GUIDE TO SWINDALE BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Swindale Beck.
WHERE IS IT?:It flows along the B6276 road from Brough to Teesdale. Map.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Richard Evans and I found the best way in wasn't carrying down a grassy track down to a ford from GR 819 179...but carrying on up the valley for another 1/2 mile and floating down a tiny stream which flows into it.
Take out in Brough.
APPROX LENGTH: 7
TIME NEEDED: Unknown.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of water.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: This beck has been known to break boats and dislocated shoulders so be warned!
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Swindale Beck is an adventure with 2 serious waterfalls at the top and several hard rapids and an arse of a portage.
Its start with a bang, the biggest waterfall. It is a double drop fall with a rock to knock you off line just above a 2m drop, followed by a 4m drop with just enough space between to set up your boof as its has a shallow pool at the bottom and a meltdown would hurt. Grade 5+.
There's plenty of Grade 3 4 rapids and drops between the bigger stuff to keep the trip continuous.
The next fall of note is a 4.5m drop which was a clean drop with a stopper at the bottom, but there's been a land slide and it now falls on to boulders. So now, it's a sneaky line to the left and again it's pretty shallow so no meltdown. Grade 5.
More rapids follow until a section we portaged...it's a rapid on a bend formed by a landslide on its own. It would be a hard rapid, but added at the flows we did were lots of overhanging trees and logs forming strainers, we portaged on the left which was hard work.
More paddleable rapids follow until a short canalised section into Brough with a large sloping weir, which is worth a look before you drive up the valley. After the weir egress on the right after a footbridge.
OTHER NOTES: One for beck paddlers with a sense of adventure.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Steve Ed.