GUIDE TO ALLT ODHAR
NAME OF RIVER: Allt Odhar.
WHERE IS IT?: Spean Bridge NN 225818, near Fort William.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Walk up alongside the burn from Spean Bridge about a kilometre or so, inspecting as you go. Take out in Spean Bridge, or for a bonus float out to the Spean and do the Gorge and take out at Mucomir.
APPROX LENGTH: 1 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2-3 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Not known. There are some new housing developments so you may need to be subtle / creative. We went river left but there are fewer properties river right. The weather should be pretty foul so there shouldn't be anyone around to bother you!
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Flood conditions: you have just run away from the Roy as it's far too high.
GRADING: Grade 4/5.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There are three big falls of 7m+. Only the first is paddleable. The third slide near the end might be if it didn't have a Californian Redwood tree embedded in it.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: If you like steep, unrelenting spate ditches this is for you! A tiny, unlikely-looking dribble in the summer, this is a gem when it's up. We cleared some timber in the summer of 2007 and had a clear run, other than the two big fall portages. But watch out for new strainers!
Put-in where things start to steepen, and you're on a fast flume-ride from the off. Two nice drops (2m and 4m) into deep pools mark this section; before long you reach a pool with some workings on the right and an old water abstraction above a bigger fall. Inspect / portage right, but better to bounce your way down this 7m fall. Right or left- your choice.
Not far below now is the heinous second big fall so make sure you identify this and portage river right. Put on below at a narrowing, be aware there's a sawn-through log on a right hand curve river left... keep right, or put in just above the next obvious (and brilliant) section of falls, slides and drops. Watch out for wood on a 90-degree left hand bend, but it goes ok.
Don't get tempted to go too far because it steepens towards the third, unfortunately-blocked big fall. There's plenty of time to get out though. Lower down the bank river right and put on for the float to Spean Bridge and medals.
OTHER NOTES: With a gradient of 100m+ / km this is a steep run, reminiscent of the Inverar Burn, and possibly the most fun run I did in 3 years living in Fort Bill. We only had one boater in the river at a time as there's hardly room for any more! If Laggan Dam is releasing (it should be), you should carry on down the Sporge, a whole different character at these levels.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Rich (banzer) Bannister, also Dom Pipe.