River levels had been dropping all week along with the temperatures. With the threat of storm force winds, cold and freezing rain we decided to head to the River Leven. Windermere would provide decent water levels (just under medium flow) and some shelter from the biting winds.
We had met up at Starbucks, junction 3 of the M58 and we quickly sorted boats and left a number of cars on local side roads. Putting in at Newby Bridge just below the small weir we went through breaking in and out together with basic ferry gliding. There were a number of other groups on the river and soon came across brick chute weir. This was safely negotiated and some of us spent a little while playing in the surf wave below.
The next drop is shot centre left but be careful to follow the flow aiming right (rocks on the left bank). A few surf waves, chutes and eddies followed before we came across “Neil’s nemesis” where he broke his Werner paddle on the last outing. This was Colin`s first river and he decided to spin on a rock near the top and run the rapid backwards. The inevitable happened and after a short swim was quickly reunited with his paddle and boat.
A few more rocky rapids led to the usual get off at the motor museum. The freezing rain then hit just as we were loading up to return to the top. The quick drop in temperature ensured that we decided to call it a day and go straight to the café to warm up. We were soon all warmed up and a few more paddling trips were planned and discussed.
Watch out for the next improvers introduction to white water trip, the North Wales white water weekend based in Bala (8-10th February), Easter Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland (18th-22nd April), Nepal Sun Khosi trip and club trip to the French Alps (19th July to 4th August).