GUIDE TO THE ABHAINN RIGH
NAME OF RIVER: Abhainn Righ.
WHERE IS IT?: Up the hill behind Inchree off the Glencoe to Fort William road.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Drive up the little lane that goes through Inchree and park in the car park at the end. Follow the path signed Waterfall Walk carrying your kayak for about 1km.
Note that the falls are behind the Inchcree Centre who offer accommodation and other services...www.inchreecentre.co.uk
APPROX LENGTH: Maybe 1km.
TIME NEEDED: 1.5 hrs - depends on how long you need to psych yourself up for the drops.
ACCESS HASSLES: Slippery rocks and loose heather so be careful!
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: You don't want too much water but look at it yourself and judge.
GRADING: Certainly Grade 5+, maybe Grade 6- it hurts big time if you get it wrong and will still hurt a bit if you get it right...
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Yep!
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This is a BIG waterfall run. The top drop is about 12ft high but lands on rocks and doesn't appear to go; start below this. The second drop is about 50ft high and is more of a slide. This is by far the most difficult of the drops; about 8ft from the bottom on the right is a ledge which if you hit will either spin you out or send you off line into the rocks at the side. You've got to be left but after 42ft of drop do you think you can control where you are?
Mark Lyons adds...'more water than on the photo is recommended, as at this level the first 50ft drop is VERY bumpy!! Expect to hit the pool very fast and hard. I hit the pool almost perfect and it still hurt! I was winded and had a stiff back after running the rest of the river ok I had difficulty carrying my kayak out - went to the Belford Hospital in Fort Bill thinking I had strained something and was quickly informed that I had a compression fracture on one of my vertebrae and was put to bed and told not to move for a week - no lasting damage and no regrets it was worth it!! This was a recurrence of an old injury so should not happen to everyone.'
Have a look at the photos in the pub in Inchree before you decide to run this one! The third drop is a 40ft vertical drop into a deep pool. We couldn't find any rocks in the bottom of this one but check it out yourself. Fourth is an 8ft drop - pretty straight-forward after the last one! Below this is a complicated drop with a chock stone left to avoid and some boulders angled into the drop at the bottom; not the nicest drop on the river but okay if you keep your elbows in. There then follows a rocky drop or two before you come to a portage where the river turns sharpish left and narrows right up. You have to get out river left and then rope the boats across the river and over the drop. Get in below and continue. The next drop is about 3ft but shallow below and the final is a beautiful 10ft slide - what a way to finish. Get out here and walk back to the car; the river is usually too boney below here to paddle down to the road.
OTHER NOTES: Look at this one carefully and make your own judgement. You've got to have some good cover as the pinning potential on some of the drops is quite high. You could make a viewing charge for this one!
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jim Ellis, Mark Lyons and Kenny Short.