Andy on the upper Geithellnaa

River: Geithellnaa (upper section)

Grid Reference: 64 deg 37′N:   14 deg 50′W.

Grade: IV with one V fall.

Length: ?

Date run: 30.06.91.

Weather conditions: Hot and sunny.

River level: Medium.

Significant portages: None.

Access arrangements

Two rough tracks run up either side of the river. The south one sticks closer to the river and is the one to use. This track is no Sunday afternoon stroll and will require a four wheel drive high clearance vehicle. Depending on the condition of the track and your vehicle you should eventually manage the 19 km trek to the get in. This track has a broken axle and cracked chassis to its credit, so be careful!
The get in is either above or below a nasty V notch fall depending on the river level and how much of your fragile bottle survived the epic drive. It has been run successfully in high water.


There is a very large eddy on the right of the river just after the river passes through a narrow gorge.


The road to the put-in on the Geithellnaa

This section starts with the V notch fall followed by several grade III drops before the river enters a small canyon. Two further drops require inspection, the first is shot just left of the centre boulder and the second one down the centre. The river turns round a sharp left corner with a large swirly stopper. Further on you will arrive at the Bad Bastard. This is run on the left down a small chicken shoot (not as fowl as the main drop)heading right through an OK stopper. Next is the Awkward Bugger. This is similar to an enlarged version of the Serpents Tail on the Welsh Dee. The main attraction is two large angled waves which are great for surfing unless you miss them in which case you will get trashed in a munching hole just below the waves.
Care should be taken with the Pooper Scooper. This is a river wide broken pourover with a large rock in a perfect pinning position on river right. This has been successfully run both far right and far left. It was also the scene of an amusing swim and some impressive multiple backloops by an empty Mountain Bat. The last exciting bit on this section is the Turbo Wash. This is a large stopper which is very good for dicking about in. The river proceeds into a large gorge followed by the get out.

Andy making the cross on the Awkward Bugger, Geithhellnaa

Andy on the Upper Geithellnaa