Sun 15th July Calder (Halifax) Grade II pootling

Leo and Helen paddled from Mytholmroyd to Sowerby Bridge slalom course. River was just about full, not over the grass. A nice pootle with slalom course drops at the end – Leo’s first ever river swim was on the 2nd of these, haha. We saw heron, kingfisher, wagtail, geese.


Put in opposite a garage on the main road through Mytholmroyd.

This section is I/II, flowing steadily at the start, but then flat sections through countryside, interspersed with  quite a few weirs, one or two small rapids, and ends at the slalom course at Sowerby Bridge with a series of 3 drops (II/III).

The first few weirs were straightforward – sloping face or just small. When we got to a big factory on the left, there was a V shaped weir, which would probably be fine on the very left, but we were feeling a bit cautious, so portaged left behind the factories and carried on on the canal some 400yds until the next canal bridge where it was possible to get back to the river along a footpath. This meant we also missed out “double weir”, which looks like it should be taken on the right?

From there on, there are one or two gentle rapids and two more weirs – a long sloping one with nobbles on (left is best, but anywhere looks ok), and a short, angled sloping one just before the slalom course.

Take out via fire escape steps on river left after the slalom course – parking here belongs to the residents of the mill apartments, so do not park here – it is a short carry to take boats up slope to the main road, cross the main road, and through passage to public carpark behind the shops.

It is possible to make this trip into a loop by paddling back to Mytholmroyd along the canal from this carpark (4km). Also possible to cycle along towpath.


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