Crossing Scotland

Fiskeba, Kajakk, Robat, Kano... Vi kaller det Packrafting
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damt
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:08 am

Crossing Scotland

Post by damt » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:31 am

Hi all,

I just returned from a packrafting trip in Scotland. I basically redid the trip Alastair Humphrey tried last winter: I walked from the west coast of Scotland (starting close to Mallaig) towards the east, to reach the source of the river Spey, which flows north east to the north Sea. I walked along the river to Newtonmore, from where I started to paddle.

Its a bit more than 150miles in length, which I completed in 6 long days. The first half (the hiking part) is incredible, going through some really remote areas. The paddling part was so-so; the landscape is MUCH more civilized. The river is quite large in width, but is mostly boring flatwater from the source until Aviemore; then there is a bit more action, with some rapids but nothing much above class II.

I posted pictures and my gear list on this page:
http://dam2us.blogspot.com/2010/09/cros ... tland.html

Damien

trader
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Crossing Scotland

Post by trader » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:28 am

Great pictures.

I spent a month walking through Scotland last October (West Highland Way, Great Glen Way, more up in the Highlands) and I had a blast. There were times I would have really loved to have my packraft (Sandwood Bay) but the rivers looked pretty tame throughout. Like you said though - wondrous hiking.

damt
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:08 am

Re: Crossing Scotland

Post by damt » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:04 pm

Here is some video footage of the trip. There's nothing fantastic, I don't have video of the paddling part (I didn't dare taking the camera out of the dry bag!), but it gives an idea of what the hiking part was like.

http://vimeo.com/15009012

Chris S
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:27 am
Location: UK, mostly
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Re: Crossing Scotland

Post by Chris S » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:20 pm

Nice vid Damien. It looks like you took the north pass over from Morar. How did the Dessarry river look?
I was back there on the weekend on the south side (Pean) which this time was high enough to run into Loch Arkaig. I can see why people talk about thigh straps..

Did you not paddle down to the sea then? That's the best bit!

You need to get yourself a waterproof camera, amigo!
On the weekend a friend showed me his waterproof Canon D10 - never heard of it but looks just right for boating - no messing with waterproof boxes or bags.

afn

Chris

damt
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:08 am

Re: Crossing Scotland

Post by damt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Hey Chris,

I took the pass from Morar but not directly to Loch Nevis, I went up cross country over the hills towards the east, but as I went up the weather was turning bad, and not long after getting up there, I headed down to follow the coast. There were sheep tracks but that was painfully slow. Using the packraft there would have been appropriate, but the weather was so bad I wasn't feeling like going on the water.

And no, I did not paddle the last kilometer down to the sea... kind of sad I know! On my map it showed the mouth of the river bordered by marsh grounds (?) and I wasn't sure how easy it would be to walk out of that. And also, I would have missed the last bus of the day to get out of Garmouth!

Cheers,

Damien

alastairhumphreys
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Re: Crossing Scotland

Post by alastairhumphreys » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:20 am

Damien,
Well done on this trip - glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Alastair

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