Information on Helmsdale River

Rivers 'near' Inverness
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usuallycrocked
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Information on Helmsdale River

Post by usuallycrocked » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:27 pm

Does anyone have information on this? I cycled along part of it during a very dry summer, and the stretch I saw looked good. Any advice on usual put-ins and take-outs, and grade of paddling would be welcome.

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naefearjustbeer
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Re: Information on Helmsdale River

Post by naefearjustbeer » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:19 am

I have paddled a short section of the Helmsdale a while back. We put in upstream of Kildonan. depending on the level depends how far upstream you can go. From memory 1-2 miles upstream from the bridge at kildonan. mostly grade 2-3 with a couple of bigger possibly 4+ rapids which we walked.

This rapid is a bit upstream from the road bridge and looks quite innocent but one of the guys paddling with us said he had some big downtime running it in the past and didnt fancy doing it again.

Image

This rapid is just above the road bridge at Kildonan

Image

This one is below the road bridge at Kildonan and you are only seeing the top half of thr rapid in this picture

Image

There were a few more runs and smaller drops that we didnt get out for so no pictures of them. It was good fun. I would recommend it. I am not sure what water levels are required to make it worth paddling as I have seen it at summer levels and you wouldnt be able to paddle it. I believe that the levels shown in my pictures are a low to medium level for it. looking at it I think it would get a quite a bit harder with more water.

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Re: Information on Helmsdale River

Post by naefearjustbeer » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:21 am

http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g218/ ... =slideshow

The rest of my pictures

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/idld.srf?X=2 ... Z=120&lm=1

Drop a car where the arrow is at the map and then take another one upstream as far as water levels will allow to drop off your boats, Find a sensible place to park. Ie dont block gates or anything. It is worth walking down from the road bridge to inspect the rapid marked on the map as a waterfall before you go just to make sure you want to run it. If you dont then just get out where you have left your car and save extra walking. If you are in the area you may want to check out the craggy burn with is a trib of the helmsdale http://www.caithnesskayakclub.co.uk/Craggy.htm I havent paddled it but my mates have see the link for more info.

Some of the other tribs would possibly go too but may need stonking water levels to make them go.

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usuallycrocked
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Re: Information on Helmsdale River

Post by usuallycrocked » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:21 pm

Thanks for that- really useful information

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