Lakes trip was tops

Photos Andy Sq

Hooray for lakes trip!

Staying in the village hall worked well, bargain cheap and no need to put tents up.

Saturday: Everyone did the Brathay and Leven – we also did the lower down bit of the Leven, which had some nice rapids, and an unrunnable weir (which Andy Sq and Mark ran). Team Stu added the Troutbeck and Gt Langdale Beck for a 4-river day!

Sunday: Team Early did the harder bit of the Duddon (upper), then everyone else joined in for the middle and lower. A really nice day, both sections were really nice – the middle is a bit harder than the lower, the lower still has lots of nice rapids, and a good drop under a bridge.  The middle bit has Jilly’s Folley, which provided plenty of entertainment.

Don't worry we'll save you

Finn (first go)CP

HughTammy

Big thanks to all the safety (Niall, Mark, Andy Sq, Stu, Andy R, Lloyd and others) all the river leaders (lots of people), and all the minibus and van drivers. Biggest up to Helen J and Claire P who kept everything organised.

Best screams, Kylie, most swims, KTL. Best hidden-tiger-dragon-ate-my-paddle impression, Laura B. A great weekend.

Out of hands experience

Cheers team Squirrel and team Kylie, two lovely days of paddling!

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BUSA polo – 12/13 April – sign up now

Claire is going to send in entries on March 7th, so you need to tell her asap if you are interested in playing.

We’ll be in the chillcheater league – ideally a mixture of olds (for structure) and students who didn’t get into the first teams.

Cost is £15-£20 per person, includes camping, entry fee and meal – this is based on 5-7 people in the team.

La crevaison

Photo: Pete F.

C'etait un épaulard formidable!

Three men in a boat, Durance.

Loonsey ice climbing on Ben Nevis – featured blog of the week

Amazing pictures of spider-glacier-girl: Read Lindsey’s blogpost:

Loonsey: Ben Nevis Feb 2008

Really great that your shoulder is getting better, great stuff!

lindseyclouds

Article on Ben Nevis, as well as Loonseys other adventures, can be found on takeittothebridge blog.

Photos: Jos Style, Andy Bottrill, Lindsey Kennedy

Talk report – Simon Tapley

Photos: Alistair Marshall. See more photos at Fatcatproductions, and this blog.

Really enjoyed Si Tapley’s talk, great to see what amazing kinds of whitewater there are in Greenland, and to hear about his trip.

Simon was really down-to-earth about the problems they encountered, and gave us a feeling for what its like to be so isolated from everywhere.

Greenland seems to be  a country that challenges even the best-prepared-plans – Si and Ali’s schedule, carefully measured with Google earth, set an itinerary of some 20 or so rivers, with hiking and sea kayaking to get between them – there is only one real road in Greenland, and it isn’t handily along the side of a river. In fact, that, and any civilisation, is about 200 miles from where they were paddling.

iceberg

The steep terrain actually meant that they simply could not hike as far each day as they had planned, and they had to scramble every section double as it was just impossible to carry the boats loaded the way they had practiced, given the extreme landscape.

geology

They were surprised that locals seemed not at all interested in what they were doing, in terms of exploration of their country. But folk were kind to them and friendly. And one thing which really saved the day for them was not actually having to sea kayak more than a day – it would have been a hard slog in their creek boats – friendly fishermen, seal hunters and survey boats gave them lifts along the coast, Greenland communities being so connected to the sea.

boy with kayak

It was interesting hearing about things that shaped their trip – eventually setting off with only two of them made them have to plan carefully and added a dimension to their decisions about what to do. Despite warnings from others about the dangers of being only 2 small kayakers in a large landscape, they had faith in their own skills and abilities to make their own choices. Their decisions meant they were able to paddle a great deal of super, (and new), white water, incident free.

whitewater slide and scenery

Some of the closest calls were from the environment – seeing them interview one another after a huge storm swept their tent and all their dry belongings into the fjord gave some idea of the miserable conditions that Greenland can throw at humans. As well as the elements, the insects also seemed to have it in for them – what do they eat when there are no kayakers?
To me, the most amazing footage was of gusting wind blowing a waterfall back up the mountain, so that none of the water was falling into the riverbed – see 3:05 on this Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH8PEw3GVCU

All in all a super evening. It was inspiring to see someone who had the drive and ability  to get out there on basically their student loan and determination, and tick off first descents in a remote location.

If anyone would like to watch the DVD I have a copy – as well as the Greenland stuff, it actually has a whole bunch of other stuff from all over the world –  or you can get one for yourself from

Fatcatproductions.co.uk

It is most excellent.

Big, big thanks to everyone for coming along and especially for making Simon feel so welcome, cheers everyone.

Really looking forward to the next talk too – another student-white-water-type (you probably paddled against her at BUSA). Lowri Davies, currently at Aberystwyth uni, is a well-known top freestyler. In this talk she will be telling us about expedition white water paddling in the far corners of Russia.

New river signals needed

Alps 2006 photo by Pete F

lower guisane

Austria 2007 Photo by Cath

Yellow digger

Yorkshire 2008 Calder, floods.

calder lorry hazard

Pancakes were lovely

Potsy only had 9 pancakes, because he’s “on a diet.” Its called the “9 pancake diet.”

Dunno who won at most-pancakes or best verse? Very nice party, thanks Ade and Alison and Dinny.

Good timing, only 2 weeks of Lent now.

winner of the make-the-best-sentence competition