When the rain came – Artle Beck and the Roeburn

It rained at the weekend. With the Met office heavy rain warnings all over the news, texts were going backwards and forwards between kayakers around the country and I agreed to meet some friends at the take out for Artle Beck at 7.30am. Being a bit too keen Tom and I were there early and it was pitch black. With the aid of a torch we could see that the river wasn’t as high as we were expecting, to be honest it was quite low. We sat solemnly in my car awaiting the arrival of the others. When they arrived we had another look and to our disbelief it had risen a good 20cm in 20 minutes..We were on!


Me on the Artle Beck weir (Photo Tom Hainsworth)

It was my first run of Artle Beck and its great fun, all of the portages I had been warned about had gone and we paddled all the way down. Its a continuous run with some nice rapids and scenery and reminded me very much of the Roeburn. So at the takeout I only had one river on my mind, and as it was only 10 minutes drive away we shot over to Wray, met some more paddlers and jumped on the Roeburn at about 10.30.


Data from the EA gauge on the Hindburn, this is below the Hindburn Roeburn confluence and the best gauge available for the Roeburn.

Things started out OK, the levels were high and we were blasting down the river in record time. Until I called the group into an eddy above the gorge and the carnage ensued. Of the seven of us, we had two swimmers above the gorge one swimmer in the gorge and me stuck in a tree halfway down! Thanks to the swift rescue efforts of the other three we were successfully assisted and reunited with our kit. Making it down to Wray by about 1pm.

That was it for me for the day, returning to Lancaster in time for tea and medals with the parents. The other guys headed up to the Kent and ran down from Scroggs weir in what sound like enormous conditions.

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