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Thread: Loch Tay

  1. #1

    Default Loch Tay

    Apologies, if this has already been posted, but the only threads I could find were old.

    I am looking to undertake a 2 day expedition with a group of half a dozen teenagers in late July wild camping on one of the islands which I feel they will find exciting.

    They are in good health/fitness but their technique could do with some work as they are relatively inexperienced.

    I am looking for recommendations of where to get in around mid-morning to give a decent 1st day paddle, which island to stay on and where to get out on the second day (My transport can be flexible, so preferably a stretch which where we can get out in a number of places depending on how much progress we make (looking at the map it appears the road both north and south of the loch doesnt give that many options unless we only do a shortish stretch at the east end.

    Any and all advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Nr Rochester in Kent
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    3,778

    Default

    We got in at the boat club next to the Killin Hotel on the River Lochay. Seemed to be publicly accessible as far as we could see.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...al-Tay-Descent
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    between Kinross and Alloa, Scotland
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    Ground suitable for tents is in short supply on the islands. Minimize the number of tents you take.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Scottish Central Belt
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    29

    Default

    Be aware that Loch Tay can get tricky in the wind, there were 2ft waves and white caps on it this weekend. Quick trip going east, not so quick going back

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks guys - I assume it is difficult to judge how far we will get etc?

    Back to plan B then - ie get in where I can see an obvious location on the north shore, potentially get to the island far too early and then try and find multiple get outs dependent on the progress on day 2 - I am hoping the south road will provide this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Dunblane
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    Consider another loch or not sleeping on islands. Loch Tay has few get in's, a big fetch and the islands are at each end.

    There are lots of sites to camp, however I'm reluctant to share all of them on public forum, and those on south shore are invariably inhabited by drunk louts at weekends, as the road is so close.

    North side you can camp at old Lawers village, but you are in farmers fisle which may cause an issue if you turn up to a field of highland cattle...Below Tombreck has a site at the secret waterfall, opposite Ardeonaig hotel...

    There are better lochs if you want to sleep on an island with a group (Lomond) or more interesting (Tummel, Awe, Etive, Lomond, Sween etc), or go further north. Tay would be a bigger paddle due to the geography.

    (I'm ex chief instructor from an outdoor centre on loch Tay)

  7. #7

    Default

    Matt, Thanks for your considered response. The islands being at each end and not having an obvious get in/out that fitted was the reason for my post.

    My problem with location is this is just 1 group of young people out of 10 (I am doing the trip twice so overall 2 of the patrols will do it). As such I need to sonsider the impact on the others and them doing their activities and I cant justify tieing up a minibus to the extent that anywhere as far afield as most of your suggestions would take us (we are staying in Lochearnhead).

    The exception is Lomond - but that comes with the issue that we are a bigger group than is allowed without exception approval - something I am not sure we would get and hence my looking at alternatives.

    The reason for the island was that I felt this added more excitement to the trip than just being on the side of the loch.

    But I do need to take into account access and the comments above about how challenging Loch Tay can be. The only alternatives I can see (for some reason Voil, Lubnaig & Venacher are all above my authorisation) are Loch Earn itself - something I have to date discounted because we will have sailors and powerboats out, thus negating the excitement even further or Loch Lyon, which does appear to have decent access all around without the road being right on the loch side the whole way - I just need to give up the idea of an island.

    Your (or anyone elses) thoughts are welcome
    Fia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Cumbria
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    What about Ard? Not sure how it is for camping sites but an easy put-in and it does HAVE an island.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  9. #9

    Default

    I got all excited here, as it is also a shorter journey than Lyon - but unfortunately having checked it falls into the same category as Voil or Venacher as being classified as B2 by Scouts and I only have authorisation up to B1

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    I think you need to check more carefully about Tay and Lomond - I can't see how either of those would be categorised less serious than Ard, Voil or Venacher? They are big, deep, cold and potentially seriously windy.

    I suspect you understimate the excitement of heading out for a 'wild' camp on the same loch as base camp busy with all the other boats, if there is anywhere to wild camp....

    What about Lubhair?

    How hard can it be?

  11. Default

    I am with you on that - I dont understand it either, but the listings are quite clear. In the defence of whoever did it, Lomond does have different classifications depending on how far from shore you are.

    I have done the same loch as others before, and it wasnt the same as the previous trip where we actually did the river Tay (unfortunately this trips kids arent quite up to the standard I would like to do the river again).

    Just looked at Lubhair - I had discounted it previously because it doesnt look long enough for a 2 day expedition (even if it is possible to drop down into Loch Dochart and can get all the way back). It does however look like a great option for a half day kayaking session one of my colleagues is running while I am doing the two day trips, so thanks for the idea.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Cumbria
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    Some of the rules for Scouting are horribly arbitrary. The grading for walks can be based purely on height above sea level for example.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  13. Default

    Agreed - it will also depend on who is doing the grading and how knowledgable they are about a particular loch/river (e.g. if they know the Tay very well they are likely to see it as easier because they can easily deal with anything it has to throw at them. On the other hand a loch they dont know they may err on the side of caution and grade it slightly higher than they otherwise would.

  14. #14

    Default

    You could go in at Kenmore and camp on the island at that end, enough room for a few tents. Paddle west then easier paddle back. You'll get parked at the beach or the village. Careful about going on the beach at the cafe though as the woman complained that it was her beach and didn't like the fact that we bought goods from the Post Office


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