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Thread: Spey Descent

  1. #1
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    Default Spey Descent

    Im planning on doing a multi day trip w/c 13th August, wild camping along the way iv got 3 to 4 days and i really want to do a river trip rather than just bobbing around a loch for a few days. Whats peoples opinions on the spey being my first multi day river trip from loch insh to spey bay, 66 miles? Does anyone fancy coming along?
    Last edited by Chainsaw; 20th-July-2018 at 01:08 PM. Reason: couldn't take it any longer...

  2. #2
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    The Spey is a great river but i would be checking the levels in the current weather.

  3. #3

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    If you are comfortable on moving water the Spey is a great trip. Spey levels at the moment are very low, and the section from Aviemore to Granton is notoriously slow moving especially in low water. Even at low there aren't many bits you'd need to get out the boat for. I'm not sure how fast you paddle or how long you would want to paddle each day but I wouldn't do the trip thinking my average speed would be any higher than flat water paddling... Although the river will be a bit less pushy than normal it is still great fun - the washing machine is arguably at its best in low water! I'm doing a trip the weekend before you but hedging on location - If we do the Spey I'll let you know what the water level is like.

  4. #4
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    This trip was on 0.35 at Grantown, its now on 0.31 so just a little lower. We did Grantown to Spey Bay over 2 1/2 days. There will be a few more rocks to miss, and a maybe short paddle/drag in a couple of places. Can't advise on the higher sections, but from what I understand there might be more shallow bits.

  5. #5
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    Im Quite new to moving water but i felt confident enough so considering giving it a go, whats the worst that can happen right? haha
    Yes if you could let me know when you go down that would be much appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    This trip was on 0.35 at Grantown, its now on 0.31 so just a little lower. We did Grantown to Spey Bay over 2 1/2 days. There will be a few more rocks to miss, and a maybe short paddle/drag in a couple of places. Can't advise on the higher sections, but from what I understand there might be more shallow bits.
    That blog looks great, think ill keep my eyes on the levels, if it stays around 0.35 ill be happy, any lower and ill reconsider. Its got to rain a bit surely, its scotland for gods sake.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arma View Post
    Im Quite new to moving water but i felt confident enough so considering giving it a go, whats the worst that can happen right? haha
    Yes if you could let me know when you go down that would be much appreciated.
    If you're on your own, and not experienced in moving water, you could have serious difficulty retrieving you and your kit from a swim, and there are a handful of rapids in normal levels where you will need to be able to confidently manoeuvre your laden canoe in grade 2+. Particularly the junction of the A'an, the Washing Machine and Knockando, plus a few where you are swept towards the outside of a bend and need to work inside to avoid strainers or rocks. What whitewater paddling have you done? If you've not happily done similar in an empty canoe, I would probably not do this section of the Spey alone in a canoe full of camping gear. In fact, thinking about it, I don't think I would paddle it alone anyway, even with quite a lot of whitewater experience. In a group, its so much safer if anybody gets into trouble.

    The top sections, which are a little easier, might be OK, but I haven't done them.


    That blog looks great, think ill keep my eyes on the levels, if it stays around 0.35 ill be happy, any lower and ill reconsider. Its got to rain a bit surely, its scotland for gods sake.

    Hah, it will, eventually! Be careful what you wish for though!!

  8. #8

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    Further to my above comments, I was assuming you would be in a group. As per Mal's comments undertaking a trip of this nature alone would have significant additional risks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    If you're on your own, and not experienced in moving water, you could have serious difficulty retrieving you and your kit from a swim, and there are a handful of rapids in normal levels where you will need to be able to confidently manoeuvre your laden canoe in grade 2+. Particularly the junction of the A'an, the Washing Machine and Knockando, plus a few where you are swept towards the outside of a bend and need to work inside to avoid strainers or rocks. What whitewater paddling have you done? If you've not happily done similar in an empty canoe, I would probably not do this section of the Spey alone in a canoe full of camping gear. In fact, thinking about it, I don't think I would paddle it alone anyway, even with quite a lot of whitewater experience. In a group, its so much safer if anybody gets into trouble.

    The top sections, which are a little easier, might be OK, but I haven't done them.





    Hah, it will, eventually! Be careful what you wish for though!!
    Hey. Iv got 3* and done a few days of self rescue and im a confident swimmer.
    I really want to do it now..no-one fancy joining me then for safety sake?

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