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Thread: Misty Mountain Hop

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    Cool Misty Mountain Hop

    Misty Mountain Hop





    So I'm packing my bags for the Misty Mountains,

    Over the hills where the spirits fly





    Map of route.



    There was a window of opportunity in our busy schedule (i.e. nothing better to do) so Jenny proposed a paddle down the Falls of Leny. I was dubious but looked it up anyway. It was listed as a Grade 3/4 verging on 5. Now I'm a Grade 2/3 verging on 1 type of paddler, and that's on a good day! Nevertheless I agreed to go and have a look at it. If the water was low and slow, who knows it might be a go-er. It was neither of course, but I'm getting ahead of the story.

    So on a soft grey morning we set off on the road to Callander.

    Mist was still clinging to the hills and the fields were rimed with frost.












    It was supposed to brighten up later on.



    Some interesting fellow travellers.





    On arrival in Callandar our first priority was to find a decent pie shop for breakfast. This one fitted the bill nicely.





    Interesting facilities in the cafe. I made sure to wear my helmet and PFD before visiting these loos!





    That done we went off to park the car by the river.



    Carpark attendant.





    "Can't pay, won't pay!"





    So we got kitted up, put our packrafts on our backs and set off to find the falls.






    I love to go a wandering with a packraft on my back...





    Fal da ri, etc.





    The Bridge of Khazad-dm.





    Shelob's lair.





    The Dead Marshes.

    r



    Beyond the fields we know.





    Entwood.





    "Get a move on, the nights are drawing in!"





    Forbidden pool.





    The road goes ever on.





    Misty Mountains.





    Ryhope Wood.





    So, at last we reached the bridge at Kilmahog. From which we view the river and suss out the best routes down it. It is flowing quite fast and is very full.





    This is the River Leny. "Technically, the river is called the Garbh Uisge, but as with all sentences preceded by the word technically, this can safely be ignored."





    Entering Blair Witch Territory.









    We trudged on.


    A walking emoji.





    Me? Lost?





    Nearing the falls, as we could tell from the roar of the water.





    The Falls of Rauros.





    The bit of water on the left of picture is called Last Gasp Eddy, as it's your very last chance to get out before you get swept down the falls, like a neutron star beng sucked into a black hole...





    "Ha. No way am I going down that!"





    When the levee breaks...






    So after a short break, we head back downstream to somewhere more sane to launch from.






    And find it, a little upstream from the bridge.


    Old Man Willow. (No doubt the wrong sort of tree, but who cares.)





    Boats get unpacked, gear strewn about, and preparations made.





















    She just has to be first on the water.





    A quick seal launch and she's away.










    Leaving me to follow.



    Where's she gone? I'm now hurtling towards the bridge at high speed.





    I think we decided that going through the left arch was the best route to avoid the rocks on the other side. Or was it the other way round?





    On I went, and bounced down the rapids on the other side. Some nice big wavetrains there. Took some water but otherwise intact.


    I see a bit of yellow in the distance ahead - it's the other packkraft. Is there anyone in it? I get a bit closer, and see that there is. Phew!










    Onward. Some nice fast water and rapids. This may be the "Wee Stinker". Or the "S Bends". I don't know, it's all too fast.









    At times it was a slalom run through tree strainers. Helmets come in useful here, for banging your head against branches.





    Moving water.









    Reaching a calmer bit.





    Less calm. Dodging trees.


















    Back at Khazad-dm.





    Down in the calmer waters, after the rapids.










    Still flowing fast though, with plenty of strainers.





    At the confluence of the Leny with the Teith.









    Coming back into Callander.





    At which point the only thing to do was go back to the cafe for a second breakfast.






    Then a wander through the town streets. Ok, street.


    Callander girls.




    I was a bit disturbed by the cloven hooves!


    As you can see I lost a lot of weight on this trip. I was flying along on my bike later that day.




    Unfortunately not true. Still, a grand day out and some more good whitewater under the packraft's bows.


    Gordon

    Last edited by Crow; 9th-November-2017 at 10:34 PM.

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    Excellent. Always fancied this bit, and the Teith. Never fancied the falls! Definitely fancy the breakfast, and the pies.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    Hilarious, that made my lunch break go with a chortle. I get the impression Jenny is constantly thinking "I wish he'd keep up" as she disappears over the horizon.

    Well paddled Mr Crow, and don't listen to her. Keep stopping to smell the roses, I love to see your little observations en route.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Excellent. Always fancied this bit, and the Teith. Never fancied the falls! Definitely fancy the breakfast, and the pies.
    Cheers, Mal.

