GUIDE TO THE RIVER LOCHY
NAME OF RIVER: Lochy.
WHERE IS IT?: From Tyndrum follow the A85 heading for Dalmally.
IN WHICH REGION: West of Scotland.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: The put in is where the river steepens, there is a big layby a short walk across a field from the river. The take out is after the river goes under a road bridge, next to the Glen Orchy turn off.
APPROX LENGTH: 3.5 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2-2.5 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: No problems reported.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: At the takeout there are iron bars sticking out of the river, we ran this when the river was touching the top of the lower bar, at this level some of the falls were very meaty. It could be ran lower, but if you were going to run it higher, prior knowledge of the river would be advisable as some of the falls are not easy to spot until you are almost on top of them, I found myself in a micro eddy right at the top of one!
GRADING: 5 and 5+.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: All of them, inspection is the better part of valour.
Billy Powell (Sept 2006)...'Tree in the top of the double drop has gone. No tree above Boof or Die like there used to be, thank your luck. Tree in the right of a reef fall further down, but not really a problem, flare boof round it, or batter down the other side. No Tree in FUBAR as I recall although I could have gone over it. Another tree is nicely stuck in Rhear Dru, which makes two in there and really spoils the end of the river. You can probably sneak them at lower flows on the left, but the consequences at flows anything above medium makes me scamper down the bank growling at the poor choice of location for poo-sticks to pin.' NOTES=CONTRIBUTED BY:
Ewart Aylward (October 2005)...'A tree is across the whole of the top of the double drop after the lead in ramp. It's about six inches out of the water and making the eddy river left above it is a must. It's well lodged in place and will need a chainsaw to remove it. There is also a tree in the main line of another drop further down (a nice sloping ledge on river right) and the remains of a tree in the entrance of the big drop at the end, although this can be snuck left into the first pot.'
Rob Blankenstein...'The fall commonly known as FUBAR, which is run down the left has a tree in it at the moment...9th Dec 2004, this is exactly the spot where you would land!! Inspection recommended.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: At the get-in, a short flat stretch leads to the first rapid, a bend with a hole at the end. A short distance further on is the first grade 5, a steep shelf followed by a 20ft double drop on river right. I wasn't too sure about this one but it ran better than I thought. I was glad of a very good boof on the first drop, because the hole on the second was a whole lot bigger than it looked from the bank. One of my party ran the line on river left over a reef which was more amenable.
After this the falls just keep coming, with good grade 4-5 rapids in the middle of them, they all lead to the Rheadr Dru. This is a monster waterfall with a line down river right, this had a tree in the top drop, and at the level we ran the river, some very large holes - you can portage on river left. After this a short gorge leads to the take out.
OTHER NOTES: Do you have a copy of the SystemX CD-ROM? If you do, then the double drop on the Lochy is at roughly 2 1/2 minutes and the down time fall is at 10 1/2 minutes - do not get this one wrong, he's a long time under water...
Paul Steel adds these notes (Dec '01)...'Just the two of us on the Lochy, it was great, pretty full on mind you, not the place for the faint hearted. Overall the whole day was long as we did the Lochy then the Falloch with only the drive from one to the other as a break...and we walked the shuttles on both of them! I will tell you that i got worked pretty bad in 3 of the drops....FUBAR was particularly unkind....ended up behind the fall, then in the fall and so on, picture shows me escaping backwards. Would have been better in a creek boat, more volume. I actually hit the bottom, not sure if it was because i went really deep or because it is shallow. Everything on the river goes (query tree), some hard lines that shouldn't be missed. Main fall was fine, even backwards, Jamie hit the best line, even if it was the wrong way around. This was partly due the fact that we portaged the tree at the top and put in on the rocks just below it. I got vertically pinned at the top of the last bit and ended up boofing....not so good. We ran middle to left of the rock spine. River right would be better if the whole drop could be paddled with the removal of the tree at the top. It would also get easier I think. Anyway it was an awesome run.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Lyons, also Paul Steel, Billy Powell, Ewart Aylward and Rob Blankenstein.
Lochy - same river as Spean - does run from Mucomir to the Sea but there is also a LOCHAY from Glen Lochay near Killin to Loch Tay.