GUIDE TO ASHGILL BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Ashgill Beck.
WHERE IS IT?: North of England, near Alston. Small tributary of the upper South Tyne.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Its probably best to paddle this river as part of a trip on the Upper South Tyne. Ashgill beck enters river right about one third down the Upper South Tyne in one of the gorge sections, although spotting it and stopping is difficult if the water levels are well up.
Alternatively access could be gained from the B 6277 near Garrigill, where the road crosses Ashgill beck (NY758405), here there is a big unrunnable 10 M fall below the bridge.The section described is below this fall.
APPROX LENGTH: Less than 1 km.
TIME NEEDED: Not long to walk up inspecting the drops as you go.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If the Upper South Tyne is running then there will be enough water to get down Ashgill Beck.
GRADING: G3 with one fall of G4+.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: A number of falls.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This is a fun narrow little river with about five distinct sections of stepped falls between 3 and 4 metres high. Most of the falls are fairly straightforward although some plunge pools are shallow. The exception is one fall which flows into a very nasty looking undercut slot, G4+, a chicken chute on river left can be run, however the flow of water tries to take you into the slot. Most our group ended up in the slot one way or another despite desperate attempts to avoid it, somehow they all came out unscathed.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans.