GUIDE TO THE RIVER MUICK
(Falls of Muick)
NAME OF RIVER: Muick.
WHERE IS IT?: The River Muick, to get there take the A93 to Ballater, then cross the River Dee and head south along the B976, then at a small junction bear left up a small un-named road that is signposted to Loch Muick. Drive for about 5 miles till the falls are visible on the right hand side of the road at GR 332, 895.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The falls are pretty obvious on the right hand side off the road. Strangely enough you get on above the falls and get off below them. Both involve scrambling up and down steep banks so caution should be exercised.
APPROX LENGTH: Probably about 250m from get in to get out.
TIME NEEDED: As long as it takes to scout, set up safety cover and then get the bottle to run it!
ACCESS HASSLES: No known problems, but parking is limited on the side of the road, it may be better to park at the large car park at the top of the road, next to loch Muick. See also the SCA notes on Access.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: We did it when the other Rivers in the area (Quoich, Garbh Allt, Lui) were just too low to run, so a bit of water but not too much, it probably goes in higher water but I dont want to go first!
GRADING: V VI- Cock it up and the consequences dont bear thinking about, get it right and youll probably still land on your head!
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: All of it!! Theres a nasty boulder choke to watch out for before you can get out below the plunge pool.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The run starts with a shallow Gd III run in, which leads to a steep ramp, this lands in a deep crease which runs the width of the falls, Pin here and you better pray youve got a good rescue team! When (and if) you make it over the crease another small twisting ramp leads to a straight forward 8m free fall into the pool below. Depending upon how you leave the final ramp you can rotate either left or right; left and you're in the clear, right and you're kissing cliff half way down!
OTHER NOTES: The sections above and below the falls go at about Gd III in very big water, when the falls would probably be terminal. So if you give the Upper section a shot make sure you memorise the last few eddies before the falls.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom Crow and Chris Flavin (Team Wookie).