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Thread: Loch Quoich... ...never again

  1. #1
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    Default Loch Quoich... ...never again

    WARNING - This is not a happy inspiring blog!

    I was attracted to Quoich because of the remoteness and it seemed a good size to spend 2-3 days exploring - plus the somewhat marginal weather forecast made it more viable than the other options I had lined up. We rocked up on Wednesday early afternoon intending to spend a couple of hours on the water to find a camping spot only to find the forecasted 5mph wind with 15mph gusts was probably more like a constant 20mph which only got worse right through the night. So we ended up camping at the only spot that offered anything much in the way of shelter and waited out the wind until morning.

    The next day dawned with decent weather if some low cloud and after sleeping in we rushed to get onto the water. We had a pretty decent day paddling around but struggled to find anywhere that looked like a likely camping spot and eventually had to face reality and head back to where we'd launched. The weather started to turn again so we thought stuff it and found a bigger layby a bit further down the loch and set up the truck tent so we'd have a more comfortable night and go home the next day, the weather the next morning was abysmal so it was with no sadness whatsoever that we bade farewell to Quoich.

    While our experience was a bit of a bust we did enjoy the one day paddling we got and I got the chance to try my hand at videoing for the first time so here for your edification is our Quoich experience...



    My assessment of Quoich - the desolate grandeur of the place is ruined by the bathtub ring of death - the water level being at least 20ft down when we visited. Access isn't great, exacerbated by the low water level. There's a couple o three viable access points but they are tough - steep and boggy followed by the ankle breaker no-mans land. Camping sites aren't easy to find - okay for the lightweight camper looking for somewhere to sleep but difficult if you like a decent sized site where you can hang out and relax a bit.
    Unfortunately and surprising for such a remote spot the hand of man was all too evident, we had to clean up both spots we stayed at (both roadside) and there were may ridiculous fire rings around and crap lying about.

    I have also never been anywhere so devoid of wildlife - apart from a wee colony of bullfinches in the trees where we camped first night we only saw 1 red hind (while having the obligatory midnight pee) and an unspecified water bird that I never got close enough to identify - we didn't even see a trout rise the entire time.

    Not sad I went but wouldn't want to ever go back, if you must 'bag' the loch then by all means go but there are so many better places...

  2. #2
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    Well it’s a good film even if it wasn’t a good trip.

    I would find it strange to camp on a Loch with no trees. I really should just to broaden my experience but it just seems weird.

  3. #3
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    I doubt this comment will be popular BUT I watched that with envy after weeks of temps up above 38 here we find ourselves just waiting for midnight when it may drop to below 30, getting up at stupid o clock to get anything done and praying for a breeze.

    Its an odd world at times. Good video too by the way

    cheers
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    I doubt this comment will be popular BUT I watched that with envy after weeks of temps up above 38 here we find ourselves just waiting for midnight when it may drop to below 30, getting up at stupid o clock to get anything done and praying for a breeze.

    Its an odd world at times. Good video too by the way

    cheers
    It's a funny old world - sods law we've had fantastic weather for months then the two weeks I'm off it all goes wrong - but I certainly don't envy temps of 38! We've had it up to 26 degrees on the east coast, spontaneous combustion has become the number one killer in Scotland!
    The temperature and a bit of rain I can handle but we can't seem to get two days together without very high winds. Anyway looks like we have a reasonable weather window next week so I'm planning to potter around loch Tummel, hopefully...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    Well it’s a good film even if it wasn’t a good trip.

    I would find it strange to camp on a Loch with no trees. I really should just to broaden my experience but it just seems weird.
    I would recommend finding a different loch with no trees then I'm sure there must be a nicer one. There's not much vegetation over 1 foot high in the whole area, only thing the lands good for is deer stalking (given the amount of sign I saw there must be a fair few in the locale). We took a wee paddle up the Glen Quoich channel but it's even uglier than the main loch and was only navigable for a few hundred yards, not helped by a the rusty skeleton of what I assume was salmon fishing nets spanning the river mouth, the water was so low that the North-West angled channel where the Caolie water enters the loch isn't there just a wee bay.

  6. #6
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    Very enjoyable little film, and love the music.


    Its a wild and desolate place on a bad day, indeed. And the "ring of death" is not nice, but this year especially, is inevitable in summer unfortunately. I agree that doesn't make the loch look nearly as attractive.

    Did you head into the far western arm? Then you enter some of Britain's wildest and most spectacular mountains, and I know a number of folk who've found camping down there. To me, getting down there and maybe walking some of those hills from camp, or heading to the amazing Lochan nam Breac, would be well worth paddling on the loch. In grim weather, though, it wouldn't be as high up the list!


    Wildlife wise, the lack of trees won't help, but whenever I go there, normally in winter, the place is stuffed full of deer. I guess they must be higher up at the moment. This one stood by the road, whilst I took pictures of him through the car window, and had a chat with him. As you can see in the background, the loch wasn't even full last February, so this year must be particularly low.







  7. #7
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    Nice pics Mal - I had a similiarly close encounter while driving up the Bealach na Ba in a blizzard (a story in itself) where a young stag was feeding at the road side and completely unperturbed looked me over then went back to lunch. I have been closer to deer but only while holding a knife and fork. The deer were obviously still active round the loch-side as anywhere we landed there was poop and hoof prints aplenty.

    We didn't get right down the west arm, which is what I'd planned. Our original intent was to scoot across to the south side, find a campsite then explore the west day 2 making our way back east as conditions and time allowed (wind was forecast to be from the south/south-west making for an easier trip back). We got a fair bit west but hadn't seen anything that looked like a decent campsite and as far as the eye could see the shore line was very steep. Keeping a weather eye open I decided to call it and head back and given the way the weather panned out it was the right option as it would have just been miserable.

    The water level is the big factor both visual appeal and making it harder to spot potential sites from the water and adding considerably to the hassle and risk unloading several days worth of camping kit. The ground was also generally boggy and considering how dry our summer has been I'm not sure what it would be like in a 'normal' year.

    I might go back, just not anytime soon...

  8. #8
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    Hi son goku, good video of a poor location. Can I ask you what was the roof box you were using, able to put the canoe on top looks a useful facility.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chestnut Bob View Post
    Hi son goku, good video of a poor location. Can I ask you what was the roof box you were using, able to put the canoe on top looks a useful facility.
    Hi Bob - I'm afraid it's not a roof box it's actually a roof-mounted tent and I have a riser bracket at the front.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  10. #10
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    Cheers son goku, couldn't see that from the previous pics. I'll have to invent what I'm looking for.

  11. #11
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    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  12. #12
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    This blogg's a bit happier, although hillwalking oriented;
    https://scottishoutdoorstuff.weebly....tt-canoe-caper

  13. #13
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    The film made it look quite idyllic and calm.

    Come back in winter and see what you think! ;-)
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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