GUIDE TO GARBH GHAOIR
NAME OF RIVER: Garbh Ghaoir.
WHERE IS IT?:Starts high on Rannoch Moor, at the very head of the Tummel valley. This river has been included in the 'Central Highlands' section rather than West Highlands as although it's in the west, it can only be accessed from the east (unless you use the railway?) and it drains into the Tay catchment anyway.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Access at Rannoch Station, quite literally in the middle of nowhere at the end of the B846! Park in the station and carry canoes the 400 metres to Loch Laidon, then work your way along to the river over a small sand bar.
After this river, you almost certainly want to continue into the River Gaur.
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5 km (6 km if the River Gaur is included into your trip).
TIME NEEDED: Unknown.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, but read the SCA notes on access to Scottish rivers.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Unknown.
GRADING: Grade 2-3.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Remote.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Garbh Ghaoir is a wide grade 2-3 flowing over a shallow bed, with boulders loosely scattered around. It steepens occasionally to produce the odd stopper or chute which can be fairly meaty in heavy water.
Finish by paddling back across the small Loch Eigheach to the road, or crossing the Loch (approximately 2km) to the Gaur Dam, and carrying on into the Gaur. The Gaur can be reached from the Loch by portaging the dam, and carrying down the 200 yards of dry river bed to the water release point.
OTHER NOTES: Probably not worth the long drive up the valley for their own sake, but part of an excellent scenic cruise if combined with the rest of the valley (eg. Gaur, Tummel) to cross the highlands by boat.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Simon Dawson, www.simondawson.com.