Drawing 194: The River Sprint

Direction of view: N

Notes: Follow the track up the valley from Sadgill.  It gains height, and the river can be seen emerging from a small gorge on the left.  This waterfall is just above the top end of the gorge.  It can be accessed (with care) by climbing the wall and fence adjoining the track. This view appears on page 228 of Westmorland Heritage, and as drawing 20 in Three Westmorland Rivers. The latter is a fresh drawing, called “Cascades on the Sprint”, but the subject matter is very similar.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film on 8th May 1982, on a day out with Peter Messenger.  We took the photo of Longsleddale (383) before parking at Sadgill for drawing 144 and following the river up to here.  Our walk continued steeply up to Kentmere Pike, then on to Harter Fell and Branstree as the day turned cloudy after a warm, sunny start.

After starting the digital project, I looked for this scene whilst descending the Gatesgarth Pass track into Longsleddale on 24th February 2013 (see Drawing 144).  However, it is not visible from the track, and a couple of diversions down to the stream also failed to find it.

On 14th March 2013 I returned expressly to find this sketch, but failed to do so, despite following the river from the valley flats, almost into Wrengill Quarry.  Nothing looked quite right, and I even wondered if a flood had changed the appearance of the river.

In September 2018, I was trying to make progress to complete the project, but this was frustrated by very wet and windy weather.  However, the afternoon of Friday 21st was dry, and I drove up Longsleddale, and followed the river upstream, armed with a copy of the 1982 photo.  This time I unquestionably found the right location, and although the sun stubbornly refused to emerge from the clouds, I got two good pictures, with different shutter speeds: 1/6th of a second at F16 and 1/250th of a second at F8.  After all the rain the fall was a dramatic sight.