Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: Cauldron Snout

A Bad Swim – A Reflection

On the 2nd Jan 2014 Rory Woods ran Cauldron Snout on the River Tees (UK) and ended up taking a bad swim. Having successfully tackled the class V+ Cauldron Snout on several previous occasions Rory broke out of the top eddy and ran the Snout. Here are Rory’s unedited thoughts on what happened when it all went wrong.

A Bad Swim
Photo: Ben Johnson. Paddler: Rory Woods.

For context, the level is a bit higher than Sam (click to view video) ran it, with overspill on the dam as well as both pipes. I’ve run it a few times before, but always lower. It shook me a bit, and I hope I will learn from it. I’ve always believed in safety coming from the certainty that you will get the moves right, irrespective of the consequences. Of course, if the consequences are bad enough, you need to leave some margin in your level of certainty. Over lots of years of very gradually paddling harder and harder stuff, I really thought that my judgement of what I could definitely do was pretty accurate. I’ve always been a bit proud of my ability to get on and get pressure moves right without headgames getting in the way once I’d made a decision. It shocked me to go back and look at the rapid and think that maybe I’ve been fooling myself for a while in my desire to run stuff.

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Unsponsored Q&A Series – Sam Ellis

I’ve waited a while for this one and I’m really please that Sam has taken the time to take part in the Unsponsored 2013 Q&A series. I’ve known Sam for many many years, I reckon 12 years +.

Sam has consistently and quite quietly been out charging some of the biggest whitewater around the globe and hunting down some first descents closer to home. Sam is simply a superb paddler and it’s been great to have the opportunity to paddle with him over the years. Keep on charging!

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Tell us a little a bit about you accomplishments in the canoeing/kayaking world.

My accomplishments, I got “most improved paddler award” at my old canoe club one year when I was 13ish which I was well proud of!! Been on GB freestyle team for a few years competed in a World Champs and some European champs, a few first d’s. Paddled some of the most amazing whitewater on the planet with some great friends.

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Cauldron Snout – The Stout of the Snout

The Stout of the Snout

Sam Ellis styles it down Cauldrons Snout. A class V+ stretch of whitewater on the River Tees (UK).

Sam Ellis running the Cauldron Snout on the River Tees. You can count on one hand how many times this section has been successfully run. But this is the first time it has been ran with a substantial amount of water. The river was at approximately 0.7 on the nearest river level gauge.

Cauldron Snout is 180m long and is recognised as Englands longest waterfall which looses 61m giving it a gradient of 34 percent. Sit back watch and enjoy!

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