NAME OF RIVER: West water
WHERE IS IT?: The West water is a tributary of the North Esk, and flows through Glen Lethnot. It is a fantastic paddle, but unfortunately runs rarely.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: In Edzell, take the turning at the mini-roundabout at the northern end of the village towards Bridgend. Continue to Bridgend, cross the river, and then take the right turn up the glen. The put-in is a car park at the end of the public road (NO 46542 71639). The take out is a rather nondescript layby (NO 52381 69169) beside a significant tributary, about 2km upstream of Bridgend.
APPROX LENGTH: 10km
TIME NEEDED: unknown
ACCESS HASSLES: unknown
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: You need a big flood for this one. The North Esk should be so high that it's washing out, with rain still falling. If every river you see is bursting its banks, this is worth a look. You can inspect the level from your car as you drive along the section.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: If you're lucky enough to catch this one in condition, you're in for a treat: 10km of continuous, fast-flowing grade 3/4 from start to finish, and never far from the road. There are 3 stretches where the gradient noticeably increases. The first is only about 1 km from the put-in (you should get a glimpse of it on the drive up), so make sure you're sufficiently alert to catch one of the small eddies to inspect. The second is in the middle of the run under an old footbridge. You will then pass under Stonyford bridge (505 726). Near the end there is a short gorge section. The river never becomes desperate, and everything can be inspected and portaged, but be ready to catch an eddy if you suspect the gradient is increasing.
OTHER NOTES: A video of this run in high water is available here.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Robin Scott
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