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Water Levels on Scottish Dee (Braemar)

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:35 pm
by Colin@Believe

Planning on heading up to Deeside for a 3-4 day open trip starting on the 27th of December. Does anyone live anywhere along the Dee who can sort me out with some reliable river level info on boxing day? Long range forecast isn't showing anymore rain after this weekend so not sure if things will work out. I will have a back up but would love to get this done if it's possible.

Any help much appreciated.



Re: Water Levels on Scottish Dee (Braemar)

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:10 pm
by Mark R

Re: Water Levels on Scottish Dee (Braemar)

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:32 am
by Seedy Paddler
You may be as well to keep an eye on the SEPA site directly (it is the source for wheresthewater) : ... _data.aspx

Check the guages for Polhollick (Upper)and Park(Lower)

You would be best with Polhollick running above 0.8m to allow reasonable passage, if it gets beyond the 1.5m level then you would have to watch out and ensure you have air-bags and bailer or be prepared to walk around some of the rapids.

However if you check the records you will notice that rainfall tends to pass through within 48hrs.

Long range forecast is dry but also with High Pressure liable to get very cold, hence if wild camping be prepared for double figures with overnight frosts. That may also lock up the snowmelt and reduce flows as well. We have had to cancel 2nd Jan paddles i the past due to bank-bank ice at Potarch Bridge.

Met Office :
The temperature will become well-below average average for the time of year
Upper Deeside is frequently circa -6 to -8, with that forecast anticipate < -10. I have observed -20 in Deeside at this time of year.

I am down closer to Aberdeen but reasonably close to the Dee (i.e. about 3min in th car/5min by bike). You may want to try and get hold of StuartM, he is based up in Aboyne overlooking the river and runs it in Opens.

Please take care - Stuart was involved in a rescue 2-3 years ago of 2 kayaks that decided to run the Dee at this time. They didn't get past Cambus O'May, after a night under canvas and with frozen wetsuits, judgement was impaired by the onset of Hypothermia. Ended up with a lost kayak (with his overnight kit), the intervention of Mountain Rescue and a night in the hospital.

PM me if you want a local contact or search for Stuart and PM him.

Re: Water Levels on Scottish Dee (Braemar)

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:44 am
by Colin@Believe
Thanks for the info fella. Have done this trip about 4 times now in Dec/January and have also on two occasions had to resort to plan B as the whole thing has been frozen up at the Linn. My biggest concern is the temperature (specifically the lack of it), locking the water onto the hills and making it a bump and scrape all the way. Paddled this last year before New Year and the second day the river dropped dramatically with the drop in temperature. Any splashes that landed in the boat instantly froze creating a layer of frost over everything with mini icebergs floating in the bilges (which made bailing a doddle as all you had to do was pick up the water and chuck it out!).

In my opinion the best touring river in Scotland.

Well I'm crossing my fingers for a change in the forecast but I have a feeling that for once things may turn out as expected.

Thanks for your help and festive greetings.


RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:50 pm
by Janson

Re: RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:18 pm
by Scots_Charles_River

I Solo Open Boat paddled this from Braemar to Banchory and can offer some edits and updates if you wish. We did it in October at 0.56 on the gauge but the river still had some teeth, especially the rapids mentioned and a bridge rapid at Invercauld, which was technical and not mentioned in the UKR Update.

See this Dee thread ... =3&t=67718

Re: RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:46 pm
by Janson
cheers, I am in the process of sorting out the forum at the moment. I will be sorting out the guides soon and will include your contribution.


Re: RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:59 pm
by Scots_Charles_River
Edit it/tidy it up and add some more detail if you wish.

I can also add a trip report too.


Re: RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:49 pm
by Scots_Charles_River
Paddled this in the first saturday of April, this fence - and 1.2 inch dia. cable at neck 'cheesecutter' height, was easy to duck under at 0.7m SEPA level at Marr Lodge but would be a dangerous hazard in higher flows.

It's just after a River left cottage just past the sewage farm river right after Braemar.


Although it's less of a hazard than in 2000, from the guide on here.


Re: RIVER DEE (Above Braemar to Potarch)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:47 pm
by neil.farmer
I think that this is the right section .....

I am writing on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, who are our Clients for the Refurbishment and Strengthening works that are to be carried out on Polhollick Bridge, River Dee. The bridge is located approximately 2 miles west of Ballater, Aberdeenshire, crossing the River Dee at NGR 334381 796519, Grid Reference NO 343 965, in a south west (upstream) to north east (downstream) alignment.

The works should be starting (approximately) the week commencing 7 April 2014, and will last until the end of September 2014. The nature of the project require temporary works, founded in the river, to support the bridge and work platform for the project duration. As such there will be no access either over the bridge or under it to members of the public.

I would be grateful if you would be able to provide me with a contact for the area, so that we might warn local groups of the works, and also if it would be possible to put a notice on your website to forewarn canoeists.

Kind regards,
Shona MacLeay
Senior Engineer