Lakes weekend 2012 was over the weekend of the 20th-22nd of January.
This is a weekend organized by LUUCC each year.
Usually around 60-80 members of the club head up to the lake district and enjoy the whitewater that the area has to offer.
I am not sure if it is intentional, but we usually paddle something a little different to normal over the course of this weekend.
We catered for all ability levels by running an advanced session (Upper Duddon) in the morning of the Saturday followed by an intermediate session (Middle/Lower Duddon). On the Sunday we ran an Intermediate river (Leven) in the morning and a beginners river in the afternoon (Lune).
On a personal level, it was once again a great weekend. On the Upper Duddon I was involved in a widely discussed incident - I ran the top of Wallowbarrow gorge, messed it up and ended up with a gash to the top of my eyelid. I managed to get back up pushing off a rock, and was pretty much pulled off the water (kudos Beth/Matt). Even though I injured myself I was pretty chuffed that I managed to stay in my boat, and not panic.
The discussion was over the question as to whether the trip had been run in a 'non-safe' manner because there had been an injury. So as to avoid having to type it again, I'm just going to publicly post my 'incident report'. I'm posting it publicly - I stand by it.
"Having discussed the river at length prior to getting on, and noting my ability level I personally decided that I was suitably skilled to run the river. I was aware of the two harder sections on the river. The first gorge was portaged by all, the second (Wallowbarrow) was scouted by all, and people made their own decisions as to if they could run in.
I felt that there was a line that I could hit on the first few rapids on the gorge, but that I could not hit the final grade 5 drop. As such I decided to run the top of the gorge, and then portage the final drop.
On the first drop I missed my line ever so slightly, and ended up upside down. The drop was more rocky than i had initially anticipated, and I ended up with a small laceration to my left eyelid.
I rolled back up using a rock, and got myself into an eddy. I then got off the river, and Beth (Morgan) administered suitable first aid.
I am fully aware of the dangers of kayaking - it is the reason I do the sport. I enjoy an adrenaline rush, and the challenge of hitting my planned lines. That being said, I am not an idiot and am fully aware of my ability level. Some people portaged the rapid, I didn't. I thought I could do it, and I still believe I could. It was an unfortunate incident, needless to say, I am glad I was wearing my helmet. Further to the above, I cannot see any way the situation could have been dealt with better."
Because of the incident I ended up not running the Middle and Lower sections in the afternoon. I was a little disappointed, but i will get around to doing them at some point !
On the Sunday I ran everything. The Leven was awesome - I finally got around to running everything. Backbarrow falls is surprisingly powerful, yet such an odd rapid - it is intimidating, but technically not difficult.
The Lune in the afternoon was one of the hardest rivers that I have ever got on - because we were leading. Well.. Jack and Jamie were leading our group, but I like to think that they were appreciative of my presence as well as that of Paddy and Lee. We had quite a few swims, but the beginners were awesome. Every time they swam, they got back in and battled on. They showed some awesome progression over the day and were really keen to improve. My highlight was Megan's awesome line on 'unnamed v-shape into mini-not-really-a-gorge' rapid, mainly because she followed my line, and i think it was my most technically perfect line on anything in my paddling career (if you can call it that).
Overall, an amazing weekend. Everyone was amazing. Ruth and Sean did an amazing job with the organization - the hall was amazing, and everyone had a lot of fun.