- Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2000 00:00
- Written by Kris Waring, also ron Cameron.
GUIDE TO THE RIVER CARRON
(East Amat to Layby)
NAME OF RIVER: Carron.
WHERE IS IT?:The River Carron flows into the Dornoch Firth at Bonar Bridge North of Inverness. The section described here is the most commonly paddled section which runs from the road bridge where the road on the south side of the valley crosses over to the North Side.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The Put-In is just above the road bridge at East Amat. Upstream from the bridge you will see the first rapid and a larger shelf rapid immediately
downstream of the bridge.
The Takeout is is a couple of miles downstream on the south side of the river. As you drive down the glen you pass a school on the right followed by a small layby on the left. The river lies about 50m through the trees down a small path. Note the last fall is a little way downstream of the getout, so you will need to walk back up to the car. If this is your first time on the river it may be worth a quick walk down to the last fall so you know where to get out when you get there.
APPROX LENGTH: 2-3 miles.
TIME NEEDED: 2-3 Hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: No problems known.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Have a look at the rapids above and below the bridge, these are a great indication for the rest of the river. If they look scrapey the rapids will all run but the flat sections might be a drag. If they look really full on you might be better on the Upper section.
GRADING: 4 to 4+ Pool drop for the most part with the exception of one longer rapid in the gorge.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There is a nasty pothole on river left on the rapid below the bridge at the Put-in. This is however, easily avoided down the right but you wouldn't want to find yourself there by mistake. Otherwise, all of the rapids/ drops are easily inspected and portaged as required.
Ron Cameron (Jan 2005)...'I notice that you mention a nasty pothole river left just below the new bridge at East Amat.(NH487915) Locally its called "Granny's Hole" This is fun to run when the river is very low when there is a drop of about 2.5m into a churning pothole. The first descent that I know about was by Dominic Serrammi and the late Andy Jackson in 1990. I have only paddled this after prolonged drought when it is exciting but comparatively easy. (grade 4-) Got a picture somewhere but can't find it. I would not recommend this if it has been raining at all! This section of the Carron can all be paddled at low flow when it gets tight and technical.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This section of the Carron is a real mix of exciting drops and short rapids that get the adrenaline flowing without ever feeling too committing. All of the rapids and drops are easily scouted and the river has an open and inviting feel. Unfortunately for the more lazy, the rapids are interspersed with some extensive flat water which can become a drag in low water, however, when at it's best they offer a welcome respite.
Quite early on you come across one of the harder sections on the river. Here a really nice rapid culminates in a small horseshoe shaped drop which can be very retentive. This is easily inspected and portaged on the left.
Shortly after this you enter the main gorge section where the rapids are longer but generally less committing although one rapid on this section does merit a further mention. The river funnels down a drop only a few feet wide while in a mini gorge. This has a very retentive hole at most water levels and often warrants extra protection. It is signified by the presence of a small green bridge over the river and is preceded by a nice bouncy rapid. It is best inspected river left before the preceeding rapid.
After this the river opens out again and the rapids turn more shelf-like in appearance. All the remaining rapids run OK at most levels with the last and perhaps the most difficult, normally run down the double drop on the left.
This is ideal exploratory paddling territory so get out there and explore.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kris Waring, also ron Cameron.