblr.co/ZIurAvTdASgQ

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:09 pm

Reins or a wrist strap is a good idea as it is all very exciting for toddlers and the water does attract them.

There is only a very low piece of chain ( ankle height) and a grass strip seperating the path from the waters edge. the great photos in the previous post show this.

The main course has staff on it when the rafts are out, they are quite good at intercepting run away toddlers most times.

There is usually only one safety staff on the middle of the legacy course and no one on the outside to phisically stop you going over the chain barrier and right up to the edge.

Gary A

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Randy Fandango » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:58 pm

Wadhamite wrote: A brief plug (is this allowed?) - I've done a photo guide to the induction on Tumblr, because I was terrified before I did the legacy induction and wished there had been clear info of what to expect! http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/31795563162/lvlegacy
That seems a very balanced fair report of the assessment procedure.
As a matter of interest, do you happen to remember who did your assessment?
Giles

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by NathanE » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:00 pm

Wadhamite wrote:Your family might find the course pretty interesting by itself - there are always lots of kids around the Olympic course on the big walk ways over head. The rafters provide a lot of comedy screaming, falling in and swimming. Watching a kayaker get rafted over is probably also amusing to watch if you've never had it happen to you (I've only been munched by fellow kayakers on the Legacy course, and that's uncomfortable).

A brief plug (is this allowed?) - I've done a photo guide to the induction on Tumblr, because I was terrified before I did the legacy induction and wished there had been clear info of what to expect! http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/31795563162/lvlegacy
That's really helpful, I'm going on Sunday and anything that helps familiarise ahead of time is good!

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:04 am

Randy Fandango wrote:
That seems a very balanced fair report of the assessment procedure.
As a matter of interest, do you happen to remember who did your assessment?
Giles
Thanks! I'm afraid I don't remember (beyond that it was a man in his late 20s). I was listening in to an assessor pow-wow while in an eddie last weekend, and they seemed to be mainly recognising who was who by boat/blade colour, and then trading opinions on them. I imagine I was graded somewhere around "noob"! A couple of friends are going at the end of the month for their legacy assessment and I want to take a few more pictures then of all the stages and possibly do a video guide. I'd also like to do a guide to the Olympic assessment, but I'm going to need a lot more experience under my belt before I get there!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:11 am

Nice little report Wadhamite.

When I was mooching around video clips I came across this vid, which is mostly stills with a text commentary, but shows you the entire assessment from flat water, to legacy to olympic.

Might be of interest to anyone else booking in for an assessment.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:30 am

Gazza wrote:Nice little report Wadhamite.

When I was mooching around video clips I came across this vid, which is mostly stills with a text commentary, but shows you the entire assessment from flat water, to legacy to olympic.

Might be of interest to anyone else booking in for an assessment.
Sadly some of that's out of date now. There's none of the paddling around obstacles stuff/manoeuvring any more - they streamlined it, I assume to allow enough time to move people on to the Olympic assessment.

Here's a nine year old passing the Legacy:
And a year later on the Olympic:

The only response I can think of is: well jel!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by morsey » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:13 pm

I believe a few cameras are primed to capture your exploits Gazza. Getting that Scooby Pink Protec past inspection is likely to be your biggest hurdle. Have fun. :-)

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:45 pm

Haha Morsey. I'll be sure to bust a few moves to please the lenses ;-) Are you coming up ????

Alas though the the Pink protect is consigned to helmet heaven. Despite some cable ties securing the chin straps firmly in place for the last 5 years, the inner lining/padding has also dropped out. I'd have fixed it, but I bought a Sweet Trooper Halfcut, the snowboard version, which I use for both snowboarding and paddling now. You can now call me kit freak for owning a carbon helmet ;-)

I even have a new bouyo - The old Palm Expedition that I bought from George some 18 years ago (and still has his name on the back) no longer fits - it has shrunk (nothing to do with my expanding gut line/moobs) ;-). I do still have my old palm dry cag which now comes complete with a unique water cooling ventilation system (aka holes).

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by DaveWortley » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:58 pm

If you are going to be paddling the Olympic course it's worth chatting to the nice people at the Photography stand, if you ask us nicely we might take a few photos of you boating when the rafts are faffing.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:16 pm

Scumbag_Scout wrote:If you are going to be paddling the Olympic course it's worth chatting to the nice people at the Photography stand, if you ask us nicely we might take a few photos of you boating when the rafts are faffing.
Ooh, I didn't know that! Thanks for the tip!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by TechnoEngineer » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:37 pm

Wadhamite wrote:A brief plug (is this allowed?) - I've done a photo guide to the induction on Tumblr, because I was terrified before I did the legacy induction and wished there had been clear info of what to expect! http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/31795563162/lvlegacy
Great write-up; the only bit missing is that they encourage people to hold on to their paddle (and/or lob it onto the grass) if they swim?
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:23 pm

TechnoEngineer wrote:
Wadhamite wrote:A brief plug (is this allowed?) - I've done a photo guide to the induction on Tumblr, because I was terrified before I did the legacy induction and wished there had been clear info of what to expect! http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/31795563162/lvlegacy
Great write-up; the only bit missing is that they encourage people to hold on to their paddle (and/or lob it onto the grass) if they swim?
Thanks, I'll add that in! I saw the pumps stopped to find a lost paddle, it's an expensive pain for all concerned (and a bit weird if you get marooned on the course when it dries up, I guess).
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Randy Fandango » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:33 pm

I notice the one thing these assessments all have in common is the same assessor.
There he is in the first clip looking very professional in Palm strides and a white rocker.
Gazza wrote: When I was mooching around video clips I came across this vid, which is mostly stills with a text commentary, but shows you the entire assessment from flat water, to legacy to olympic.
Wadhamite wrote: Here's a nine year old passing the Legacy:
And a year later on the Olympic:
He’s wearing much the same combo in the second clip but I note that by the third clip he’s definitely letting the side down in terms of sartorial elegance in those ill fitting jeans and that tatty old sailing instructors red coat.
Bad form… :-)
Giles

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by janet brown » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:04 pm

I recognise that assessor: he is a bit scruffy in the last vid. I don't remember sartorial elegance from my assessment on the Legacy!
He also has the habit of calling out to you on later visits (while he's doing someone else's assessment) "Hey Janet" just as you're concentrating hard on your next move...
Hi Giles!!

