Etive or Swale

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Mr Mark Pugh
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Etive or Swale

Post by Mr Mark Pugh »

In recent weeks I have been fortunate to paddle the Etive and Swale, both at perfect low/medium levels. I had a great experience on both; summer temperatures, warm water, good company etc but I cannot decide which I enjoyed the most and which I would want to paddle last before going to the eternal river in the sky! I am wondering if others have had the same decision to make?

Betty
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Betty »

Easy! Etive is about 6 hours away... Swale is 20 minutes :-)

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banzer
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by banzer »

Etive has more variety and some reasonable grade 2 and 3 bits, plus better scenery, and an easier shuttle. Swale is a bit of a wee...splash... long flat bit affair. Fun, but not really paddling. (I know it gets pushier when higher, well so does the Etive.)
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Rory W
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Rory W »

Etive. Done the Swale too much lately. It's not worth it unless the boof on Rainby is going (1m+)...

Mr Mark Pugh
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Mr Mark Pugh »

All valid comments but I have some opposite views; the scenery is different but is one better than the other(?), I feel the Swale was more technically difficult and required more nerve! As the idea is to judge river against river the shuttle and distance to river are not a consideration. Although, I did find the Tearoom in Keld extremely friendly, does the Etive have one close by?

SimonMW
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by SimonMW »

Etive does have that rather nice pub nearby.

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nick 16
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by nick 16 »

Agree with Rory 1m + for rainby boofage action or the swale has no comparison. If your a true Yorkshireman then its swale without question. Which one the more challenging when truly high who knows? would someone give their opinion on this?
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geyrfugl
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by geyrfugl »

Etive is far easier to get bank footage, so does make for better video - and how much you enjoy a river does depend on how often you re-live the descent. OTOH, since I typically aren't enough of a folk hero to attract video-makers to film me, the ease of taking bank footage is more useful when I'm not paddling, and for actually re-living the descents I've done and getting long-term enjoyment from them, I do much better with the Swale, which is all head-cam or boat-cam. There really is so much more to it than just the river !!

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Rory W
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Rory W »

nick 16 wrote:Which one the more challenging when truly high who knows? would someone give their opinion on this?
Depends on your definition of truly high I guess. Certainly there are levels where some of the drops are pretty much unrunnable.

Etive at this height -
Image
is harder than the Swale at this height -
Image

Beyond that you'd have to ask someone else. Both regularly have a lot more water in them though.

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Rory W
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Rory W »

On the subject of classic rivers for one last run before you die, as well as the two above, I've also paddled the Little White Salmon, Upper Cherry and the North Fork Payette in the last few weeks. Good as the Swale and Etive are, they're not that good!

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freddie
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by freddie »

Rory W wrote:On the subject of classic rivers for one last run before you die, as well as the two above, I've also paddled the Little White Salmon, Upper Cherry and the North Fork Payette in the last few weeks. Good as the Swale and Etive are, they're not that good!

Stop showing off Rory!

I would also agree that the Etive is a bit harder than the Swale at 'high' levels, you can plop off most of the drops on both untill there's some decent water. If it's at honky-tonk ragtime levels it ends up being how brave you're feeling.
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Mr Mark Pugh
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Mr Mark Pugh »

I agree that both the Etive and Swale are not the ultimate classic but they give so much fun! For paddling time per smile they have, in my opinion, the greatest value! On reflection, I would probably paddle the Etive for my last river as the scenery is different to that of where I live and it is easier to inspect/portage/film etc. Although if I had to paddle the Swale I wouldn't be too upset!
I suppose this extends the debate to which is the ultimate grade 4/4+ classic. In my mind it is the Orchy but this is only my initial thoughts.

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Sickboy
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Sickboy »

Rory W wrote:On the subject of classic rivers for one last run before you die, as well as the two above, I've also paddled the Little White Salmon, Upper Cherry and the North Fork Payette in the last few weeks. Good as the Swale and Etive are, they're not that good!
blasphemy, next you'll be saying the upper dart ISN'T the best run in the world ever, thou shall then be struck down from above...
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

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Rory W
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Rory W »

I wouldn't know, never been to the Dart. Is it any good?

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Sickboy
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Sickboy »

Rory W wrote:I wouldn't know, never been to the Dart. Is it any good?
Ah, confessing your sins, that'll see you right :-)
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

ajm
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by ajm »

I'd love to paddle the Swale or the Etive! One day...

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BigPhil
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by BigPhil »

I'm surprised no-one has thrown the Melte into the mix to keep the Welsh happy.

DAB
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by DAB »

Everyone knows all the best rivers are north of Stirling.

Mr Mark Pugh
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Re: Etive or Swale

Post by Mr Mark Pugh »

All the best rivers! There are many many good rivers north of Stirling but there are many south of there I.e. Sprint, Dart, Ribble etc

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