Paddlers: Adele, Stewart, Colin, Steve, Graham, John, Chris, Gordon, Geoff
Weather: Sun and Showers
Report: John and Gordon had organised this first river trip for a number of months and conditions could hardly have been bettered. A lot of rain from the past couple of weeks meant a fast and exciting ride with John getting the less experienced used to the idea of “playing” in the river; diving behind rocks etc. The entry point at the meadows car park in Callendar is near perfect.
Despite numerous opportunities everybody coped extremely well. Stewart managed to fall in on exiting from behind a rock into the main stream but otherwise all of us survived if, on occasions a little wet as we crashed through.A video of Chris playing in the river can be found at https://youtu.be/09TuvB4HmIY
The Torrie Falls are the only significant rapids on the river. They are shot on the left of the river and, on this occasion were very bouncy.
The Deanston Weir, however, is a more serious proposition and the normal advice is not to run it. The weir runs diagonally across the river. To the left is an overflow channel that was a mass of dangerous water with concrete blocks to ensure death. To the right is a fish ladder, a series of concrete steps not canoeable. The main flow runs down a shallow concrete ramp and over a small drop, but at the bottom on the right becomes a dangerous hole. On the left there are two steps where a jam is a real possibility. If one can keep the line right down the middle then there should be no problems but keeping that line looked problematic when scraping down the concrete slope. Going sideways over the lip, though small, looked uncomfortable. After thorough observation and much discussion it was decided to portage; a long and not very comfortable trudge.
The Exit point is about a km further on just before the bridge in Doune. On the left after a steep climb from the river there is the car park.
The logistics of the trip worked perfectly and everybody returned home looking for the next trip. Meanwhile Colin has turned up a report of kayakers being airlifted off the weir (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-15148778), rather confirming our judgement.