GUIDE TO THE WATER OF MINNOCH
(Palgowan Bridge to Stroan Bridge)
NAME OF RIVER: Minnoch.
WHERE IS IT?: Glen Trool, turn off for Glen Trool village and take the minor road up to Palgowan Bridge, put in here.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in at Palgowan Bridge.
Take out at Stroan Bridge or continue down the lower Minnoch.
APPROX LENGTH: 12km.
TIME NEEDED: 3 hrs.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, but we met the woman who lives at the nearby house and her only response was "you must be mad".
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: We ran this after 2 days heavy rain and it was bankful up to the trees, at this level it was pretty full on and a lower water run is definitely possible.
Mike Hayward adds...(April 2002) 'the upper Minnoch has 3 harder rapids at probably grade 5 but all can be paddled with care though many will portage.'
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:Falls of Minnoch definitely deserve respect.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A stretch of grade 2-3 for the first 2 Km at a pretty constant gradient until you reach the first nasty, a 6ft fall with the main flow going river right into a very nasty looking hole. We chose to take a constricted drop on river left.
After this you have a lot of high class grade 4 pool drop rapids, one of which has a nasty ledge with a tow back that had some fun with 2 of our group. These lead down to the Falls of Minnoch. These consist of a long grade 4 rapid finishing with a 6 ft reef fall with a very nasty hole right on the lip, definitely deserves a grade 5. I chose to run this left of centre, as there is a very worrying hole/ boil on the right. Not to mention an undercut rock wall, if your line didn't quite go to plan.
After this more quality rapids take you down to Stroan Bridge, on the day this was a long meaty rapid leading to a back to back pour over with a nasty looking slot. We ran a line on the far river right - exciting!
We ran the lower Minnoch down to Brogan Bridge from here and at high levels this was a great run culminating in a superb long, very meaty rapid at Brogan Bridge - keep an eye out for a small constricted waterfall on river left half way down, one for the topo.
More photos of this river can be found at http://www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgenetics/whitewater.htm
OTHER NOTES: I found the Minnoch to be one of the most satisfying rivers I've done for a while, something in it for every kind of paddler, short constricted technical sections, full on adrenaline sections, and big meaty bouncy sections, only beaten by the Kinglass.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Lyons, also Mike Hayward.