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Thread: Loch Ericht kayak trip

  1. #1

    Default Loch Ericht kayak trip

    Hi there,

    im planning a kayaking trip at the beginning of may with my brother. We have both been paddling for about 2 years but with not a great deal of experience.

    we had planned to head up to Loch Ossian on day one and spend the day kayaking there before heading to lochan na h-earba to camp over then spend the following day kayaking around the loch there. Then we had planned to head to Loch Ericht. My brother is keen to spend the night in Ben alders cottage so the plan had been to set off from dalwhinnie and paddle down to the cottage. I realise this is a fair distance but we are both in good fitness. Can anyone recommend any good camping spots along Loch erlicht for our first overnight trip and more importantly does anyone have any advice regarding the paddle from dalwhinnie to the cottage? Are we being ambitious or stupid attempting this with not a great deal of experience?

    We we have plenty time before our trip so if it turns out that this isnít an advisable journey I have plenty time to replan.

    Any/all feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    james

  2. #2
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    For a bit of clarity, are we talking folding/inflatable/rigid kayak?

    How are you travelling to the lochs, train/car?

    How do you plan to travel between lochs?

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    Yeah, can you give clarity on your plans? How are you getting from Ossian to L n h-E, and then on to Dalwhinnie? Ossian is only accessible by train, so I'm assuming that might be your plan, but I don't get how L n h-E would then fit into it. Are you thinking of paddling between the two? If so, I presume you're aware that the River Ossian will potentially be full of rocks, and certainly has rapids and waterfalls, and you'd then have to portage from it for at least 2 miles to L n h-E. In fact, whatever direction you're getting to L n h-E from will involve a long walk, as far as I know you can't get a vehicle to it as its on a private estate.

    As for Ericht, the usual things apply as for all big Scottish lochs. They're huge bits of water where the weather, particularly the wind, can change very quickly, and you could be facing some big waves over a long fetch. As you're doing a there-and-back (I think) you'd probably have to do at least one direction into the wind, especially as Ericht is nicely lined up with the prevailing SW winds. The type of kayak you're in will probably affect how strong a wind you can cope with, but as newbies, anything over double figures mph should be treated cautiously. The distance should be OK in a day (13/14 miles), if the conditions are good enough to be on the loch, but if you want to wild camp, there should be places. I'd be looking around the section where the slopes fall back from the lochside and the ground looks flatter, roughly opposite Coirevarkie Lodge. Between there and Benalder Lodge, the sides look steep and therefore there will be less chance of decent camp spots.

    What time of year are you thinking of?

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    We did a trip from Loch Ossian to Loch Ghuilbinn via the River Ossian and onward down the Abhainn Ghuilbinn to Loch Laggan. Using trains to get in and out, and on packrafts.

    Details here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...and-Back-Again

    You could portage over from the bottom end of the Abhainn Guilbinn to Lochan Na H-Earba.

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  5. #5

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    Sorry, the post was written out in a bit of a hurry at work, think I was so keen to get feedback I forgot to include half the details!

    Travelling up by car and using car to travel between lochs. Camp at night, kayak during day. Have roof bars and a trolley etc. Have done some research and Ossian can be accessed by car then a walk to the water.

    Going he second week in may.

    Both using sea kayaks.

    Thanks

    james

  6. #6

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    Meant to stick a ? At the end of the sentence regarding Ossian. I had been led to beleive that the car could be taken so far then a walk to the water. If anyone else knows otherwise then it’d be great to find out and save major disappointment in the first day lol

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    Loch Ossian is on the Corrour Estate and the road in is a private track. To take a car to the loch would require the permission of the estate.
    As the estate rents out a number of cottages on the estate I somewhat doubt that they would give permission for a day tripper(s) as this would interfere with the experience being offered to the cottage renters.
    You could contact the estate to check.

    Lochan na h-Earba are on the Ardverikie Estate (I think) also up private tracks so car access by permission only.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for that! Trip is still in early stages of planning so have plenty time to make changes, which it looks like I’m going to have to do!

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    Just had a look at the Corrour website - they do rent out canoes to day trippers however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James86 View Post
    Meant to stick a ? At the end of the sentence regarding Ossian. I had been led to beleive that the car could be taken so far then a walk to the water. If anyone else knows otherwise then it’d be great to find out and save major disappointment in the first day lol
    Ossian is not on the road network, and is only accessible by rail to Corrour Station, then walk to the loch, or overland on foot/paddle. Whilst the train may take sea kayaks in the guards van, I doubt it would be easy, my memory of said guards vans suggests they'd wouldn't be big enough.

    Loch na h-Earba is also not on the road network, is accessed through the private Ardverikie Estate, minimum of 5km from public roads.

    Sea kayaks would be good craft for Ericht.


    Might I success Loch Laidon from Rannoch as an alternative to Ossian/L na h-E, about 1km trolley push from the railway station at the road's end. You're also at least then on the right side of the watershed to drive to Dalwhinnie without a long detour. You'd also have the option of paddling on Lochs Rannoch or Tummel too.

    If you did want more of an adventure, it should be possible to trolley up from Loch Rannoch to Loch Ericht, using the dam access road from Bridge of Ericht. Possible, but it may or may not be your idea of fun!

  11. #11

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    Thanks again. Saved me a lot of grief!

    Going to go back to the drawing board and find a couple of more easily accessible spots as we want to maximise time on the water. Not often I get away from the wife and son for 4 days so need to make the most of it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by James86 View Post
    Thanks again. Saved me a lot of grief!

    Going to go back to the drawing board and find a couple of more easily accessible spots as we want to maximise time on the water. Not often I get away from the wife and son for 4 days so need to make the most of it!
    At the risk of making your life more complex, some other ideas;

    Loch Shiel Circuit (includes a coastal section so tidal knowledge necessary, approx 4-5 days, but could be shortened)

    Loch Maree, huge loch, lots of islands to explore (several days worth)

    Loch Etive (couple of days worth)


    The planning is all part of the fun!

  13. #13

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    We definitely want to to do the paddle down from dalwhinnie to the cottage so going to try and keep things round that end. Maree and etive could be next year though, or if I’m lucky later this year! We are now looking at rannoch. Are there any good spots to camp here with easy access both water and road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by James86 View Post
    We definitely want to to do the paddle down from dalwhinnie to the cottage so going to try and keep things round that end. Maree and etive could be next year though, or if I’m lucky later this year! We are now looking at rannoch. Are there any good spots to camp here with easy access both water and road?
    Not sure. Maybe somewhere down by Loch Laidon, 1km from road, but I don't know it well enough. Geograph can be quite good for checking out terrain.
    Generally, you need to be away from the road/buildings if wild camping, as per the access code.

  15. #15

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    I don’t mind 1km. That’s expected, but on looking at Ossian it was several miles from the nearest road. Getting the kayaks and equipment to the water is an adventure in itElf. Which is fine, but not really what we were looking for on this trip.

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