River Moose – New York State

It was August and September 2007 when we went exploring the North Eastern States of America for some paddling; we knew we’d get the Yough and the Gauley and the Beaver and some other good dam releases, but at the same time we were disappointed that we would miss the October Moose Fest.  However some locals persuaded us it could still be a jolly, even at low summer flows so we went and investigated….

 Big slide on the moose

I’ve seen pictures of this drop when there’s actually some water – quite a terrifying hole forms at the bottom. [Chris and Nick]

Chris on the Slotty Drop

Chris on a little slotty drop further down the Moose

There was some definite scrapeage between the drops – when the river widened there wasn’t really enough water.  However the weather was amazing and when we did get to the drops they were fun and picturesque.

Toms Head on the Moose
Bottom of the Slot – Tom goes deep 🙂

One car was always an issue – at the end of this run Jo and I had a long walk back to the car.  It was quite intimidating: crazed dogs, suspected of rabies, even the squirrels were a potential threat.  It was a real wilderness walk!

River Moose - Chris Smith

Chris: The final drop of the day, just a huge reservoir and our long walk.


Awesome Walls Stockport

The Big Wall 23.5m - Tallest Wall in England
This 23.5m Lead Wall is the Tallest in England
There aren’t many indoor walls which allow you to get into a position where your belayer looks a long way down but the lower off looks even further up.  A truly awesome wall; and with two 5+ routes its accesible to a lot of people (as long as you have a 50m rope!).
In Liverpool they turned an old church into a cool climbing venue, here in Stockport they have done the same with an old mill.  The old tiles are still visible in places,the original stone archway remains in tact, as far as indoor climbing goes, its an inspiring place to climb.  

Black River Gorge: New York State

This river runs throughout the summer and has some sweeeet play waves as well as some pretty big drops – it was fairly low so the gorge wasn’t too pushy.  The Poop Shoot still provided entertainment and butterflies for all (good downtime opportunities…).

Pete was still playing around with his fancy new digital SLR and as you can see I’ve been playing around with photoshop!

Poop Shoot
Scally #1

Chris on the Poop Shoot
Scally #2
Like most of the rivers we paddled in the States (Summer 2007) the water was really warm; even though we didn’t have the sunshine it was still a thermal only type of day.  Special thanks to Tom for nailing the ‘slot of depth’ and surprising us by passing through it with relative ease…
Play Wave in the Gorge:
Chris on what I think is Inner City Straits play wave…
The Big ‘L’ : I think this is the Inner City Straits Playwave on the Black River Gorge : Either way it was very fast and superfun.

A Perfect Winters Day: Stanage Bouldering

Peak District Mist

 Frost, Ice and Perfect Blue Skies – the ideal combination for high friction Peak Grit climbing. 

Stanage Edge

The ever impressive Stanage Edge (path to the plantation boulders)

 StanageMatt Smith - Plantation Boulders

Left: Plantation Boulders. Right: Matt Smith

Wildcatz Div 3 Polo – Tournament 2 (Stockport)

This tournament was incredible – we only had four games again but some of them were going to be the hardest games of the season (both Manchester and Selkirk were demoted Div 2 teams and we’d seen Matlock playing well in the last tournament at York).

 A pleaseant warm up against FOA helped our goal difference with a 7-0 win.  In high spirits we played our hardest game against Manchester: first half was perhaps evenly played but they piled on the pressure in the 2nd with more than one chaotic fight under our nets.  I guess this is why it was so good to sneak a beautiful goal and beat them 1-0!

Selkirk turned out to be easier than expected with a comfortable 5-2 win and then a pretty scrappy game left us  3-1 clear against Matlock (with an amusing penalty given to little Pete after he had his head slammed onto the offending players boat… :-/).

Beer and Curry were much needed – Rusholme called and we answered.  Quality, quality evening.

Irish Team Photo


[From left to right: Chris, Pete, Steve, Davis, Matt – this is from Irleand 2005 (I need a more recent team picture with Matt Wray on it!!)]



Chris and Jo in the C2

The annual British Universities Sports Association White Water Racing was held for the 4th time on the Washburn near Harrogate.  Lots and lots of students and racing – I think Manchester University took 10 people but we must’ve competed in about 40 races (guess!).  Fun and frolicks in sinking C1’s, smashed C2’s and simply unstable White Water Racers!  I guess it was always going to be an exciting weekend; I think Mr Fairweather and I learnt humility in paddle choice (Dave more than me :-)), and anyone who went with half a paddle usually relearns the fear of grade 3!

Chris K1 Main Washburn DropChris K1 on Main Washburn Drop - puffed cheeksChris K1 on Main Washburn Drop - big hitChris K1 on Main Washburn Drop - powering through

The Results were:

Manchester overall: 6th Position

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Wildcatz Div 3 Polo – Tournament 1 (York)

Apart from issues on the M62 and cocking up our first game (beaten 2-1 by White Rose) we had a pretty good first Tournament.  

 We beat Bury 2-0 (though a 3rd was disallowed through my sheer ineptitude!):

Chris’ disallowed goal.

[Wildcatz vs Bury – my disallowed goal ]

Tees was a very tough game, we spent most of it under our own nets but got a beautiful 3 pass break for Matt to score from a distance and win 1-0. 

Chris wiped out on the Sprint

[Wildcatz vs Tees – high speed collisions to win the sprint!]

Our final match we beat Kingston 2-0; it was a harder game than we expected but we finshed it in style when they tried to go 5.  A rocket pass from Mr Wray for an easy open net.

Chris and Pete

[Wildcatz vs Bury – Chris and Pete (Scally #1 and #2) working it up the pitch]

Really good tournament.  Good results.  Bring on tournament two….