Club Trip Reports

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l.whelan11
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Re: Club Trip Reports

Postby l.whelan11 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:26 pm

Date: 03/03/2019

Location: Mulcair (Newport, Tipperary)

Level: low side of medium?

River Leader: I guess I kinda organised this one but had plenty of help on the river.

Start and Finish time of trip: left Galway 11.30 am, back at 7 pm

People on the water: Jack Kenny, Laoise, Staples, Harry, Michael, Aran, Ultan, Podge, and I. Cian also came but decided not to get on the water as he didn't feel well.

Description: Meeting time for the shed was 10, and after a quick hour and a half of deliberation, we knew exactly where we wanted to go. We wanted river that was a nice middle ground between the Castleconnel and the Glens (both in location and difficulty), so the Mulcair seemed like a perfect fit. It was also where the "rain" was forecast to fall (more on this later), so we hit the road with our bows aimed south.

Sure enough, the rain seemed heavy on the drive down, but quickly turned to snow. Though majestic in appearance, the conditions were pretty brutal for the hands and feet of the unprepared, and was definitely one of the more difficult challenges to deal with on the trip.

At the get on there was a cool little rapid that shot you through the first bridge. Following this there was a series of about 5 fairly clean and fun slides with big eddies at the bottom. No major issues on any of these. After this I think there were a few small read and run rapids, some of which involved winding through the trees and branches. This was followed by about 1-1.5 km of fairly slow moving water that involved some pretty tight negotiations with the trees. We made two short portages when the river was too choked up with trees and branches to easily pass through. Eddies for this section were smaller and less well-defined.

We had two swims and a few t-rescues. The first swim was a metre high seal-launch into perpendicular flow after the second portage. A club paddle was lost here, but fortunately we had splits. On the bright side, this raised an interesting debate about using biodegradable club paddles...

The second swim occurred on one of the tree-dodging rapids, when a small pile up occurred for at a bit of a strainer in slow moving water. The pile up seemed to clear out on its own just as I positioned myself to wade out to the scene. I think one of the capsized then t-rescued off the other capsized boat? Pretty effective strategy! Well...not so much for the rescuer. His boat had to be pulled out of a tree downstream. This involved stepping into the river, but fortunately the duct-tape on the arse of my drysuit held and I stayed nice and dry!


Recommendations for future trips:
I think this river could become a nice alternative to other grade three runs that we do more regularly. It's a nice introduction to slides, using river signals and managing eddies. A small, proficient group could probably remove most of the offending trees and branches fairly easily in a day with a few handsaws I'd say. The IWW description says this is a good run when the Glens is too high, but I would be careful about this if you're thinking of running a beginner/intermediate trip. I can imagine the eddies around the middle of the run all but disappear, which would be tricky when there are trees around every corner.

I'm sure this is not the first time this has been said, but when it's cold outside it's worth emphasising the importance of good footwear and mitts/pogies in cold conditions to newer paddlers before you leave the shed. And always bring splits!

Got a bit carried away with this report but it was fun to write :-D
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Staples
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Re: Club Trip Reports

Postby Staples » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:59 pm

Date: 17th March 2019
Location: Boluisce the old reliable
Level: 1.7m
Group: Meesa, Con, Ultan, Laoise, Carey, Michael Lane, Jack Kenny, Megan R
Leader: Me, myself and I
Club gear used: Small burn (orange), small? mamba (green), blue karnali, club paddles x 4, club spraydeck x 2, club rope x 3?, club BA x 3, club helmet x 2, club splits x 1

Report:
Met at the shed at 9:10, and were all changed at the lake get on by 11. Paddled across the lake, left my bung open for half of it though so that was a good start... At the dam, the gates didn't have enough clearance to make it through, so some opted to butt-shuffle over the wall and others walked around to the other side.
Had a group discussion about how we were going to run the river. Instructory types would lead the rapids and talk through where to set up safety the good lines etc. for the top section down to below S-bend, and also rock garden. The rest of the river would be an opportunity for the less experienced paddlers to try their hand at leading if they wanted to.
Ran the rapid up until the eddy before top section, at the eddying out point Megan had a capsize and swam. She was swiftly roped by Laoise who was ready on the bank. Paddles had wedged themselves in a rock on river-right, and Ultan and I quickly retrieved those. Her boat went walkies, however. While the rest of the group was looking at top-section, I ran down to see if there was any sign of the boat below top-drop. No luck there, unfortunately.
Made it back to the group, and a joint decision was made by the instructory types to split the group, with Ultan taking the majority of the group back up to the dam and paddling across it to the greenway access point, as his car was parked at the top of the river. Con, Laoise and I went boat searching.
Came across the boat about 300m upstream of S-bend, (where we walked Corbs out in the first semester). It was well pinned in a tangle of trees at the top of an island in the middle of the river. After thoroughly scouting the access points and recovery options from both upstream and downstream, the group decision was made to dope-on-a-rope Laoise down to the boat, attach a rope to it, pull Laoise back on land and then pull the boat back to shore. Laoise volunteered for this as she was the smallest person present and didn't feel that she would be able to pull either Con or me upstream if she were acting as an anchor. The boat was recovered without any issues, we attached Megan's spraydeck onto it to keep it dry through the rapids and set on down to the caravan park, with me towing it.
Made it to the caravan park with no real incidents to note, I had one capsize due to towing the boat going through S-bend, but that was it. Left the boat at the river-left bank (the horse there is lovely) and raced down to the bottom as Ultan had called to let us know that his group was getting cold.
Running through the last section down to Poll gorm, Laoise had a capsize going through broken weir, due to the level it was at there was maybe 1.5 feet of clearance from the branch above the water level. Her paddle got caught in the branch and torn out of her hand, 5 or 6 handroll attempts later I had attained enough to be level with her to try for a T, but she was wrecked and swam. Con got her paddles, Laoise got herself to the river-right bank and I got her boat. No gear was lost. After a brief break, we paddled down to the bottom and got out, changed and enjoyed homemade hot chocolate. Spirits were high despite the long day on the water and limited paddling for some and the long rescuing times for others. 5/10, Wouldn't recommend too often.

