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River Lune on New Year`s Day

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River Lune on New Year`s Day

There had been a lot of rain about so we decided to head North and do a section on the River Lune. We all met on the M58 junction 3 Starbucks and sorted the cars and boats. The levels were on medium (0,85m) at Killington so the middle section should be full with more than enough water in each of the 3 gorges.

River Lune level at Killington Bridge

Leaving a car at the bottom we headed up to the get in at Beck Foot. The water was high (officially medium) and up to the banks. There were few rocks in sight.

We paddle down observing the many squirrels and odd sheep on the way down. Each of the rapids provided a little bit of fun but at this level the river was straight forward. After the first gorge we came across the new bridge with the A684 over it. The magnetic rock in the rapid above had water over both sides but you could see the rock from downstream. Soon after came “the strid”. This definitely needed to be inspected in case a tree or other obstruction was across the narrow gap. It looked clear and one by one we paddled through.

The lower gorge was running at a great level – straight forward but really bouncy. We got out at Killington New Bridge and sorted the shuttle. Ian then suggested running the lower section from the Rawthey Confluence. The section in between has two weirs and at this level had very nasty tow-backs. In retrospect they could have been portaged but we drove around and once sorted with cars got on with two hours of light left to paddle down to Devils Bridge. At this level there was plenty of flow and we did the section (16km) in 1 hour 42 minutes.

At the end and just after passing Kirby Lonsdale high on the right hand bank, the river swings right around a blind bend. At this level the rock ledges (ridges) on the left and outside of the bend had very large stoppers. We all negotiated the middle to inside routes around the bend and got out just below the bridge. It was a long, two river section day but we had made the most of the conditions.