    I've done the Teith from Doune to Stirling (in a canoe), so now I need to do the stretch from Callander to Doune.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Superb blog Crow. Apart from the description of the trip, I especially liked the literary references. Can't understand why some of the pics are out of focus .

    I really envy those of you who live in the top half of our islands; I tried a bit of bouncy kayaking in Derbyshire many years ago and spent most of the time upside down with my head bouncing off rocks but with proper guidance I would like to try it again in a canoe.

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    Nice understated cover version, with video to match.


    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Excellent. Going by the bass line, yet another track influenced by Don van Vliet.

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    Nice one Crow, although I think in the packraft you'd have been fine going down the falls, what's the worst that could happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spynappels View Post
    Nice one Crow, although I think in the packraft you'd have been fine going down the falls, what's the worst that could happen?
    Indeed, the packraft would be fine going down the falls....having relieved itself of any passengers on the first drop
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  10. #10

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    Very good, enjoyed that. But unless my Gaelic is well off, anything called "Garbh Uisge", even technically, is a warning bell!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Very good, enjoyed that. But unless my Gaelic is well off, anything called "Garbh Uisge", even technically, is a warning bell!
    "Roughly" speaking, you are correct!
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    Nice one! Looked at the Lenny myself a few weeks back - only the falls - no way those are for me! Would give it a run in the packraft from your starting point I think - that looks far more sane! What drysuits are you guys using - I need to get me one, was out last weekend, half froze to death in a wetsuit!

    Would be nice to run this in a one-er from your starting point all the way to Stirling - do-able with a decent start in the morning.

    Nigel

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    Quote Originally Posted by veletron View Post
    Nice one! Looked at the Lenny myself a few weeks back - only the falls - no way those are for me! Would give it a run in the packraft from your starting point I think - that looks far more sane! What drysuits are you guys using - I need to get me one, was out last weekend, half froze to death in a wetsuit!

    Would be nice to run this in a one-er from your starting point all the way to Stirling - do-able with a decent start in the morning.

    Nigel
    Cheers.

    I use a Palm Aleutian dry cag and trousers in the winter. Sea kayaking gear. Though I just wore fleece lined walking trousers with the cag on this trip. I also have a full Typhoon drysuit, but I don't use it very often as it gets too hot.

    I've done the section from Doune to Stirling with a bike shuttle - http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...in-of-my-Teith - but not the Callander to Doune bit, which I think would be good.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Magical bit of lunacy suitably compensated by a good fryup.
    Keep up the madness, it's the only way.

    Nick

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    There was a window of opportunity in our busy schedule.............

    .........but as with all sentences preceded by the word technically, this can safely be ignored.......

    ....I was a bit disturbed by the cloven hooves!

    Three small sentences to keep chortling a while longer

    Cracking blog Gordon

    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al. View Post
    Hilarious, that made my lunch break go with a chortle. I get the impression Jenny is constantly thinking "I wish he'd keep up" as she disappears over the horizon.

    Well paddled Mr Crow, and don't listen to her. Keep stopping to smell the roses, I love to see your little observations en route.

    Thanks, Al.

    Advice noted and appreciated.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hewitt View Post
    Superb blog Crow. Apart from the description of the trip, I especially liked the literary references. Can't understand why some of the pics are out of focus .

    I really envy those of you who live in the top half of our islands; I tried a bit of bouncy kayaking in Derbyshire many years ago and spent most of the time upside down with my head bouncing off rocks but with proper guidance I would like to try it again in a canoe.
    Cheers.

    I can.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hewitt View Post
    Excellent. Going by the bass line, yet another track influenced by Don van Vliet.

    What, Led Zep "borrow" a tune from someone else? Never!

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by spynappels View Post
    Nice one Crow, although I think in the packraft you'd have been fine going down the falls, what's the worst that could happen?
    You mean apart from another lost hat, broken camera, fractured collar bone and early bath?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Very good, enjoyed that. But unless my Gaelic is well off, anything called "Garbh Uisge", even technically, is a warning bell!

    "Rough Water".

    Yes indeed.

    But as they say:

    Chan eil tuil air nach tig traoghadh.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    "Roughly" speaking, you are correct!
    Mal knows.


    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Nice work G, great wee blogg! I think the Callander to Doune stretch is the 'normal' stretch... maybe why you've not done it eh?
    Cheers,

    Alan


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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post




    Three different corvids

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Nick View Post
    Magical bit of lunacy suitably compensated by a good fryup.
    Keep up the madness, it's the only way.

