GUIDE TO THE CALLATER BURN
NAME OF RIVER: Callater Burn.
WHERE IS IT?: The river passes under the A93 approximately 2 miles south of Braemar in Aberdeenshire where it flows into the River Clunie.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There is a carpark at the bridge over the river on the South bank. Park here and check the water level in the gorge before hiking up the track which follows the river up to Loch Callater. Where you get in is a matter of personal preference, you can carry right up to the Loch but we usually get in just after the river bends sharply to the right as you walk up. Above here the river eases off. Take out back at the car park, oh, and watch out for the sheep fence under the road bridge beyond the getout, the eddy can be quite small in high water.
APPROX LENGTH: 1 mile approx.
TIME NEEDED: 30 minutes to walk up and another 30 to paddle back down.
ACCESS HASSLES: Pretty straightforward, the car park is big, although it is often full of walkers cars. Try not to block anyone in. See also the SCA notes on Access to Scottish rivers.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: This is a spate river and it rises and falls very quickly. Look into the gorge at the takeout. If this looks fast and brown then go for it. Otherwise look for something else. It is fairly obvious when you are there.
GRADING: Grade 3/4.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There is one fall of grade 4 about half way down which merits a look.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A speedy little spate burn, there is no room for a warm up. You push yourself out of your eddy (or often straight off the bank) and you are in the thick of a bouncy boulder garden. It continues like this with the odd bigger hole until about half way down where it temporarily eases off a little. This marks the main rapid which forms a tricky double drop with an awkward diagonal stopper. After this you are into the final tight little gorge, which despite some unnerving horizon lines, all runs fine.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kris Waring.