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‘The Flow State is being so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter: Every action, movement and thought flows inevitably from the previous one. Your whole being is involved, you're using your skills to the utmost and the result is a feeling of spontaneous joy.’ - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Live2Flow is the concept of a man trapped in an unfulfilling career who decided to pursue a life of Flow.  This blog is documents the activities of a man who swapped a desk for the great outdoors, dedicating himself to better his personal performance in his chosen sports and to pursue his passion of coaching and training others; the objective is to literally Live2Flow.  This is not a selfish obsession, Live2Flow aims to take these experiences to others and through passionate coaching and guiding help them experience Flow for themselves.

Low Water in the Highlands

The idea was sound; a trip to the Scottish Highlands just after Easter to enjoy some of the country’s finest whitewater sections at a time when they are usually in season.  Live2Flow’s Scotland Whitewater Improvers Trip took shape; a group of keen paddlers was formed, plans were made and everything was booked, except for the weather…

A cold, dry spell in early spring meant water levels were unseasonably low, approaching typical summer levels, and finding rivers to play on was to be a challenge, but not impossible.  If you ever think you may find yourself in the same situation read on for some ideas.

Previous Scotland paddling trips left me with a rough plan and the best place to start seemed to be Grand Tully on the River Tay.  Reliable friend of the whitewater improver, the group spent a few hours on the rapids rekindling their boating skills and practicing some leadership.

Next came the Spean Gorge where after a scapey start the water channeled into the gorge proper and gave the group some interesting paddling.  A particular high point was when Roy, practicing his river leadership, followed the river into a cul-de-sac!!!  A reminder that where the water flows a paddler cannot always follow and an interesting challenge to get the group over the rocks and back into the flow…

The ever reliable River Etive provided the week’s biggest adrenaline rush with a ‘park n’ huck’ session at Right Angle Falls.  The group all enjoyed the 6m falls, although it was a very expensive morning for Steve, whose Go-Pro now resides at the bottom of falls in the icy cold plunge pool!!!

Thank heavens for dam releases!  The River Garry provided a welcome break from low water levels allowing the group to enjoy a day of paddling on a river in good condition where the aspirant river leaders could really test their skills.  The play hole proved a popular distraction but did claim an unexpected victim; but it wasn’t to be the most dramatic unseating of the week…

The final port of call was the Falls of Lora where the group hoped to find a friendly play wave but, by I suspect choosing a too aggressive tide range, instead found quite an intimidating wave train guarded by large boils and whirlpools.  It was here I suffered my own personal ‘Congo’ moment trying to roll in a whirlpool and ended up fully testing my dry suit!!! Cue impressive group rescue and then, back in my boat, a relieved ferry glide back to the shore.  Exciting end to a fun week.

Of course, there were plenty of off the water antics too.  There was hiking and skiing but the highlight had to be an introduction to ice climbing at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.  That said, I think the general conclusion was that we would stick to travelling down melted water rather than climbing up frozen water!!!

All in all, a good week was had by all despite the weather conspiring against us and Live2Flow will undoubtedly run a similar trip next season.

A short video edit showing highlights of the trip should be out shortly.

To keep up to date on plans for future trips and courses follow Live2Flow on Facebook here.


Created on 27-Apr-2013 at 12:13