GUIDE TO THE RIVER FARIGAIG
NAME OF RIVER: Farigaig.
WHERE IS IT?: This is a steep, sometimes constricted river which flows in Glen Albyn on the East side of Loch Ness. You can reach there if coming from Inverness by driving on the B851 then B862 to Inverfarigaig, from there take a right on the B852 then almost immediately turn right again up a very steep and narrow road. Drive up this road past some farm buildings and after about 5km you will see the road coming close to the river. This is probably the best point to put-in.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The put in is a described where the road comes close to the river, parking is limited. But we found parking on a grass verge beside a forestry commission gate. From here walk with care along the edge of fields till you get to the river.
For parking at the takeout it is possible to park on the loch side of the B852 where there is a phone box. We took out at the road bridge at Inverfarigaig and then climbed up the bank to the road. I think it is also possible to continue paddling into Loch Ness but haven't done this myself.
APPROX LENGTH: 7 km.
TIME NEEDED: 4 hours approx.
ACCESS HASSLES: The access road is very narrow with no passing places and parking is very limited. The river is surrounded by farmland at the put-in. No access problems known but see SCA access notes on Scotland.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Look at the river as it flows under the road bridge at the take out. If it looks just navigable then you have about enough to get down. I have only done this river in very low water and it would become much harder in high flows. If the river appears high at the getout then it would be a very serious paddle.
GRADING: 4/5 in low water, probably 5 in medium flows and above, the river is continuous.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Several very low hanging branches, Three large falls, the biggest being the Falls of Farigaig about one third of the way down.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: From the put in there follows fairly flat water with overhanging trees, after about 1 1/2km the gradient then picks up with boulder rapids for about 1/2km.
There is then a further increase in gradient with more rockshelf type rapids coming in quick succession, these rapids are now quite tightly packed as the river heads into an enclosed gorge section of about approx. half a km which contains two large falls that should be inspected, the first being a steep rockslide into a pool, this leads quite quickly to the 2nd much bigger fall. We did not run this fall but the line appears to be on the right. At the exit of this first gorge you are about a third of the way down.
Next comes a more open boulder section but after about 1km the river steepens with more bedrock drops leading into the 2nd gorge, this contains another high fall which is a high sloping rock slab type fall. The river here on is continuously steep and difficult until the getout as the river twists round and under giant boulders.
OTHER NOTES: I haven't done the section from the road bridge to Loch Ness. If this river looks too high do the Fechlin.
Anyone done the lower section?
CONTRIBUTED BY: Sean Mulligan and Kris Waring.