GUIDE TO THE AN T-SUILEAG (FASSFERN)

(NN 023803 to Loch Eil)

NAME OF RIVER: An t-Suileag. Paddlers commonly call it the 'Fassfern', given that this hamlet in the river is easier to pronounce.

WHERE IS IT?: Flows down a wild glen to the A380, west of Fort William. Drains the other side of the hill from the Loy.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Park at the bridge in Fassfern village (NN 021789) and carry your boat up the track on the river left bank. Shortly after you pass a bridge over the river (stay on RL), you'l see a steep grade 5 fall...put in either below or a hundred metres above (NN 023803). The walk is 20-30 mins max.

Finish in Fassfern or paddle down to Loch Eil.

APPROX LENGTH: 2.5 km.

TIME NEEDED: 1-2 hours including walk-in.

ACCESS HASSLES: None known.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It needs to have hooned down very recently. This bedrock river rises and falls very quickly.

Check the river at the road bridge in Fassfern. All the stones/ rocks in the riverbed should be covered.

GRADING: 4 (5).

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: None.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The grade 5 is a short and sharp waterfall with some technical moves directly below. We launched about 100m metres upstream and enjoyed some fast steep grade 4+ slides on the lead-in.

Below the waterfall are a series of great grade 3 and 4 rapids consisting of long bedrock slides.

The long stepped rapid after the bridge in Fassfern has a sticky ledge on river left and would be quite full-on at higher levels. This is the last of the whitewater; either walk back up to the bridge on river left, or continue down to Loch Eil for completeness. In autumn 2012 there was a fallen tree to negotiate near the end.

If you paddle to Loch Eil, cross the railway track back to the A380 carefully!

OTHER NOTES: There is clearly much more good stuff upstream of this put-in...anyone done it?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.

Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: An t-Suileag (Fassfern) -- bigdave17
2016 Jul 21 03:30:09 PM
Ran this last weekend (17-7-2016) great river. Sadly though there seems to be a Hydro scheme under construction (although it didn't seem to be taking a huge amount of water at the time).
Re: An t-Suileag (Fassfern) -- banzer
2013 Sep 03 01:18:19 PM
It is considered an offence not to run Backwards Slab backwards. It's the big slabby rapid about 2/3 the way down. Fun fun fun...
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