The Upper Dart … on scrape

Emma C Upper Dart

So we seem to joke that Regents paddle things lower. All jokes aside this has a tendency to be true. Although instead of rolling ones’ eyes at our ambition to paddle most levels, I’d like to say that at least we’re optimists.

My first run down the upper dart was in fact when it was on scrape/empty. This came about after having had a midnight chat with Mel and Tokie about paddling options, whereby we came to the conclusion to do the Upper with ourselves, Andrew and Johann.

I am very glad we did run it as it’s such a gorgeous 7km stretch of Grade 4 river which meanders downwards alongside trees and countryside- pretty idyllic right? We could fortunately still paddle the whole length of it despite the low level and only portaged Surprise Surprise. That isn’t to say Euthanasia was attempted, instead Johann lead us down a little route to the left of the main feature which was running if you avoided the pinning point.

Whilst we were paddling there was a man strolling down the river with his camera. He was taking photographs of us and shared them all on the Facebook group called ‘kayaking on the river dart’ for us to see, which was really nice of him! On that note, thanks to Steve Polkinghorne for all of the below photographs.

It was a fantastic run down, despite a few pinning situations and swims, but nonetheless we all finished off with grins on our faces and the sun was out!- Top day.

Having gone down at this level I have to say I’m looking forward to experiencing this river on a beefier level, plus many other new rivers on the ever growing list!