Location: Heart of the Crampian Mountains in Argyll, Scotland
Part of the string of scenic glens making up Scotland’s Great Glen, Glen Orchy is thought to be one of the most stunning. The River Orchy runs through it.
Level of Difficulty: Class V / Advanced
The River Orchy is only run in the winter, after large rain events. For this reason, its level of difficulty is not easy to describe succinctly. It ranges from Class IV+ in medium flows, to Class V+ in extremely high flows. Generally, the more water in the river the more challenging and exciting it becomes.
Scenery: Jagged Mountains and Towering Forests
The Orchy River is nestled between several impressive mountains. Beinn Udla (2,529 ft) and Beinn Bhreac-liath (2, 653 ft) rise to the south, and Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh (2,602 ft) stands tall in the north. Ben Doran stands a little further in the distance. The rocks are mostly smooth black lava, sloping down to the water from thick forests. The canyon’s intense whitewater seems to mirror the rugged landscape from which it was born. Noteworthy rapids include Class V Easan Dubha, (meaning Black Falls) and End of Civilization.
Season: October – March
The River Orchy is still a free-flowing stream. Whitewater rafting is thus only available in the wet winter months, and is very dependent on recent rains. Planning a rafting trip on this river requires dedication and close monitoring of the weather as the trip approaches.