GUIDE TO THE RIVER RAWTHEY
NAME OF RIVER: Rawthey.
WHERE IS IT?: The North West 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, crossing Flint Beck/Needlehouse Gill. Just after the Beck follow a footpath on the right down towards the Rawthey and a foot bridge across the river (SD727968). Alternatively paddle down part, or all, of Flint Beck which joins the Rawthey after the first section of rapids.
The take out for this section is the put on for the main Rawthey section (SD712979).
APPROX LENGTH: 2-3 km.
TIME NEEDED: Approx 1 hour.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of rain, the main section of the Rawthey needs to be at a good bank full level, but high spate is probably lethal.
GRADING: Several sections of 4 to 5+.
MAJOR HAZARDS: A very difficult gorge section after 1 k, two other sections of 4-5 depending on water levels, and possible tree hazards.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The action starts just above the access footbridge with a series of steps above the bridge, with meaty stoppers, leading into a drop G 4+ after the bridge.
Easier water for 0.5 km leads to a long, but not steep, slide leading into a river wide stopper. Unfortunately there is currently a tree growing out into the slide with other trapped debris, another portage.
A short section of easy water leads to a stone footbridge, this marks the start of the difficult gorge G 5+, dont go past here unless you are prepared to tackle the whole gorge, about 0.5 km. The gorge starts with two significant drops followed by smaller steps and a difficult boulder rapid. At high water levels these merge into one section of G 5 + water. The gorge becomes progressively harder with more water, probably being a G 4 rock bash at levels when the rest of the river is too low. Portage is possible on either bank.
After the gorge easier water leads to the get in for the main Rawthey section.
OTHER NOTES: Shame about the trees in two of the interesting sections and the very difficult gorge, otherwise it makes a useful addition to the main section of the Rawthey.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans.