NAME OF RIVER: Rappach Water
This is a shorter and slightly less epic version of the Corriemulzie. It has one brilliant drop on which makes the walk worthwhile and lots of smaller grade 3/4 drops which were a good giggle. Definitely a remote feel to the river, that cuts deeply into the surrounding moorland. A great addition (if slightly longer day) to the Corriemulzie/Einig.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The take out is at the confluence of the Rappach and the Corriemulzie (NH 33895 97614), though you might as well paddle out down the Einig while you’re here! In the summer you can park a car at the Schoolhouse Bothy, cutting about 1km off the walk. In the winter, the gate to the Corriemulzie Estate is often closed and you will need to walk to the bothy from the car park at the gate.
To find the put-in, walk upstream on a nice track on river right for 2km and put in where the river obviously flattens out and the track returns towards river level at NH 32256 97788. There is a well maintained track that leads all the way from the Schoolhouse bothy. There is certainly evidence of more whitewater further upstream for the keen, but i think it would have to be at the upper end of the recommended water level.
APPROX LENGTH: 2km
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours including the walk up?
ACCESS HASSLES: You are parking entirely on a private estate on this one, and it’s only through their openness that we have car access to this run, so unless you want the next generation to be shouldering their boats please be as considerate and respectful as you can. There are also a lot of fishermen on this river - They have generally been really friendly to us, but try not to do anything to hack them off! The bothy at the takeout is a great place to sleep after a long drive up, but it’s not really in the ethos of bothies to have folk drive up to them – no one has ever complained to us when we use it but make your choice for yourself. Maybe make a donation to the MBA as thanks?
The track to the put-in is good to walk on, but not car friendly. Bring your portage pack.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Definitely needs more water than the Einig, but not too much more. There is a stick gauge in a pool on the Corriemulzie about 100 m upstream of Duag Bridge. 1.5 is pretty optimal. It could be run at flows down to 1.2, but the paddle out would be scrapey. Like the Corriemulzie it could take more water but at 2 it would definitely gain a grade and be quite continuous. For online gauges your closest thing is the gauge on the Oykel – the Oykel should at least at low for the Rappach to be on.
GRADING: 3/4 but would quickly bump up a grade with more water
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: One awesome slide at the bend in the river, just visible during the walk in.
The first 500m is brilliant grade 3/4 drops and shoots to loosen up after the walk in.
Soon you come to the main event on the river. This is a very photogenic 7m slide (see photos below!) that was fairly straightforward at 1.5. Inspect/photograph on the right. Portage would be possible but very strenuous up a gully on the right.
Continue down more class grade 3/4 until the final drop on the river, a grade 4 slot that is easily portaged on the left for those with a dislike of tight spaces.
OTHER NOTES: There looks to be more whitewater upstream of our put-in, so would be worth the hike up if you have 2 days in the glen and an adventurous spirit. Let us know how you get on!
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jonny Hawkins and Kirsten Rendle
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The first rapid. Paddler Kirsten Rendle, photo by Jon Harwell.
The big slide. Paddler Kirsten Rendle, photo by Jon Harwell.
The big slide. Paddler Jon Harwell, photo by Kirsten Rendle.
The big slide at 1.5 on the gauge. Paddler Gregor Gray, photo by Jonny Hawkins.