Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

A weekend in the Fort

By Bill Anderson | 17, Apr, 2009

Me and our 7ft tall snowman at the Pattack

A flyer from work on Friday afternoon saw a group of us heading north to Fort William for a weekends boating and the Paddle Sports evening of this year’s Mountain Film Festival. As we drove through Glen Coe in the dark things weren’t looking good for paddling, with plenty of snow lying on the ground and clear skies above. We pulled up at our home for the night, a car park just outside Fort William. While the others tucked themselves into the van bunk beds I dived into my Sky High sleeping bag in the bivvi outside. After a toasty night’s sleep I was awoken in the morning by the sound of rainfall. Heavy rainfall. Things were looking up for the days boating.

The heavy rain had brought the rivers up nicely so we decided to go and check out some runs we’d never done before. First up was the Fassfern which flows into Loch Eil to the west of Fort William. This was a fantastic run with plenty of slides to keep us smiling with many stoppers with a bit of bite to keep us on our toes. Next up we headed to the opposite side of Loch Eil and to the Abhainn Sron a’ Chreagain which flows into Loch Linnhe on the opposite side to Fort William. We hiked in with our boats until the river flattened out in front of us, inspecting each rapid as we walked. The river looked good to go – narrow and steep with the rain still battering down. The first few rapids were good fun with a couple of tasty moves. We then came to a horizon line we had scouted on the way up. An angled drop with a hole at the bottom, run left. Easy enough I thought and peeled out the eddy. Getting to the lip of the fall and I had a shock. The hole was huge! I dropped in and went a little deep and popped back up side surfing. When upside down during a good beating I felt a big thud on my boat – I later found out this was my friend using my boat to land on and clear the hole! After a while I was getting tired and bailed. My first swim on a real river (plenty of times on the barrage when I was learning though!). I was annoyed with myself at first but it was a good lesson to learn – our group had been getting very confident and just blasting rapids when a little more respect for the river was possibly needed.

With daylight fading fast we caught the Corran Ferry and headed to one of my favorite Scottish runs – the Coe. We pulled up to the river and I had never seen the Coe anything like it before. It was huge. The upper section before the gorge reminded me of Norway with continuous, fast rapids with a couple of tasty drops. In the gorge it was a case of keeping your boat in the centre of the flow and straight, then hanging on for the ride. An excellent way to round off the day.

That evening we headed into Fort William to watch some kayaking movies. There was some really inspirational stuff shown, especially the Hucking Huge Crews’ trip to Japan, definitely a destination I’d like to check out in the future.

Waking up Sunday morning bleary eyed looking at a now low River Nevis we were a little down hearted but decided to check out the upper sections of the Spean. With only two pipes releasing though we decided it wasn’t worth it so just had a snowball fight instead! The snow started falling heavier and heavier so a little worried about our journey home we headed off, stopping at the Pattack to make a snowman on the way.

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

Seals and a Beast of a Paddle Home
Customer Story
Hooked on sea kayaks
from small boats to sea boats
Tryweryn Festival and Cardboard Canoe Race 2015
Alpkit Sponsored the Cardboard Canoe race at Tryweryn 2015
In The Frame Trip Report
Dom and the team reflect on the 'In the Frame' Experience.
Defending the World title
Claire O'Hara preps for freestyle World Champs
BUKE Ethiopia - Gidabo descent
Team BUKE in Ethiopia
Payette River Games 2013

Plattling European Cup Event 2013

More from Deeds


Broken Body of Water
Taking on the 3 lakes kayaking challenge
Castle Manor’s Camp Out
Building skills, confidence, and resilience in the outdoors
Adventures for Life Skills
Building life skills through a 19 day adventure in the Scottish Highlands
Sea Kayaking Iceland
Researching human impact on remote coastlines
BUKE 2017: Kayaking the Philippines
In search of undiscovered whitewater
Team Manoeuvres - August
News and Daring Deeds from the Team.
Kayak Borneo Rolling Expedition
Finding whitewater in Borneo's jungles.
Four Borders Expedition
Kayaking expedition

More from News


Gravitas Lightweight Activity Waterproof
New activity shell coming soon

More from Develop


Weekend Warrior days are history
Introducing new Customer Support Hero, Rowan
Kendal Mountain Festival 2016
Its Film Festival time
Catch Nature off Guard
Travel Quieter, Lighter and further, and stay out longer
Embrace the Darkness
Nocturnal adventure ideas.
The Shortest Night
Use up your quota of daylight before you lose it.

More from Spotlight


More from Kudos

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness


By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions