GUIDE TO EGGLESTON BURN
NAME OF RIVER: Eggleston Burn.
WHERE IS IT?: In Teesdale! It's a tributary of the River Tees.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Follow B 6278 out of Eggleston, put in anywhere when the river comes into view on your left, however approx. 3 miles out of Eggleston a minor road crosses the river, if there is enough water to float here the river is "up" (Multimap). Take out is a bridge where a minor road between B 6278 and Eggleston burn crosses river.
Guy Genge notes: when I've done this run we've paddled down to the Tees and combined it with the Racecourse (which will probably be pretty high) and taken out at Cotherstone.
TIME: 1 hour (Guy Genge: Combined with the Racecourse you'll need more than an hour, though I've not a clue how long we took...) .
WATER LEVELS: This is very much a spate river, see put in details.
Look at the river at NY 988 239, where the B6282 crosses it. On the downstream side of the bridge there is a big flat rock (about 3ft by 2ft) in the water on the left. This needs to be covered for the run to be on.
GRADING: 3 and 4. If the section between the suggested get in at the small bridge is bank full with no hint of a scrape then the gorge will be a full on continuous Grade 4+ with less eddies than you may wish, also the significant drop after the gorge forms a nasty river wide stopper with undercut walls.
- 1. Steep, twisty, narrow, difficult to inspect.
- 2. A very narrow slot at "low" levels and which is difficult to spot until too late, this is about one third into gorge. At high levels this slot fills up forming a stopper!
- 3. A river wide 2 metre weir type drop after the gorge which will backloop the unprepared.
- 4. Barbed wire head high fence towards the get out.
Graeme Cranston adds...'wire fence not there, winter 2000/ 01. Last paddled 10.3.02. minor tree strainer (river wide) 2km before the tall road bridge, get off. If you want to continue on to the Tees 1 km below normal getout, at the end of a caravan site a two tree stainer will trap hold you, portage this one!'
Guy Genge (14/03/08) adds: The top of the run is fine (there's one barbed wire after the gorge but you can paddle over it), however when you pass under the old viaduct wake up. A short way on from here is a footbridge. Get out river left just below this footbridge as there is a big tree in the water with no sneaking potential below it. There's a telegraph pole across the river just beyond this, so put back in below this too. There's another tree in the water near the caravan site which is now on your left. It's on river right, river left is a gravel bar that didn't quite have enough water to paddle over. Walk river left, as though it looks like you can charge over the tree, it's not a easy as you'd hope. I charged it and almost got pasted, but luckily made it over. I'll be taking the 3 metre walk next time... Just beyond the caravan site there are two mesh fences in/across the river, they're about 100m apart (max.) and both should be walked on river right. The wooden parts of the fences on the banks are easily visible, though the grey mesh is tricky to spot. When you see the obviously new wooden fencing reaching down to the water get out.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A good trip. Put in above or below the bridge tunnel. A 1 km warm up gets you ready for the steep, twisty, narrow and very continuous gorge which is difficult to inspect; however all the hazards can be run unseen as long as you are alert. This is a seldom paddled river due to the high levels of rain needed and some may argue there are better trips in the area when there is this much water.
OTHER NOTES: If this isn't obscure enough, there is an exciting spate tributary called Little Eggleshope Beck!
Antony Mackay (November 2002)...'Paddled this stretch on Sun 27th Oct 02 at a near perfect level. No matter how many times I paddle this river the main rapid/ drop allways sneaks up on you. There is a tiny eddy at the lip of the drop that will hold two boats but no more - as the third member of our group found out and ended up being flushed through the slot backwards - sorry john! The drop actually looks a lot worse than it is but the rapid afterwards would punish any mistakes. The sheep fence is still there at neck height towards the end of the trip!! I disagree that there could be better trips in the area when the conditions are right, short of a trip to the lakes, but if it ain't bank full don't bother as you will spoil the experience. '
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans and Graeme Cranston, Antony Mackay and Guy Genge.
There's a distinctive landmark rock on river left about halfway down the reach that ends in the slot drop. This photo shows the rock, and the red boat is in the last eddy on river left before the drop - it holds only one boat and you can't get out without someone on the bank (at this level). There's an eddy river right slightly further on, no way to get out at all. There's an eddy river right just above the red boat, not too hard to get out, and there's the eddy the photo was taken from, easy get out. But river right is not a useful portage, and not brilliant for inspection...
On the bright side, even at low level, we saw none of the strands of barbed wire or sheep fences.
To add to the major hazards section, there seems to be quite a lot of pinning potential at low levels, especially just as it widens out after East Skears gorge and for the next fifty metres. There's also a large boulder river left under which a lot of the water flows, so rather than being flushed round it, one may run spank into it, and then get sucked under when you try to sidle round. Fortunately, nothing caught and I came out the other side, but with no paddle in my hands :-( It's also worth pointing out that exit from the East Skears gorge is always up very steep and slippery slopes and cliffs often block any walk along the banks, so portages and or rescues can turn into minor epics very easily.
There were at least four or five parties on the river today, numbering over twenty paddlers, at times all rather closer together than you'd hope for a river with few eddies...