GUIDE TO FLINT BECK/ NEEDLEHOUSE GILL
NAME OF RIVER: Flint Beck/ Needlehouse Gill...I got the name Flint Beck but Stuart Millar uses the different name in the 'Lake District WW' book.
WHERE IS IT?: The North West north of England, between Kirby Stephen and Sedbergh.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: From the put into the main section of the Rawthey head North on the A683, take the first turn right and then the next right again. Follow the narrow road a couple of miles to a fork, the left fork has a gate across and leads onto a track, the right fork leads to a farm. Follow the left fork on foot for 1/4 mile where it crosses Flint Beck (SD730969).
The Beck flows into the Upper Rawthey just after the first section of rapids (SD727968), it would seem logical to continue on down the Rawthey.
APPROX LENGTH: 0.5 km.
TIME NEEDED: Depends how much of it you tackle.
ACCESS HASSLES: Not known.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of rain, as a guide the main section of the nearby Rawthey needs to be at a good bank full level.
GRADING: Grade 4-5 plus.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: A very narrow steep gorge section G 5 plus, and a current tree hazard.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Just above the access bridge a boulder section leads to a 8 ft fall into a suspect plunge pool, boof or suss it out properly.
Shortly afterwards on a left bend is a fun 20 ft fall/slide, watch out for trees on the left bank.
A short section leads to a tree hazard across the river, we just got through in our boats but it was not easy.
Another short section leads to a very tight gorge where the river twists and falls all the way into the Upper Rawthey, about 0.25 km. The first part of the gorge looks interesting at G 4 and then gets progressively harder. It is continuous, there are no obvious breakouts or egress in this very tight gorge and a tree blockage half way down made this a sensible portage. This has potential though, the removal of the tree and a bit of further investigation makes this a tempting prospect.
Portage of the gorge allows easy access to the start of the Upper Rawthey.
OTHER NOTES: We will be back to have a serious look at the gorge when there are less time constraints.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans.