Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Things which happened to me last term

Since not much has been posted on the blog recently here is an account of the rivers and stuff I’ve done with the club and people from the club over the first term of this year. Obviously other stuff did happen but if I wasn’t there then I can’t really write about it, hopefully someone else will. It’s been a pretty busy term which is probably why my exam at the end of it went badly!

Wet west: We went to it. A really good group of Gucc headed up this year and had a good weekends paddling thanks to excellent organisation of the SCA (well worth my Grandmother’s scorn for missing my cousin’s wedding). On the Saturday an impressive number of people got on the Morriston and Harry took one for the team with a good underwater beating. Sunday was a bit more subdued on the Garry as everyone was feeling the night before! It was good to mingle in the Scottish paddling community, even if Fraser did nearly punch someone from Dundee.

Freshers’ trips: We decided to be nice this year and not just throw freshers down scary rivers, we even had a flat water introduction. The flat water was Loch Lomond and we went to wallaby island where we saw Wallabies, this was the highlight of my life!

The second freshers’ trip went to the Teith (basically flat water), the biggest hazard turned out to be water bourne bacteria and parasites – unlucky Holly! After the teith one foolish and irresponsible member of the club decided to pass the rest of the afternoon by paddling Bracklin falls on the Keltie. This turned into a demonstration for the freshers of ‘how to swim off a seven meter waterfall with rocks in the bottom narrowly avoiding a massive siphon’.

The next weekend was spent doing the lower orchy twice, on Saturday it was a nice friendly level on Sunday pretty high so a reasonable amount of carnage ensued.
North East weekend: A beginners’ weekend up in Nethy bridge which went really well with miraculously little ffaff leading to rumours that Emma has a deal with Satan. Stayed in an awesome bunkhouse and did the middle Findhorn low on Saturday and a bit higher on Sunday so really good for learning and progressing and what not. Bumped into Dundee on the river but Fraser controlled himself.

Intermediate trip: Upper Braan; never done it before was nice, quite alpine in a not sunny sort of way. Had a couple of swims but all dealt with though my driving was very poorly received.

Mach: Surf kayaking weekend which I couldn’t go on but I understand some good surf was had in between the massive levels of drunkenness. However on this weekend Rupert and I hijacked a mountaineering club trip and went paddling up around Spean Bridge. Did Pattack, Arkaig and Abhain Gulibhinn. The many miles walked with boat was character building!

Beginners’ trip pre Christmas: Did the Avon near Edinburgh which is quite nice if cold and snowy (not that this is a year round feature obviously). Don’t think we got the hang of the get out though as we had to climb through a very private looking yard over a pretty big wall.

Stuff paddled not on club trips but with club people: The Tilt-Brilliant river, the 9km walk in almost adds to enjoymet by adding to the sense of adventure. The Leny- A lot! The Keltie- one of my favourite rivers in the world including a partially successful attempt at Bracklin. The Etive- had a day when a load of us did it at a really good level, great fun with plenty of carnage! Mousewater- an excellent river really close to Glasgow which I’m ashamed I’ve not paddled before (shuttle did take longer than hoped though). Kinglas (rest and be thankful)- lived up to all the hype even if we didn’t do it high enough to be considered real men! The middle orchy- a couple of times on 5 on the gauge the guidebook does not lie about the mind altering bit! My paddles did slightly snap in half though which was a shame. The Carron- Possibly a first decent? Probably not but it’s not in the guide and asked around and not found anyone who’s done it yet, pretty good 3/4 fun with one very definite portage. I might even get round to writing up a guide for it sometime. (there were quite a few swims in there too!)

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