GUIDE TO THE UPPER AFFRIC
NAME OF RIVER: Affric
WHERE IS IT?: Glen Affric, flows between loch Affric and loch Beinn a Mheadhoin.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Parking is available at the Glen Affric circuit car park (NH 19904 23279), during the summer the toilets are open here too which is handy. Get out is by the loch (NH 20385 23085), walk back to the car from here.
APPROX LENGTH: 600m
TIME NEEDED: This is really a park and play spot can be paddled in 20 mins or repeated all day long
ACCESS HASSLES: This short section of river probably only sees paddlers once every couple of years so little to worry about.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: We paddled this 3 days after heavy rain, the loch should hold water for a few days but you will need to have had some heavy rain.
GRADING: One rapid of grade 3, one of 4 and the rest is grade 2
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: none
This river is set in a stunning location and the drive over is half the fun, with sneaky glimpses of the Affric Gorge from the road. Put in above the bridge and continue down grade 2 before the 1st rapid (grade 3) we ran this both on the left and right and both work fine. Theres probably a fun zigzag line down the middle somewhere too, a great place for teaching line choice and sessioning.
The next and last real rapid follows quickly (grade 4), again there is a left or right line, I suspect the right runs smoother but there is a sticky hole/recirculating eddy on the right so a boof off the rooster is advisable. The left goes okay but after the first small hole it is difficult to avoid being pushed far left into the wall, with a couple of strokes to get right again the hole at the bottom flushes out.
Some more grade 2 leads to the loch.
OTHER NOTES: A short but sweet run in a remote setting, would work well for skills coaching as both rapids are easy to repeat.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jessica Leggatt, Donald Macphereson
Donald Macphereson scouting the right side of the first rapid. Picture by Jessica Leggatt.
Jessica Leggatt running the left line on the first rapid. Picture taken by Donald Macphereson.
Donald Macphereson gets the perfect line on the second rapid. Picture taken by Jessica Leggatt.