Black Water, Strath Garve

Inland paddling
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RichA
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Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by RichA »

Has anyone paddled the Black Water from Loch Glascarnoch to Loch Garve? I drove past last week and scouted the main (?) falls by the A835 road bridge, and saw some of the rest of the river from the road.

When I saw it there must have been a lot of water around because it was substantially higher than in most photos I've seen, like this for example:

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4076/4912 ... f550_z.jpg

Is the rest of the river worth paddling? Grade? Are there harder sections than that fall by the road? Any flat sections or portages to note? Recommended access locations? Is it in any guide books? I don't have any Scottish guides yet as I've only just moved up.

Any info appreciated, and I'll take the boat up next time!

edhunter
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by edhunter »

There is definately a blackwater in the guidebook. I'm not sure if its the section you are talking about. However its graded 4 in the guidebook. I'm too lazy to get out my guidebook to check sorry.

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Poke
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by Poke »

Is this the one?

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/rive ... blackwater

Had a little solo mission on it a few years ago... Paddled it at 0.4m on the online gauge (it's on wheres the water)...

Nice little run... but didn't paddle the first fall (think this is the one in your pic).. Looked a bit dirty..
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Torridon
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by Torridon »

Its brilliant, get in at the road bridge, really easy parking and you can walk under the bridge and slip in really easy. be ware though as it starts as soon as you go round the corner. Its grade four all the way round, theres one section where there isa dog leg slot on river left and a boat width ledge on river right with a small water fall faling onto it, take the ledge, you might have to man handle your boat onto the ledge but the slot looks like death and the ledge is great as if you line up right its like a mini water slide. the fianl falls under the old bridge (ideal parking here) can be really graby and the run in is quick if in big flow so you have to make sure you get your line right.

Basically its grade four all the way down, its short and pumpy with very easy parking both ends in a stunning area of scotland, if you go you can spend all day going back and forth doing the run as there is a great path running up river right that is also great for anyone wanting to watch or take photos. the path os also great for a scout.

Have fun, i have just moved from that area and envy you.

cheers chris
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RichA
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by RichA »

Thanks everyone, that's exactly the one. Not sure why I couldn't find it, I kept getting to other Black Water rivers.

By the sounds of it, the guide Poke linked to (thanks) is from the falls at the road bridge. Has anyone paddled above this? It looked like it could be a great huge volume run, but I'm keen to hear a bit more before I jump on. And to be honest I'm surprised there are more falls downstream of the road bridge. I thought that was more or less the end of the interesting section! Glad I was wrong.

Torridon, unfortunately I don't like up that way because I've just moved to Edinburgh. I spent all last week driving up the west coast and back down the middle, just to explore, and now I'm inspired to get back in the boat again. Rivers like the Black Water, Gruinard and Dundonnell gave me itchy feet! Need to find some people to paddle with that are based around Edinburgh now - any suggestions of clubs to look at? Thanks.

Peter Brown
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by Peter Brown »

The upper is in the guidebook too I think. It's great in very high flows, when the middle section that starts with the falls under the road is too high. As is the trib in Glen Rannoch. The lower that starts at Rogie Falls is short fun with a good playhole. The gauge is on the lower, below Loch Garve, so isn't much use for the other sections, I think there might be a SEPA gauge higher up though.

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Jim
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Re: Black Water, Strath Garve

Post by Jim »

I have paddled the main section, we bumped into Peter and Thom there a few years ago, we were actually planning to meet some others. Nice section, but the falls at the top and bottom are slightly harder than the rest, makes it easy to remember - bridge = inspect!

The upper has always looked interesting when I pass it on my way to my parents house, however almost immediately above Black Bridge you should have noticed there was a confluence, the Blackwater is the one that comes down from the hills and the one you followed down to the confluence from the Loch was actually the Glascarnoch River, which I was once told by a local (I think at Millenium new year in the Aultguish Inn) had the best rapids/falls of the lot before they built the dam, kind of one of those bits of information you could be happier not knowing! Of course he wasn't a paddler so could have been wrong. Don't think I've ever seen water in what's left of the Glascarnoch :(

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