    Nick

    Anything is compensated by a good fry up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Cheers.

    I use a Palm Aleutian dry cag and trousers in the winter. Sea kayaking gear. Though I just wore fleece lined walking trousers with the cag on this trip. I also have a full Typhoon drysuit, but I don't use it very often as it gets too hot.

    I've done the section from Doune to Stirling with a bike shuttle - http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...in-of-my-Teith - but not the Callander to Doune bit, which I think would be good.
    Thanks will take a look! If you are lacking company for the Callander to Doune bit, give us a shout. Was great fun back in the summer when I did it (bus for shuttle), but would not mind trying it with a bit more water, as there were a couple of 'bony' sections.

    Nigel

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    Quote Originally Posted by veletron View Post
    Thanks will take a look! If you are lacking company for the Callander to Doune bit, give us a shout. Was great fun back in the summer when I did it (bus for shuttle), but would not mind trying it with a bit more water, as there were a couple of 'bony' sections.

    Nigel

    Sure, that would be good.

    You're in Stirling aren't you, so local knowledge on shuttles etc would be useful.


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    For information, the S-bend is a couple of hundred yards further down from the end of the short gorge that starts at the falls, very easily spotted from the road, although best spotted by passengers rather than the driver - I think the footpath is a long way from the river at that point though. At that level it would probably have been nearly a river wide stopper with options to scrape over the ledge to the (river) left or do the classic move and break out left above and then surf accross the waves immediately above and sneak down the right where a rock wall extends out from the bank and then another on the left causing you to move from left to right to left to right - I'm sure if you actually look at the river overall it continues fairly straight but you are forced to paddle S manoeurvres by the features. I think the GR is NN598088, so well above where you put in.

    Leny is a great little river for grade 3/4(5) paddlers, perhaps not so much for you! I normally portage around the falls myself but the rest is still good fun.

    Callander to Doune is a nice little run at a grade I think you would enjoy - we raced down the top half of it on Sunday which to me was a little flat, but still plenty challenging in my long pink boat because I'm rubbish at steering it. It's been a long time since I have done the rest, I remember we stopped to scout the weir above Deanston, I can't remember whether it looked good or bad but probably worth taking care at.

    How hard can it be?

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    Thanks for the info, Jim.

    Very detailed and helpful, as ever.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patterdale Paddler View Post
    There was a window of opportunity in our busy schedule.............

    .........but as with all sentences preceded by the word technically, this can safely be ignored.......

    ....I was a bit disturbed by the cloven hooves!

    Three small sentences to keep chortling a while longer

    Cracking blog Gordon

    One of which was stolen, but two out of three ain't bad.

    Cheers, Dick.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw View Post
    Nice work G, great wee blogg! I think the Callander to Doune stretch is the 'normal' stretch... maybe why you've not done it eh?

    You might be right but I just pick them from the map with a pin.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Three different corvids

    Yep.

    Jackdaw, Rook and Carrion Crow (behind the camera).


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    Hello old friend, it is great to see you are still keeping right on it and venturing back hereabouts into the Central Belt stuff.The story of your paddle is entertaining as always.........what did you think o the big piece in the bakers??atb,willie
    "Every action of our lives touches on
    some chord that will vibrate in eternity"

    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

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    Quote Originally Posted by packman View Post
    Hello old friend, it is great to see you are still keeping right on it and venturing back hereabouts into the Central Belt stuff.The story of your paddle is entertaining as always.........what did you think o the big piece in the bakers??atb,willie
    Hello Willie!

    Good to hear from you.

    How's it going? Are you still paddling these days? I know you sold the Runcible Cat a while back.

    I saw the giant piece, but I was always told never eat anything bigger than your heid, so my eyes were on the pies.

    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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    Nice one Crow.

    Lucky escape from the trolls and goblins.

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


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    Quote Originally Posted by dougoutcanoe View Post
    Nice one Crow.

    Lucky escape from the trolls and goblins.

    Doug

    Cheers, Doug.

    We were the only trolls and goblins out that day!


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    Quote Originally Posted by dougoutcanoe View Post
    Nice one Crow.

    Lucky escape from the trolls and goblins.

    Doug

    As it happens, here's a picture of us heading down the river, taken by a passing goblin.


    "I stepped up on the platform. The man gave me the news. He said - you must be joking, son, where did you get those shoes?"

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