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GUIDE TO THE RIVER CALDER
(Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge)

NAME OF RIVER: Calder

WHERE IS IT?: West Yorkshire

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put In - Hebden Bridge Train Station [SD996269]. Park in the public car park before the train station (at time of writing this is free on Saturdays), and drop boats in down the river bank

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