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Spean Gorge by Kathryn Wilson

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Saturday Afternoon 15th April

After a morning session on the River Roy I felt warmed up and ready to see what the Spean Gorge had to offer for the afternoon’s paddle.

It had been a few years since I last paddled the Spean Gorge and my memory of the main features was patchy.  Once on the river, we gathered just underneath the bridge and split in equal groups of five.  I split with the boys from the Cadets Will and Tom as they had been a good omen during the mornings paddle also Sarah and Miguel and I made the five.

In our groups, we set off into the Spean Gorge.  The water levels where high so creating lots of wave trains getting into the Gorge.  Paddling onwards, we viewed the first main feature in the near distance and gathered in the top eddy whilst the leaders went to scout the line down.  When the leaders found the best route, we we’re given the signal and guided successfully down one by one.  The next couple of rapids came upon us within quick succession and proved challenging but with great guidance we all managed to get down whilst staying the right way up.

Further into the Spean Gorge, we hit a tight corner and it was difficult to see the line down.  Miguel bravely offered to go down first, unfortunately for him he hit the rock face, causing him to lose his balance and his paddle and a speedy recovery of Miguel and his paddling gear quickly ensued.  Following this hiccup, it was decided that a Portage was the best option for the rest of the group.  This was followed by more scrambles up the next couple of rock face’s past the ‘head banger’ a tricky grade 4 section.

Back in our Kayaks there was one last rapid to conquer and this curved around a corner creating two waves.  After being prepped to take the center right I committed myself paddling hard and luckily for me I curved around the corner and landed into the relative safety of the calm waters below.

The Gorge began to open out and the river became calmer, we then had a relaxing paddle whilst taking in the gorgeous scenery pleased with our group achievements we headed for the get out.

More Photos…….