GUIDE TO THE RIVER SKIRFARE
NAME OF RIVER: River Skirfare.
WHERE IS IT?: Wharfedale.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Halton Gill (SD 880762), Take out at Arncliffe, SD 932719 (layby/wasteland right next to river. You pass it on the way up). Or continue in to the River Wharfe.
APPROX LENGTH: 4.5 miles.
TIME NEEDED: Unknown.
ACCESS HASSLES: None reported.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There needs to be loadsa water.
GRADING: Grade 3-4 in spate, otherwise Grade 3 or easier. Note that numerous fences can make this slightly harder than the technical grade suggests.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Wire fences across the river. When I did it there were two.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Get in by an entrance to an estate. There is a sign telling campers to ask permission before camping. Grade 2 water leads down to the first rapid on a right hand bend, Grade 3. Shoot centre right. Grade 2-3 water continues, then eases up until you see a stone bridge. On the downstream side of this bridge is the first wire fence.Shame, because there is a nice grade 3 right above the bridge. When I did this some nice paddlers before us must have bent the wire back because there is a tight gap on the left which we squeezed through. Grade 2-3 water continues dying down to 2 near the egress. The second wire fence is near the end and a gap existed on the right.
OTHER NOTES: When paddling some of the smaller rivers in Yorkshire it is a good idea to carry a set of wire cutters for safety. I'm not sure whether the fences are there to stop us or the sheep. The fences may have been replaced since I last paddled this so just check to make sure.
For a great trip in spate conditions consider Pen-y-Ghent Gill.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Chucky.