GUIDE TO KEX BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Kex Beck.
WHERE IS IT?: Tributary of the Wharfe. Start near Blubberhouse on A59, finish at Wharfe or bridge in Beamsley.
OS Map OL2 - Yorks Dales - South and West Areas. Map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Take little road (just a loop off main road) off A59 at top of Beamsley Hill where the crawler lane ends. If you miss it take next left as it turns back on itself. Park on roadside here. Climb over wall and go through tunnel under A59. Follow this beck down to Kex Beck.
Take out at Bridge in Beamsley (only road crossing on beck) at 078 534 next to telephone box (parking here) just after caravan club site on river left, or follow short extra difference into Wharfe, meeting Wharfe just above Lob Wood pumping station Weir (possible take out??) and follow into Ilkley.
APPROX LENGTH: 3 km to Beamsley bridge, 4ish to Wharfe.
TIME NEEDED: A fair few hours. Took us 3+, but was a bit low. Maybe quicker in slightly higher levels (possibly harder also?).
ACCESS HASSLES: Don't think farmers/ residents would be too happy if lots of people start paddling it. Be considerate about parking. Small groups only because of this, and also for group management I would think.
Take out fine at Beamsley bridge. Again, pumping station a bit dubious, but the section of Wharfe to Ilkley is a bit boring apart from one decent weir, and one crazy weir. Also, this section of river is popular for fishing.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Rivers must be in spate otherwise its pointless. It is only a beck after all!
Check water level at Beamsley bridge, if it looks runnable it will be.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Fences across flow, one just after start, one more a bit later and then one final one before the beck drops off the moor and into proper farm land and trees. Quite fast with few proper eddies. Also a metal arch near start. Very nasty.
A few of the better looking sections aren't runnable because of fallen trees. Might take a saw next time...
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Follow chute under A59 down hillside to join main beck, being careful of fences and a metal arch thing.
After other hill drainage joins, the beck starts to pick up. Watch out for rocks in the flow, and also getting pinned sideways across beck.
Steep rocky sections
Little gorge halfway. Be wary of trees at sides and fallen trees / strainers from here on. There is a little weir just outside Beamsley (barn on river right) which can be shot on left (careful of strainer) or directly over the top, but sideways. Inspection advised.
After this there is a blind right bend just before caravan club which has a big fence accross it. Definate portage.
Nice little stopper at Beamsley bridge, quite sticky considering its size!
Then on until reaching Wharfe.
Constant grade 2+ all the way, with definate grade 3 sections, possibly higher.
OTHER NOTES: Paddled on 20/10/2004. Think this was a first descent by myself and Jonny Briggs. We would be interested to know if this is the case.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom Woodstone - woodstone01 AT hotmail DOT com