GUIDE TO THE RIVER SLITRIG
NAME OF RIVER: Slitrig.
WHERE IS IT: Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in next to a broken weir 1km out of Hawick heading for Newcastleton. Or - put in at the first bridge you come to outside Hawick, just past the scrap yard on the road to Newcastleton (B6399 approx 1 mile from main street). Next to the bridge there is room for one car to be parked at the entrance to a walking route.
Take out anywhere on the River Teviot. The best takeout point is on the opposite side of the river from Hawick leisure centre (near safeway) on the river Teviot where the bank is easily accessed from the road and there are car parking spaces.
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5 km.
TIME NEEDED: 20-30 minutes.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown. I have never encountered any access problems. As long as only one car is left at the top I cannot foresee any problems occurring.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Bigger the better, look over the bridge at the carpark just off the town centre heading for Newcastleton. If it looks good here then it's on!
This River can only be run after heavy rainfall in the area. As long as the main fall looks runnable there should be enough water in the river to run it.
GRADING: 3-5 depending on level.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Broken weir has a nice hole waiting, after this low trees and then a long tunnel full of stoppers - very canalised, once you're on you're not getting off - inspect!
There are 2 notable hazards to be negotiated on the Slitrig. First is a broken weir (3+) which can be run straight down the center and on into a short grade 3 rapid section. The second and more difficult of the two hazards is the fall into a tunnel which runs under an old mill and Hawick High street. The tunnel is about 100 meters long and should be inspected before the trip is undertaken. The tunnel can be inspected from river level at the side of the old mill building by going down a old flight of steps. The fall becomes more difficult as the water level rises (ranges between grades 3 and 4+).
Douglas Rae (Jan 2004)...' The broken weir now has houses in front of it so cannot be accessed from the road without going through gardens.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river is very canalised and at high water levels is impossible to get out until it joins with the River Teviot. It starts off with a broken weir which can have a nasty hole, then flows swiftly down into the town where a run under two road bridges, one after the other, starts off with a small reef then a succession of stoppers and waves until you appear out the other side and enter the Teviot.
The river is fast flowing and very narrow. There are also some sweepers to watch out for on the way down. Once you as on the river is very hard to get out of especially at higher water, you are basically stuck on the river until you reach the get out at the swimming pool. There are also a couple of good stoppers on the short Teviot section before the get out. Overall this short trip is a good run if there is enough water and is suitable for competent intermediate paddlers
OTHER NOTES: The run under the road bridge is similar to the roadbridge on the Kinglas of Argyle, not the rest of the river as stated in the new SCA Scottish White Water guide. Please do not expect any comparison. This was a misprint!
This trip can be combined with a run on down the Teviot (grade 2/3)
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Lyons, also Douglas Rae (rewrite in Jan 2004) Heriot Watt University Canoe Club http://www.hwusa.org/HWUCC/ .