GUIDE TO THE RIVER ETIVE
(Coupall confluence to Triple Falls)
NAME OF RIVER: Etive.
WHERE IS IT?: In Glen Etive. Heading south on the A82 from Glencoe and Fort William, it's a minor right turning.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Starting on the bridge on the A82 near the Kingshouse Hotel is the first possibility, but there are serious falls below. The best put in is at the River Coupall confluence. The River Coupall is the first stream you cross when you go down the road towards the Middle Etive.
The take out is just past the wire sheep trolley, just above Triple Falls. Be really careful that you get out in time in high water.
APPROX LENGTH: 5 km.
TIME NEEDED: It only takes about an hour.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The water level needs to be really hig; far too high for the Middle Etive, for most mortals. When we finished this section we looked at Triple Falls and the middle fall had washed away and was replaced by a massive stopper.
GRADING: Just bouncy on the Etive, Grade 2/3. There is a Grade 5 rapid to run or portage.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Buchaille Etive falls.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: If it's really wet, you can go a mile higher.
The bridge on the A82 near the Kingshouse Hotel is the first possibility to start. Between here and the confluence with the River Coupall are the severe Buchaille Etive Falls (G245543), where the river drops some 30 feet down rock slides then over a sharp 10 foot drop into a threatening pool with impending rocks (Grade 5/ 5+). This fall is the second possible start point.
Next is a section of Grade 2-3 which is very rocky and requires plenty of water. This section is just fast and bouncy most of the way with some great waves to surf. Just below a sheep trolley bridge (GR220520) are the Triple Falls, the finish point. You can then consider carrying on down into the Middle Etive which will probably be a suicide mission at these levels! A better option might be a trip on the Lower Etive.
OTHER NOTES: This is a great blast when all is in spate. Consider going even higher!
CONTRIBUTED BY: Chucky, also Mark Rainsley.