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NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:23 pm
by banzer
Ahoy there river nerds. It could still be 2007 here on ukrgb.

What rapids do you know where the line changes significantly depending on level. I'm looking for- low- go right, medium - go left, high - go right again!

Triple 3 on the Etive is hard right at most levels, but hard left at flood levels.

Eas A' Chataidh (whatever it's called) on the Orchy, you can go right at low flows, then it's left at most flows, but when high central opens up.

Any others?

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:34 pm
by Jim
When the central line on Eas a Chataidh is running properly, you probably need to take Sore Tooth hard left, the rest always appears to be a river wide keeper. Of course at that level anything goes on Easan Dubh because it is just a wave train...

Can think of a few rapids where alternative routes open up at different levels, but not necessary closing off other lines. Grandtully main fall left chicken chute starts to be runnable* in high water, but the main line is still on.
* come to think of it, you could probably bounce a plastic boat down it lower, but it becomes viable as a slalom route high
Also at an even higher level there is a more right (or central if you consider the ledges to be part of the river) line called rollercoaster or something, when that's on it is a straighter (faster) route for WWR but if you go for it too soon you will smash the tail, again the other routes are still on.

Many people mistakenly think there is a line on Headbanger in Spean Gorge at low levels, but as far as I'm concerned it is a portage until medium flows :) At high flows there is no rapid there at all, In fact pretty much the only rapid is Constriction which isn't a constriction at all, just a big but easily avoided hole.

Backdoorman on the Coe, the back passage is only runnable in really high water, I think I ran it that way once, I've never done the main drop on the right, looks manky as hell.

Etive - right angle falls, is better taken straight on in medium and high water. Crack of dawn - is it still runnable off the ledge on the left in medium water? (it has been a while...) it has never really gone right except in flood.

I'm sure I've missed some...

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:11 pm
by purelandexpeditions.com
Glen

First gorge same same most levels, but you can push way way more left on the top hole when it is high. Run out of fairy changes with levels, that slalom moves and 'toilet bowl' section changes, higher you can boof a rock. Speeder biker at higher flows you can go centre.

All this is relative, really high flows, you can run 'monkey' far far right near the bank, and pipeline far far left down the gutter.

D

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:29 am
by Poke
purelandexpeditions.com wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:11 pm
Glen
That's true. The line at "End of the world" at normal levels is boof over the centre hole. At high levels there's a nice green chute down the right which is just rocks at lower levels.

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:51 am
by twopigs
Mill Falls on the Usk?

Very low it can be a zig-zag, as it gets higher it can be a stay left, and higher still a "straight down the middle". The zig-zag can be entertaining in an open canoe!

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:59 am
by Adrian Cooper
When Mill Falls gets really big you end up going where the water wants you. Really quite tricky to control your line in a traditional boat

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Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:35 pm
by Chris Bolton
It may have been a temporary change because of a tree in low water or something, but I remember that Right is Right and Left is Wrong on the Spean didn't always go the way it's name suggested.

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:39 pm
by Jim
Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:35 pm
It may have been a temporary change because of a tree in low water or something, but I remember that Right is Right and Left is Wrong on the Spean didn't always go the way it's name suggested.
That tree root ball is long gone, it isn't even a rapid any more from what I can remember... I recall one trip soon after it disappeared when a different tree trunk had wedged across the right channel in a dangerous way but it didn't stay long.

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:50 am
by jmmoxon
Quite a bit of the Mad Mile on Upper Dart has similar lines at low & medium water, that most of us wouldn't want to take when high!

Re: NERDS! Rapids whose line changes drastically with levels

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:09 pm
by Jim
Just noticed this is not limited to the UK...

Boulder drop on the Skykomish, when we did it in 2003 it was too high for the normal lines right to left described in the guidebook, we found a route all the way down the right which was much more feasible.

Crystal on the Colorado, river right sneak line needs higher levels, was OK at around 10000 cfs as I recall. At lower levels normally need to take the line left of the hole. If you saw the Dan Snow series on running it in dories, the rock they got the dory hung up on overnight was my reference point for getting a canoe onto the river right sneak line (I was actually concerned about broaching on it if I treied to hard!). The film shows just how much the river can rise and fall there in a day... Of course I was there in the same season, it has probably changed since then.

In fact, the Grand Canyon is a great example of rivers changing, I first ran it in 2004 and by 2016 there were 2 new rapids that hadn't been there in 2004 formed by flash floods from side canyons - not so much the level changing the line, as time changing it! :)