NAME OF RIVER: Grudie
Another Grudie. This one is on the south side of Loch Maree and offers a great continuous boulder blast in a stunning gorge when everything else is a bit big.
WHERE IS IT?: Loch Maree, Wester Ross.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Park at the bridge over the river (NG 96665 67755), there is a smaller bridge to the right of the main road bridge, you can fit 2 cars on the other side of this. We walked up about 1.5km up the nice new hydro track to a big unrunnable fall (approx NG 95969 66349) and got in below.
APPROX LENGTH: 2 km
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours
ACCESS HASSLES: None
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of rain. It’s a boulder run with a small catchment so the more rain the better. We ran it on a day with torrential rain and snowmelt when almost everything else in the area was too big. There’s a new hydro that takes some water out too. The river should be flowing well under the road bridge and not look at all scrapey.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Have a close look at the first gorge as there’s a few siphons dotted about.
As you walk up, a spectacular fall comes into view. It doesn’t go unfortunately, but this is where we got on after lowering the boats into the gorge. The first 200m section below the fall is in a spectacular, committing walled in gorge, a bit like a cross between the Coe gorge and scimitar gorge on the Nevis with plenty of push at a good level. The crux of this has some fairly big holes to boof, with a siphon and a nasty slot to avoid, well worth checking out beforehand (grade 4+).
After the crux, the gorge opens out and anyone who didn’t fancy the tough start can get on here. For the next kilometre, the river and the gorge widen and becomes incredible continuous read and run grade 4 with clean lines stacked on top of each other… Kind of like a Scottish lower Guisane. All too soon the gorge walls recede and you are on the flat run back to the bridge. Take out here or continue down to the loch. Continuing down, the river widens again and offers some great grade 3/4 with a few surprisingly big ledge holes to boof before opening out onto loch Maree.
OTHER NOTES: There’s plenty more gradient above the fall, we were just running out of daylight so it could well be worth checking out. This run would twin well with, and be a good warm up for the neighbouring Talladale which looks to be similar, but a grade harder.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Duncan Stewart
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Duncan Stewart and Jamie Peden in the first gorge section. Photo by Murray Peden.