GUIDE TO GLENRIDDING BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Glenridding Beck
WHERE IS IT?: Southern end of Ullswater off the A592.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put In: Follow the main track (Greenside lane) up to the YMCA hostel, you won't be able to go any further, there will be a small bridge with a stream/beck under it (NY364174). There are a few options close to here as to where to get in. It may be worth a quick walk 100m down stream to look at Edge Of World Rapid, before you put on.
Take Out: Anywhere in Glenridding village, quite obvious really (NY386169).
APPROX LENGTH: Unsure, only 2.5 miles roughly.
TIME NEEDED: 1-2 hours, depends on how much protection you wish to put on.
ACCESS HASSLES: None, some funny looks off walkers but that's about it!
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS:
GRADING: 4-5 some drops maybe grade 6 in certain levels.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Quite shallow boulder rapids with some shelf drops. Some strong stoppers in high water and the two main falls 'Edge Of World' and also 'Underworld' as they are called in Stuart Miller's book.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: From the drive up you'll be keeping your eye on the beck down in the valley. The get in is something of a mission, the beck which runs down from the mines is one of your options, getting in directly on Glenridding Beck where the two becks meet or run the dog leg drop and waterfall which you'll see. 100m downstream is 'Edge Of World Rapid' (G5-6) A pin ball toboggan drop. Keep the elbows in and nose down stream is your best angle of attack. Portage/set up safety easily on river left. In high water this is a spectacular looking fall.
More steep grade 3-4 rapids lead you to the next trickier drop known as Underworld. You'll know this drop is coming up when you see the forest and a bridge. Numerous lines open up in different levels, some smoother than others. Again inspection recommended. It's likely that trees may come down in this short section.
About another 3/4 of a mile further down is the get out, same again, grade 3/4 rapids, the river opens up in sections then you will reach Glenridding village.
OTHER NOTES:Due to almost alpine like nature of this beck rocks my move around quite often.
This Beck is fed from the base of Helvelyn range form Red Tarn and anything draining North of this large valley, snow melt is a large tribute to the water levels. So when the snow's around go check it out.
Also, three of us paddled this Beck about another mile upstream of the mentioned put in, walking up past the hostel and along the path to Helvellyn. You'll see a 15-foot drop, this is a good place to put in. Unfortunately, between here and the usual put in, there are some manky drops. It's easy to scout on your walk up.
On your walk up you'll have noticed a large pool with a foot bridge over it. There is a large, maybe 60-foot drop which runs out of this. Utter mank! Have a look at a clean 20-foot just below this and the dog-leg drop leading out of it. It actually goes in lower levels too. Check it out!
CONTRIBUTED BY: Rick Atkinson.