GUIDE TO THE RIVER BRUAR
NAME OF RIVER: Bruar.
WHERE IS IT?: North of Blair Atholl and Pitlochry, Perthshire. Just off the A9, follow signs for the Falls of Bruar and the House of Bruar visitor centre. Map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Walk up the footpath by the river right side, inspecting the rapids in the gorge as you go. The start of the runnable section appears to be at the footbridge which crosses the river above a 20 foot fall.
Take out below the railway bridge.
APPROX LENGTH: 500 m.
TIME NEEDED: Not long for a small, skilled team.
ACCESS HASSLES: Probably good, but the car park belongs to the House of Bruar, a fairly posh place, so be discreet when changing.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If the rapid below the railway bridge looks just runnable, it should be going, much more than that and it may be too high. Exercise caution and make up your own minds after looking at the drops above. It will need a fair amount of water to come into condition, ideally it will still be raining.
GRADING: 4/5 (5+).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The top drop below the footbridge looks sweet, with a crazily tight run in, but there is a high chance of hitting the oposite wall and/ or the large rock directly at the bottom, so it doesn't go. At the time of writing, a drop about half way down had a tree wedged in it. This would not be visible at higher water when the river was more runnable, but the tree would almost certainly pin a boat. Similarly, at lower levels, there is a badly undercut rock in one of the mini-gorges, which is hard to spot but could be highly dangerous.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The rest of the river mainly comprises bedrock slides and drops, interspersed with more tight gorges and probably some stoppers at higher water than when we saw it. It all looks fairly committing, inspect from the top of the gorge before you put on. Once on, setting up safety cover could be tricky as the banks are very steep. Some climbing gear might be a good idea.
OTHER NOTES: I should make it clear that I have not paddled the Bruar, this guide is based from inspection only. Use your own judgement and be wary of the trees!
Has anyone explored further upstream?
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jamie Adam, St Andrews University