River Teith – Van, Bus and Boat

With a decent forecast, a reasonable amount of water (SEPA: 0.85M) in the River Teith , and my buggered shoulder feeling slightly more mobile, it was time for another go at the River Teith. I had done a recce a couple of weeks previous, but had headed to a local loch for a paddle instead due to said shoulder.

Original plan was to get the 10:19 bus from Deanston to Callander, but by the time I got my arse into gear, it was gonna be the 11:19 instead. I arrived in time to have a wee wander down the ‘canal’ to see if I could find the get-out point, had an argument with a bus driver going the other way (I had parked in the area he wanted to use to turn around – if you ain’t supposed to park there they should stick up a sodding sign – I canna mind-read!) The 11:19 eventually arrived at closer to 11:45 and we were off!

The bus terminus in Callander is handy for the river being just opposite, I found a decent spot to launch the boat so set about putting it together.

This was both mine and the boats first proper foray into graded white-water. I was a bit nervous on the bus to Callander having committed to the boat trip back, but easy portage around any bits I didn’t like convinced me to ‘grow a pair’ and get on with it!

The river starts very calm, but soon becomes more interesting with various sections of rapids mostly grade 1 interspersed with calmer sections. The highlight for me was the section before the Torrie Rapid where there are some big standing waves to throw you about a bit. The actual Torrie Rapid gets grade 2, but with at the flow I encountered, it was easy.

On the subject of flow, there are a few bits where the river splits – stay left! I went right on one section, and there were a lot of rocks – thankfully despite multiple groundings, no damage to the bottom of the boat – I continue to be amazed how durable my boat is when it comes into contact with rocks. I’ll not be running this river at lower levels though – SEPA had it at 0.85M (Bridge of Teith).

After the Torrie Rapid, the river calms down again, but there are still a few sections at grade 1 to keep one entertained.

I had been pre-warned about the Weir. There are two of them at Deanston, and they need inspection – and more skill than I have got! I got out river right, hoping that I could get onto the path along the ‘canal’ – this would have taken me directly back to the van, but unfortunately some **** has locked the gate. I did consider blowing up the boat again to get across the canal, but getting out of the boat at the steep opposite bank would likely mean a swim! In the end I headed for the B8032 road, which meant climbing over a wall and avoiding a bull, but it was only a mile or so back to the van. Next time I will portage the weir river left, and get out further downstream at the water works.

I made a wee video of my adventure below:

A few pics below


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