Upper Dart 28/02/10

On 28th February 2010, four SVCC members (Dave T, Gavin, Dave P and Hedley) plus Terry, a friend of Gavin's, travelled to run the Upper Dart on Dartmoor from Dartmeet down to New Bridge. Levels were fairly low (1 - 2" below the ledge at New Bridge) - a manageable level given the fact that this was a new river for two of us, but low enough that a lot of scraping and rock-bashing was to be expected.

This 5 mile trip starts with an initial 500 meters of bouldery grade 2 before visibly steepened into a continuous but boney grade 3.  The rock dodging here resulted in a couple of early swims.  Round the first significant LH bend, and the remainder of the river is pretty much continuous grade 3

Hedley 1

interspersed with frequent grade 3+/4 rapids, including the 'Mad Mile',

Dave P 1

Euthanasia Falls

Dave T

and Pandora's Box.  These were mostly negotiated uneventfully - if not always on the planned line, or even facing downstream!  There was even time for a little playing, now and again!

Dave P 2

Roughly 2 miles in, Hedley took a significant bash on his shoulder, which aggravated last year's dislocation.  He pressed on gamely

Hedley 2

but a second hit took its toll and he walked out the final mile or so leaving everyone else to scrape down the final stretch to Newbridge tired but happy.

No swim score on this trip, as the rocks made the survival rate more of a lottery.  Some great rolls, though - particularly in Euthanasia - as well as one or two tactical portages!  This grade 4 river deserves respect, WWSR skills and real teamwork - and  these were all strongly in evidence!

Thanks as always to Dave for suggesting the trip, and to Gavin for photos.