Having run the Upper and Middle Wharfe last week, and with levels down a bit this week, a large SOC group put in at Kettlewell to run a bit more of the Middle Wharfe (ending at the same place – Linton). The river passes through lovely scenery, which relieves the tedium of some long flat bits with just the odd rocky drop and several boulder gardens early in the descent.
Rocky step early on in the Middle Wharfe
Under the bridge (where we’d put in last week) we’re soon at Conistone Falls, where the river perks up considerably. Worth inspecting (allowing time for flapjack and photography). Various lines were tried, some down the same left hand boof as last week, others in the middle, but all with no undue drama.
Ann dropping over Conistone Falls
Faster flowing now, Ghaistrill’s Strid is not far beyond. At lower flows, almost all the water in concentrated in a narrow channel on the left. A group just ahead of us seemed to feel this was an excuse for a bit of swimming, but we all got down this uneventfully, continuing down the several rocky steps in the river downstream without upset, too.
Mary in the channel, Ghaistrill’s Strid
Sarah on the rockstep below Ghaistrill’s
The river eases off for a while now, as it passes under the main bridge in Grassington, before curving round to the horizon line of the big weir above Linton. There’s an easy and pretty safe line on the right, close to the old mill building, and all shot down this without problems – some almost getting air off the stopper.
Iggy on Linton Weir
A second weir is so low at the left hand side that it creates no problem, and leads to a get-out on the left, from where it is an easy walk over the bridge to the cars. However, under the bridge is a more serious rapid which we’d all run away from in high water last week. This week, four intrepid heroes decided to risk all in front of carnage-hungry spectators, mostly lined up with cameras on the bridge.
Stuart had first crack, and no problem, then John got a slightly tidier line…
John, mid-channel, Linton Falls
Neil then added a breakout halfway down (working on extra style points).
Neil on the first chute, Linton Falls
Pete was left wondering what he could add to make more impact. From the top chute, there’s a rock to knock one off line – clip the wall, turn, capsize, roll and recover in time to get an excellent line over the bottom drop – yes, that impressed the onlookers!
Pete nails the last drop