GUIDE TO THE RIVER CALDER
(Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge)
NAME OF RIVER: Calder
WHERE IS IT?: West Yorkshire
Take out river left before or after Sowerby Bridge Whitewater Course / Halifax Canoe Club [SE059235]
APPROX LENGTH: 8.4km
TIME NEEDED: 2 - 3 hours + playtime
ACCESS HASSLES: None when we paddled, all fisherfolk were friendly. Portaging / rescuing from some of the weirs might involve private land.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: EA gauge at Mytholmroyd - 1.0 seemed about right. Much lower and some of the 'rapids' would be very scrapey, much higher and some of the weirs would be ‘interesting’.
GRADING: 1 - 2 plus weirs
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Weirs in high water. V-shaped weir in any water.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Mainly flat, with plenty small grade 1 / 2 rapids and a number of weirs to shoot.
SD996269 0.0km (0.0km) - Put in near Hebden Bridge train station. Don’t cross the river to to the station, instead, put in river left near the public car park.
SD996268 0.1km (0.1km) - Hebden Bridge weir. A short drop on to a short sloping weir, with sloping buttresses along its length. Slope angle and height varies throughout the ‘bays’.
SE026259 3.5km (3.6km) - Brearley weir. Huge shoot down the middle. Wave train / stopper to follow.
SE036249 1.5km (5.1km) - Ludden Foot broken weir. Must be very broken, as we didn’t notice it. More of a grade 2-ish rapid.
SE038244 0.5km (5.6km) - V-shaped weir. Boils and towback extending a long way out from this. Would be (and has been) lethal in high water, and rescue access would be difficult. Shootable far far river left after careful inspection.
SE041240 0.6km (6.2km) -Tenterfields weirs. Two consecutive weirs. First is a long slope, shootable anywhere (but can be sticky in places), but the far right gives the best line towards the second. This is a low drop, boily / sticky in places but has a broken shoot towards the right hand side.
SE053239 1.4km (7.6km) - Puzzle weir. Short vertical drop on to a long slope, with a short rapid below.
SE059235 0.8km (8.4km) - Slalom course egress. Take out river left above or below the slalom course, or continue on downstream to Copley (2 more weirs) or beyond (many weirs).
OTHER NOTES: Various round trips using the canal are probably possible with a bit of creativity and study of an OS map.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Pagett
Community Forum Comments on this Article
2016 Nov 30 11:57:13 AM
To be clear, heading upstream from Halifax Canoe Club this is the first weir you come to. If you are paddling downstream towards the club, this is the weir after the ‘double weir’ and it is recognised as you approach it by the weir extending out from the right bank as the river makes a 90 degree bend to the right over the weir.
Approaching from upstream the weir looks doable from above but definitely not when inspected from below.
All of flow (at low to medium levels) is going in to the collapsed section with the remaining face dry and unrunnable. In the collapsed section there are lots of metal spikes of sticking out which would be pretty lethal, and debris piled up at the foot of the weir – see photo’s below. Do not consider paddling down the collapsed section!
Please approach with caution and egress on to the right bank above the weir to inspect and portage.
No doubt the weir will continue to collapse in the coming months making it more dangerous.
Full details, map and pictures:
2015 Nov 23 05:54:04 PM
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