GUIDE TO THE RIVER LUI
NAME OF RIVER: Lui (Aberdeenshire).
WHERE IS IT?: Flows from the North, into the River Dee just above Braemar near the Linn of Dee.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Take the A93 to Braemar and proceed westwardly through the town heading for the Linn of Dee. Follow the road up past the Linn of Dee, across the River Dee and down the other side. The Lui is the first stream you cross. Park nearby and take a walk up the riverbank sticking close to the river all the way.
APPROX LENGTH: 2 km.
TIME NEEDED: 1.5 Hours including walking in.
ACCESS HASSLES: This is a seldom paddled section of river and as such no problems have ever been encountered.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If the section leading to the road bridge looks floatable there is probably enough water for a good run on the whole river. If this looks very scrapey the main fall will run but little else.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: One huge rapid/fall and the trees which seem to frequent this river.
Alex Crossland... (May 2005) 'The main fall is only 3 minutes walk from the main car park so go take a look! The narrow slot to the left of the island has a tree at the top of the drop that is obvious but also a tree lurking down in the water that isn't so obvious. Watch out!'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: In medium to high flows this is a classic east coast burn. Lots of little ledges and drops and one huge steep rapid. In lower water only the big fall is worth bothering with.
Walking up the bank you will see everything that is to come and nothing is any harder than it looks. Keep going well past the big fall until the valley opens out and the river flattens. From here the river is straightforward until you reach the main event, a very steep rapid/ ramp with a notable hole half way down and a greedy one at the bottom (Medium/High Water). At lower flows the drop in the middle is more pronounced and everything becomes a bit more calm and in control.
Following this are some fun rapids until the river splits. Here most of the water funnels off to the left into a very narrow and deep gorge while the easier route down the right offers some ramps and ledges. When I was last there (Oct 2001) two major trees were blocking the entrances to both sides of the island making the left route very dangerous in particular. However, it was possible to put on just below the trees for the right hand chute.
Easier water then leads you back to the car.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kris Waring, also Alex Crossland.