What we could've done differently / Future learnings:
- An argument could be made for not bringing that group on the water at the level that it was. I would refute that argument, by saying that there was adequate safety cover present and the whole aim of the day was to learn and develop level 3 and beyond skills.
- Splitting the group after the swim. This, I think was a very good decision. Had we continued as a whole, sending just Megan and someone else back to the cars, we would almost certainly have more swims and chances to loose gear as the person heading back with Megan would have to be an instructory type who knew where to go. Splitting allowed the three of us, who are used to paddling together, to work at a much quicker pace and with no faff.
- Recovering the boat. As the boat was basically caught in a strainer, another option than getting it today would be to have left it there and hope that it would be there in future. Obviously, this has its plus points from a safety perspective, but the rescue group as a whole, after closely examining the conditions established that just upstream of the boat, there was a fairly slow moving eddy which would allow a doped on swimmer to be safely lowered and recovered from the boat without exposing them to much if any danger of entanglement, as they were entering from the upstream side under constant tension.
- Leaving the boat at the caravan park. Another good point that was executed. It allowed us to proceed at a quicker pace down to the bottom to get the others in dry clothes, as they were all in my car, which was left at the bottom.
Ronan Stapleton
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Brad
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Re: Club Trip Reports

Postby Brad » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:52 pm

Essh..big read. But there's one major thing that could be worth noting that affected the river trip entirely, that was left out of your "what you could've done differently".

1 person swam, so everyone got off...

It'd be way too easy to suggest "why didn't you just keep going". What's more important is given the level for the trip (skill wise and water level wise), I feel more thought could of been put into this eventuality in the first place. Surely a swim and something like this was going to happen anyway! Either way, live & learn and glad everyone is alright
Bradley Skidmore
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laoiseplunkett
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Re: Club Trip Reports

Postby laoiseplunkett » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:39 pm

Date: 4/10/19
Location: Tryweryn
Level: ~10 cumecs
Club Gear Used: One set of green AT paddles, returned in the same condition at the end of the weekend.
River Leader Me
Start and Finish time of trip: On the water around 12, off just before 4 with a break for lunch in the middle.
People on the water: Ciara Wall, Jack Kenny, Carey Georgius, mé féin.
Description: Scouted from the centre up to the graveyard section first. Went through river signals, then put on below the ski slope rapid, as the upper section looked a bit too continuous. Leap frogged down the section, with Ciara and me alternating between leading and running sweep. Lapped that section a couple of times and spent a while practicing surfing across the small hole at the second rapid below the bridge. Finished the day with a run down starting from above the ski slope rapid. No swims, and a good day one the water. Good enough to make it worth almost vomiting up my love of kayaking on the ferry over. :puke:
Recommendations for future trips: Overall, I thought the weekend on the water went very well. The grade of water was definitely better for the standard of paddlers going than the Scotland trip run at the same time last year. If going again, do all of your food shopping when you get off the ferry; we had to drive for an hour the second night there to get to a big supermarket.

C.Fiuza
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Re: Club Trip Reports

Postby C.Fiuza » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:35 am

Date: 5th and 6th October 2019

Location: Tryweryn

Level: 9 cumecs

Club Gear Used: Two sets of green AT paddles, 2 throw ropes, 1 spraydeck, blue'n'white karnali returned in the same condition at the end of the weekend.

River Leader: Me

Start and Finish time of trip: On the water around 10 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. Off the water by 4pm both days.

People on the water: Ciara, Jack, Carey, Laoise, Emmett, Michael, Diarmuid (ahem... Seamus...), Ultan, Harry, James, Staples and me.

Description:
Saturday: Group was divided into two groups of 6 with Laoise and Staples leading a group each. We worked our way down from below 'ski-slope' to the just above the centre. The run showed up peoples' rustiness from the summer. After this warm up lap we made out way to the top of the river and again split the group to work the upper section. One group lead by staples worked on catching eddies/ferry gliding while the other group lead by me aimed to make the more challenging moves that this section of the graveyard. Once both group had done a few laps of this section, we again split into 2 groups of 6 and worked our way down the whole upper section. After this we ran another lap or two of the river before calling it quits for the day.

Sunday: A rather late affair with the first group getting to the river around 11 and the others arriving at 12. Ultans group had run a lap by the time everyone else had arrived. Group was split between Laoise and Ultan, with everyone completing a full run of the river by the end of the weekend. Sunday was focused on hitting harder moves on the river or cleaning people's individual lines down rapids.

Recommendations for future trips: Overall, trip went pretty well. Took a lap of two for people to brush of cobwebs/rustiness of the summer. The Tryweryn is a great teaching river. Note for future trips to keep an eye on the water releases as they have a habit of being changed. Great spot for demoing boats from radical rider!
Con Fiuza

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