GUIDE TO GRIZEDALE BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Grizedale Beck.
WHERE IS IT?: Grizedale forest park in the central Lake District. Runs alongside the small road to Grizedale forest between Spark Bridge (on the Crake) and Hawkshead. Falls are located right by Force Mills.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at the Bridge over the beck. Parking on a small side road GR 337913, take out at the bridge below the falls next to the phone box 338909.
APPROX LENGTH: 500 metres.
TIME NEEDED: 10 minutes.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Driving up the road next to Force Mills will give you a good idea of if there's enough water. Main falls/ slabs require less water, but the more water the less crunch the run would be (and faster). Viewing the narrow gorge just below the put in bridge would be sensible. If there's a clear run out of the gorge then there's enough. If the exit of the gorge is boulder choked, it'll probably be too much of a scrape.
GRADING: Grade 5.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Extreme Gradient. Overhanging trees, fallen trees.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A extremely short steep run. Huge height drop over a very short distance. Extremely scary horizon lines.
Start at the bridge. Very shortly you enter a short narrow gr 4 gorge, which leave you with little options on routes. Short respite, then onto a reef style fall which can have a sizeable towback. In lower water most of the water flows through a slot in the reef which may require portaging.
You then arrive at a very imposing horizon line. This steepest secion loses an incredible amount of height in a very short distance. The first fall is a long sloping drop into a small pool which leads you straight into the second drop. An awkward choice of left (under the holly tree), right down a twisting slot (into a pool blocked by a fallen tree) or straight over onto a a rocky ledge awaits. Inspection of the main falls definitely recommended! Below this, it's one long steep rapid, with no stopping until the take out bridge, and it won't take you long to get there.
OTHER NOTES: Very easy to inspect. a footpath runs along the top half of the run. You can see the worst of the falls from this path. Short enough to not need a shuttle!
(nb. Simon first ran this as a solo mission without bank support...natural selection in action - Mark R)
CONTRIBUTED BY: Simon Wiles, Whitewater Tourists.