Saturday 26 February 2011

River Eden - Day One

This is my take on the first day of the Cumberland Ring paddle, using only my photos. The group view can be found on the trip blog, with more detail in the second Eden entry.

A ford gave an easy access point to the Scandal Beck. We couldn't have started much higher up the beck, given the water levels:It was still a bit of a scrape at times:The river soon started to get more volume:A novel approach to erosion control had been used in several places. The placing of the vehicles was obviously deliberate. It felt like paddling a long wet scrap yard at times:Some interesting geology:
The first weir of any note:Contact with bank support:More geology:The weather wasn't all good:The spectators didn't seem particularly impressed, but at least they seemed interested:The banks were lined with burrows of some sort. They seem a bit large for water voles!Jim took the opportunity to audition for The Hobbit during our lunchbreak at Lacey's Caves:Paddling past the caves gave a view that most people miss:We had a few bouncy bits before Armathwaite:Some nice scenery as the light started to fail and we approached our bivi site:

Friday 25 February 2011

Planning and preparation session

Kirstine was kind enough to give Jim and me a lift to Kate's house in Cumbria on Friday evening after work. We completed our plans over an excellent meal that Kate had prepared.

My plan was to start with the Lune, followed by the coastal paddle and then finish on the Eden. This would mean that we were paddling the Eden during the working week and thus reduce the risk of meeting too many fishermen. However, Kate was keen to start with the Eden, then paddle the Lune and finish with the coastal paddle. I had some concerns with this plan but was convinced by the expected water levels in the rivers. I was also inclined to let Kate have her way, since this is really her project. Another benefit was that we would get two nights sleeping in Kate's house on Sunday and Monday, after each of the rivers was completed. Paddling the Eden over the weekend also allowed for bank support from David (Kate's other half, driving Kate's van) and photography from Will (another NWSK paddler).

The expected water levels meant that we would be starting further down the Scandal Beck than Kate had hoped. The advantage of this was that we would avoid any portages and taking our full overnight kit in the boats would not be an issue.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Cumberland Ring

Jim mentioned a project that Kate Duffus had come up with. It sounded completely daft, so I dropped some rather unsubtle hints until they invited me onto the team. See the Cumberland Ring blog , Jimski's blog and Kate's blog for more details.