Janet.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Gazza » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:35 pm

Well what a cracking day at Lee Valley today - superb facility.

Nice to meet you Gary, and thanks again for all the info.


Our assesment took abut an hour and 25 minutes. We had Deb Piniger assessing us, which took me a little by surprise, along with another assessor whose name I now forget (I think it was Alan or Andrew) - they were both great and couldn't have been more friendly, as in fact were all the other staff at the centre, including blokey at gate and reception staff. I did enjoy listening to the one girl on reception take a phone call from a random who kept asking if this was the water works?

No flat water stuff per se, just paddled across to the legacy after the intro/safety talk. Straight run of the legacy although we made eddys etc, then another run making a minimum nos. of breakouts and at least one roll. 6 of us moved on to the Olympic. Got on above the big drop in the middle of the course- had to make both eddies above it, then run the drop. Then had to surf the hole at the base of it across/back. Complete the run to the bottom of the course then travelator back to top - had to make 5 eddies before the first big drop at the bridge, including the last eddy above the drop as compulsory. After that we just continued down and were asked to side surf the small looking yet sticky hole a couple of eddys above the big drop on the middle of the course, before going down to finish.

Anyway Loved it. Tea and cake on the terrace in the sunshine, before heading home for bbq and beer. Great day. I'll definitaly be back. :-)

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:09 pm

Reviving this thread...

Just how well does the legacy course assessment have to go to be able to do the Olympic course assessment? My boyfriend reckons that I should aim to be able to catch every eddy on the Legacy course - ideally in one run! - and at that point, I'll be good enough for the Olympic course (because I'll have to be able to side surf and be generally technically quite good to achieve that). But I worried that the Olympic course presents quite a step up, given my propensity to capsize on drops of comparable size to the Olympic big drops on real rivers. What advice would you give me?
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by JimmyP » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:22 pm

That's pretty sound advice, a solid roll is also pretty handy as a swim down the course isn't too much fun, especially the first time.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:26 pm

Wadhamite wrote:Reviving this thread...

Just how well does the legacy course assessment have to go to be able to do the Olympic course assessment? My boyfriend reckons that I should aim to be able to catch every eddy on the Legacy course - ideally in one run! - and at that point, I'll be good enough for the Olympic course (because I'll have to be able to side surf and be generally technically quite good to achieve that). But I worried that the Olympic course presents quite a step up, given my propensity to capsize on drops of comparable size to the Olympic big drops on real rivers. What advice would you give me?
You should be real comfortable at catching any eddy from either side on demand on the legacy course.

Cross the flow using any of the holes on the course. Enter side surf and exit any of the holes on the legacy course under control from either side.

Enter and roll in any hole on the legacy course.

if you can do all that you will feel very confident about your first time out on the Olyimpic rather than going too soon and being in survival mode. The main differance is speed of the water and how much punch you need to dynmicly get out of some of the eddies on the bigger course.

You can ask to try the lower section of the olymic below the last big drop to build up your confidence and feel for it as well as from the last setps and including the last drop. if you can do this and feel comfortable with it the rest of the course should be no problem.

Speak to Deb or one of the other on site coaches and see if they can set you up a session to try it out with a more gradual progression.

Good luck with your Olyimpic Assesment and journey to passing it.

Gary A

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:49 pm

garya wrote:You can ask to try the lower section of the olymic below the last big drop to build up your confidence and feel for it as well as from the last setps and including the last drop. if you can do this and feel comfortable with it the rest of the course should be no problem.

Speak to Deb or one of the other on site coaches and see if they can set you up a session to try it out with a more gradual progression.
Is it possible to do this under supervision from any L3 or MWE coach?
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by NathanE » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:35 pm

[Quote garya]

Stuff

Gary A[/quote]

As a newcomer to paddling this autumn and south east resident lee valley has been brilliant for me. Like wadhamite I'm tempted to have Barack at the hard course, but I reckon Gary's advice is great. I relish the challenge of becoming in total control of the legacy course and really enjoy testing myself each time I go on little improvements. I have to say that it has done wonders for my roll!

I'm still some way from Gary's target but I'm loving getting there.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by tambakosi » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:29 pm

Totally agree with everything Gary says, I would add one thing though - go and watch people attempting their Olympic part of the assessment, if you think you can handle what they are being asked to do then your probably ready.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:37 pm

Everything Gary and everyone else here has said is spot on basically.
When I'm assessing I generally want to see solid control on the legacy loop before I'll take a paddler over to the Olympic course.
I may not need you to hit every eddie and play in every hole on the legacy but I want to have the impression you could easily do so if asked.
Basically I don't really want to take anyone over who I feel has little reasonable hope of passing and I especially don't want to take anyone over and scare the hell out of them.
Giles

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:07 am

Thanks all, lots more practice needed methinks...
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