GUIDE TO ALLT GLEANN A CHAOLAIS
NAME OF RIVER: Allt Gleann a Chaolais.
WHERE IS IT?: Scotland, Glen Coe area, on the B863 between Glen Coe Village and Kinlochleven. Check OS map because there are a few other burns in this area.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Where the road bridge crosses the river there is parking space for a few vehicles on river left, this is the suggested take out.To get to the put in, walk up the very steep path which more or less follows the river on its left bank. When the river starts top flatten out you are at the suggested put in.
APPROX LENGTH: About 1 km.
TIME NEEDED: 3 to 4 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: The owner of a nearby caravan site gave us a bit of hassle because he uses the river as a water supply for the caravan site.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Most of the river consists of slides and falls into deep but small pools, as such it will run when local water levels are very low, at high water levels it would be a serious undertaking. Have a look at the first few falls and slides which are close to the road and make your own mind up.
Ryan Govan (June 2005)...'Guys, this needs water; the water level in the photos is not kayaking, it's people going plastic canyoning.'
GRADING: 4 to 5.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Absolutely all of it. There is only one portage, where the river disappears into a very narrow crack. Check it out on the walk up. All of it, especially the lack of deep pools to crash into.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This little river is non stop action start to finish, it is crammed full of slides and falls, supposedly at least 22, but we lost count. In high water many of these would merge into one big adventure.
The significant sections are described below.
The action starts as soon as you get on, two small slides lead straight into a 18 ft vertical fall.
More drops and slides follow leading to a superb 25 foot stepped slide.This slide is steep and fast, two steps on the way down and a kicker near the base provides some nice air and result in totally out of controlled run.
This slide leads immediately into a 12 foot drop into a very small but deep pool.
More slides follow, two in particular being very narrow and steep, the second one leads straight into the portage, make sure you can stop in time.
A further long bouncy (but not steep) slide leads to a corner and the last two falls.
There is a concrete slab across the river on the lip of the fall, presumably for the water feed to the caravan site, this fall has a twist half way down and a ramp which again gives a bit of air.
The final drop is a simple slide into a deep pool, from which you will emerge with a huge grin or with relief that it's all over, depending on water levels and your affinity for such rivers.
OTHER NOTES: There may be more action above the put in at higher water levels.
Ryan Govan (June 2005)...'First Fall: 15-20ft straight fall which appears to be deep enough for any boat of the last millenium, we boofed, penciled and free wheeled this one with no problems.
After this the whole river is all a blur, it would take a cross between Jeremy Clarkson and Donald Rumsfeld to come up with a convincing description for it.
The ones I do remember are: a triple fall, we ran the first 2ft left heading centre right and it went sweet but to be honest it is sooo easy you could do whatever and not screw this up. Directly after this is a drop which we really thought might be very shallow, it looks like a cauldren but it won't hold you and running it proved that you can go deep, then under the tree round the branch over the stump and away we go.
We ran the rest blind and lived to go run the Nevis in flood that afternoon.....but thats another story eeek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everything on this river can be inspected and portaged, there is plently of time in each pool and no need to run everything. If you wanna have a blast, go for it. If you wanna test your skill, there is none here. If you wanna push your grade and test the size of you balls above G4 then this is quite a good place to do it......as there is no skill required!'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans, also Ryan Govan.