GUIDE TO THE RIVER LEVEN
NAME OF RIVER: Upper Leven (Kinlochleven, Scotland).
WHERE IS IT?: Runs from the Black Water Reservoir through Kinlochleven into Loch Leven.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There is also a lower section. Described here is the upper section.
Access is a bit tricky as the only real road contact is in Kinlochleven (the takeout). Though the footpaths on the north bank (river right) are sound and enable some inspection to be done. Note in particular the "End of the world"(V) big 3 step falls just underneath the confluence with the Eilde and the "Big mother" (Just above the random
chimney). The put-in is 300m above the chimney.
APPROX LENGTH: 3 km (including lower section).
TIME NEEDED: 4 hrs down to Kinlochleven.
ACCESS HASSLES: No known problems - park with consideration!
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If you walk all the way to the dam (1km extra from put-in) you can see the release jet(s).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: End of the World Falls, the Big Mother.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Below the dam are several enormous waterfalls, very scenic but no good for paddling. Some point after these the river narrows and a two step drop (9 and 2 meters respectively) leads into a short gorge. In medium and low spate it is possible to seal launch down the side of the lower drop into the gorge. The little gorge contains nothing of interest but it finishes in the Top-drop; a 6 meter slanting fall/ chute. After this follows a cascade of 3 fun drops (3, 4 and 8 meters respectively) the last of which, The 'Big Mother', has a large tow-back and should be portaged. Consider yourself warned.
After the 'Big mother' follows nearly a mile of less intensive paddling, interupted only by a single uneven 2m drop.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Theo Petre.