GUIDE TO BLACK CLOUGH
NAME OF RIVER: Black Clough
WHERE IS IT?: Off of the Woodhead, here. There is an access road down to the damn opposite a lay-by drive down here and park in the big lay-by out of the way of the road.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There is an access path leading all the way up next to the Etherow this then turns right up next to Black Clough and walk as high up as you wish. For the record I got on just above a drop onto a slide. Take out after the confluence and before the weir, I forgot and ended up shooting this hard right.
APPROX LENGTH: 500m ish? could be longer but looked very bouldery above the suggested put in. A good trip could be Etherow then this.
TIME NEEDED: 15 mins max once you're on your on. Walk-in is about 10 mins also you can inspect on the way up.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, there is public access running most the way along. Just stay out the way of the site traffic by parking in the big lay-by. I spoke to the lady in the house and she was more than happy for me to park there and said it's good to see outdoor enthusiasts in such foul weather.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There's a broken gauge next to the weir 6-7 seems a good level. Basically if the peaks have had heavy rain and all the streams are running then this will run.
GRADING: 4(+). This is very fast flowing water and once you're on you're on. You would not want to take a swim as this could result in kit ending up in the reservoir strainers!
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There's a tree about half way down in the middle of the flow by the looks of it it is actually growing here. There is a little sneak line far right but if your not comfortable then try get out above, you can inspect on the walk in. The weir on the Etherow can be shot far right but get out above if you can.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Steep non-stop spate boating, boulder gardens, slides and fast water.
I got on above a 2ft? drop onto a small slide, it then goes into a boulder garden (this is where the tree is). After this you have around 3 slides in quick succession, watch out for the big diagonal stopper as it wants to hammer you into the river left bank, after these slides it's into more boulder gardens, these are a bit like the treweryn's graveyard section. Small drops and grabby holes are in order for this section, after this it flattens out a bit and then joins with the Etherow. Get out before the weir so I advise finding an eddy on the walk up and keep that in your head. If you shoot the weir hard right goes with a bit of a flare.
OTHER NOTES: I don't know how many people have done this but I did this as a solo run and was good fun. Not for survival boaters.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Pete Sanger