Last weekend I was invited down for another weekend on the rivers with the guys I went to the Tummel with. We rendez voused at the Pattack take out and had considered some evening playboating skills but after an unscheduled trip to Spean Bridge and a stonking head ache, some food and beers seem far more apt. I set upon the beef bourginion.
After a good craic over a few beers, a highly amusing phone call from a friend and me falling in a hole (“I’m in a hole!”), in the morning it was time to head over to the Garry, via the wonderful Spean Bridge shop!
We ran down the Garry as far as the playhole where we spent a good long time each playing on the wave (or in my case….not….). I was trying out a friend’s Nomad with a view to purchasing.
After playing for a while, we headed on down the river and decided to run the two wee drops below the take out, taking care to check out the fallen tree.
After a piece or two back at the take out, it was time to go back up river to the playhole for another go on the wave, this time I tried out John’s Juice . We ran down again and I was having a total mare, I think ran half the rapids upside down! Arrghhh! My theory was that my pieces hadn’t fully digested!
Back at Phyllis it was time to brew up, before heading back up to the playhole to to practise stern squirts and back deck rolls. Unfortunately, I managed to break the seat of the Juice on the third attempt at a stern squirt! (Sorry John). My nice friend Mark kindly lent me his S6F and I was immediately in love! It was such a fun little boat and just perfect for pissing about on the eddyline trying to do stern squirts. After a few false starts, I managed one or two, but they weren’t caught on camera! I was really pleased though. I gotta get myself a playboat….
Mark and I finished the day running down back to the take out. This time I remained upright the whole way!!! Great fun!
After an unscheduled but very pleasant night in the Bridge of Orchy Bunkhouse, it was time for the Etive on Sunday. This time I was trying Jenny’s Jefe Chico. I was a little bit apprehensive about the run and about my first go on biggish drops but as ever, the others were fantastic about talking me through lines and setting up safety. It was good to know that some of them were nervous too!
The biggest rapid of the day was Right Angle Falls. This is a 20ft drop into a big pool. We put in right at the top of the big drop (missing out the right angle) and despite ‘melting’ as instructed, I still couped when I resurfaced and then got pinned to the right hand wall before I could roll. Jenny was there to scoop me up and sort me out so all was good.
The rivers were absolutely awesome and the craic wicked. Clearly there is much to improve in my river running technique but I had an absolutely brilliant time and am now completely converted to white water. I just can’t wait for another go!
BRING IT ON!
(Thanks to Stu, Jenny and John for the photos).