River Orchy - Middle Section

Rivers 'near' Fort William
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Mark R
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River Orchy - Middle Section

Post by Mark R » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:40 am

Last edited by Mark R on Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by Peter Brown » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:59 am

Currently a few bits of wood in or over river. Nothing on the normal lines just now but running the the steeper rapids blind might lead to a nasty surprise at some point.

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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by harry.fettes » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:57 pm

How do the levels quoted correlate with the SEPA glen Orchy figures?

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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by Notters » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:54 am

think its a case of converting feet to metres for the gauges...
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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by Poke » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:35 am

Notters wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:54 am
think its a case of converting feet to metres for the gauges...
Unfortunately I don't think that's the case in this instance.
That old gauge on the bridge has been there forever, and the SEPA gauge is way downstream:
http://apps.sepa.org.uk/waterlevels/default.aspx?sm=t

Would be useful if someone can come up with a correlation between the two though.
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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by Notters » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:38 pm

There are 2 gauges on the bridge, which has always confused me. But from memory the one facing downstream where you have to walk down the side to see it(as opposed to the one facing across to the river left bank) seems more like what I've noticed compared to sepa.
Paddled the Orchy yesterday, we got in at the kinglass so didn't see the bridge gauge but we were chatting about the level and I guessed at 3ft compared to previous runs. checked sepa when home and it was about 0.8m
It would be good to get a proper update by somebody in the know tho.
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Re: River Orchy - Bridge of Orchy to Falls of Orchy

Post by Jim » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:24 pm

Kind of late to respond to Notters question there but:

Guidebook levels were always based on the gauge on the downstream side of the bridge NOT the one you can read from the bridge, you need to go over the stile and clamber down to read it.

The Orchy has quite a few small tributaries, plus the Allt Kinglas which is quite big - when it is properly wet the gauge on the bridge tells you relatively little about what to expect downstream of Allt Kinglas and it gets progressively less relevant as you move down river, so you will find people who have run it a lot saying things like "it was only 1 foot but it felt more like 2 by the time we got to....". Despite knowing this, in my mind 3 feet equates to about when water starts flow over the centre of Eas a Chataidh :)
Unfortunately with SEPAs gauge being just below the falls the opposite is true there, when the tribs are running high it will read high and you may have relatively little water at Big Rock and Chicken Chute, but at least you will have some idea that it is likely to get meatier as you go on. There is a fairly significant trib entering river right just below witches step.

So direct translation of SEPA levels to old bridge gauge levels is not really possible (tribs above the bridge have delayed influence due to having to raise the level of Loch Tulla first before affecting the river). What we really need to do is to try to forget about the bridge gauge and re-learn what the SEPA levels roughly mean in terms of the main rapids since the bigger rapids are closer to that gauge and it will if anything slightly overestimate where the bridge gauge can massively underestimate.
I've been running the river since about 1994, but not very often now so I am not going to find it easy to re-learn the levels, no doubt there are others in the same boat.

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