A raw day on the Rawthey

With the less than notable exception, of an exceptionally small amount of open boating, the last time I paddled a river was probably more than 20 years ago. It was with a certain sense of anticipation then that I headed for the rendezvous at the Rawthey / Lune confluence on a cold and blustery day that saw the first real snowfall of the winter.
The Rawthey is a beautiful river that rises on the bleak northern slopes of Baugh Fell, east of Sedbergh; it provides a scenic paddle not without technical interest, including numerous small rapids, drops and a gorge.
Tim enters 'The Slot': an awkward and narrow passage with a corkscrew wave to finish. It had already 'finished' one of the group though Tim shot through without mishap.
By now, after a few wobbles in the unfamiliar boat (approximately 3m too short and far too wide), I was settling into the rhythm of rapids and eddies, constantly amazed to find myself breaking out with barely any need for the paddle: if only I could spin a sea kayak so quickly.
Shortly after running the third of the more difficult sections - a two tiered drop entered through a narrow, rather fierce looking channel which actually proved far less problematic than the rockier alternatives to its right, followed by a quick ferry across toward the right bank and a second drop - we met the Lune.
Having run the river without a capsize, much to my surprise, I very nearly toppled myself on the grabby eddies at the confluence, a smart brace the saving sea kayaker's grace.
The trip from Rawthey Bridge to the River Lune confluence is approximately 14km and is grade 3 / 4.
A guide for this section of the River Rawthey can be found here on The UK Rivers Guidebook.


Stuart Miller said…
Hi Will, Can you contact me regarding using this photo in the update of the North West kayaking guidebook. Cheers Stuart Miller