Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Tilt

Yesterday, the rivers were low.  The rivers here are totally rain dependant.  It drizzled most of the day, but nothing was up yet.  No big deal...we had work to do anyway.   

Aberfeldy's Royal Bank of Scotland

The house...and Beyond Adventure

I needed to exchange some money and there was some things around Beyond Adventure that needed doing.  Dan, a "beyond" employee, and I were supposed to put some seats in the bus, and start painting a canoe trailer.

The Beyond Adventure Bus

Dan and I worked on both all day.  We ran into numerous complications with the bus seats including breaking not one, but TWO socket wrenches in the process, which required us to make a special trip to the local mechanic shop to borrow a REAL wrench.  We scrubbed and scrapped the trailer bare in preparation for painting it today.  We knew that if we wanted to get on the river the next day (today), we would need to get within striking distance of having the trailer completed.  

The next day...

The view from my window at Steve's

I awoke to a beautiful sight.  The rain had stopped, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the sun was shinning bright.  Dan was already hard at work on the trailer.  I had slept in because the U.S. presidential debate didn't start until 2 am here.

       Makin er' shine again

With the first coat on, we rushed off to meet some local boaters at "Splash,"  one of the rafting businesses in town.  


When Dan and I arrived we found Brett and Nell waiting for us.  We all piled into the VW Euro Van or "Transporter" as they are called here, and made our way back to the house to pick up Dan's car.  We needed the extra room because all but the front seats have been taken out of the VW.  A quick look at the local water levels on where's the water,  the Internet source on flow data, gave us some ideas on where to go.  It was decided to go for the Tilt River, one of Nell's favorite runs.  

In no time, we were hiking up the river to the put in.  Your not allowed to park vehicles at the put-in because the land is part of a huge estate complete with a castle.  We didn't catch a view of the castle, but there were lots of sheep!


(From left to right) Sheep, Brett, Nell, Dan

Dan, getting warmed up...with intent 

Arched bridge at the put-in for the Tilt

Our fearless leader Nell.  "A walking UK Guide to Rivers book" 

The Tilt is a narrow, gorged in class III-IV run with lush trees and vegetation lining the banks.  There is some good play spots, and only a couple rapids of consequence.  The first one is chocked full of boulders and is best run at this level around the left side.  (the easier line).  
It has an easy portage on the left that Dan opted for.  The rest of us slid in and battled through the narrow channel left of the meat.  

  A messy rapid at this level with a clear channel around the left back to the center

Once out of your's almost easiest to just walk a few feet to the bottom

Brett Drops into the left channel

Brett made it by the crux but was flipped in the diagonal hole at the bottom.  Once clear, it was my turn to have a go at it.  

Here goes nothin

Slipping past the crux

Bracing through the bottom hole

The other difficult rapid of the run awaited us at the end.  It's a fast, flushy shoot of water that rumbles over a top ledge and is forced into a tight squeeze against a rock on the bottom left.  We all ran it with varying degrees of success.  

Dan pulling through the top 

He nailed the rock, but recovered quickly below

After watching Dan's line, Nell opts for a different approach.  He made the rapid look like a walk in the park.  

Nell heads to the right to avoid the squeeze rock

Nell finishes it off

All in all it was a good run.  I could have gone for more boating and less painting, but that's just how life goes sometimes.  In the end it looks like I've made a few more friends here in Scotland.  Life is good.  


Jay said...

Hey Paul, more great pictures. I've driven up past Aberfeldy on my way to Inverness and points NW, but have never hiked in the area of this posting. Thanks for the photos!

I used to bank at the Royal Bank of Scotland. I hope they survive!

out2sea03 said...

Very cool...hope the rest of your trip is a blast!