Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Rivers 'near' Inverness
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12357smuller
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Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Post by 12357smuller » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:55 am

Trip to Halladale River on 31/12/2011

Weather: 11 mph S wind, temperature 5-7oC, cloudy with occasional sunny spells and light rain. Water level, 1.2 m at Halladale SEPA gauge (12:00). Tide: HW at 13:05.

The Halladale river is 33 km long, draining the flow country through Forsinard and finishing into the sea in Melvich Bay. When water conditions allow (minimum river level of 0.6m at the SEPA Gauge at Halladale), one can paddle the Halladale River from NC 898 458 to the estuary according to the SCA guide book.
Depending on your ability you should choose the stretch of river that fits your capability.
The River is generally grade 1-2 except between NC 900 495 and NC 896 505 where the river is qualified as grade 2-3 in the SCA Whitewater guide book. There is also a waterfall at NC 896 588 which is not very high (2 m) but would be difficult to approach because of the very narrow passages between the boulders. This particular point maybe graded 4-5.

The kayaking trip started between NC 897 515 and NC 892 563 (5.5 km). Access was easy from the road, but parking was limited. After two days of intensive rain the river was in good condition for paddling. The mean water depth was about 1 m depth, the stream was regular with some occasional waves and rapids in the outside curves of the meanders. Some occasional big rocks were to be avoided. At the junction with River Dyke, the flow in River Halladale increased significantly, creating some waves for about 100 m.

We launched again just after the water fall NC 896 588. The access to the river was easy through 2 gates. We had to carry the kayaks for about 100m to reach the water from the road. There was a passing place to download the equipment from the car, but the car had to be parked on the side of the road.
The waterfall area was quite nice for pictures but not very practical. We played on the stoppers for a while before continuing towards the sea. After the waterfall the river opens out into the wider Strath, decreasing the flow of water significantly. Some occasional big rocks were to be avoided. Some otters were seen eating large salmons, some shags were also fishing. We finished the trip in the estuary at NC 892 568 before the Bighouse (15:30 pm) where there was easy access for the car for uploading the equipment. The distance paddled between the waterfall (NC 896 588) and the finish point (NC 892 568) was 9 km.

neil.farmer
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Re: Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Post by neil.farmer » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:30 pm

Good effort! Is it ok to take this information & keep it for a future SCA guidebook update?
Neil Farmer (from mobile)

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banzer
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Re: Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Post by banzer » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:25 pm

Good effort indeed!

Neil, is there a new edition of the guidebook being planned?
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neil.farmer
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Re: Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Post by neil.farmer » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:58 pm

Hi Rich, not just now, the current 2ndEd is the version out there, but keeping a list of things that need updating for edition3....!
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Mark R
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Re: Halladale River (Far North Coast, Scotland)

Post by Mark R » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:04 am

Great stuff, thanks for sharing - any objection to me converting that into a riverguide here on the site?

Cheers,
Mark Rainsley
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