Waking up we were somewhat surprised to see the ground around our chalets covered with snow. Now, seeing the ground all white was not helping with the motivation for getting all cold and wet on river! Negating this, we headed across to the Orchy. Upon arrival the motivation was no higher and only half the group decided they were man enough to get on the river. Those not paddling were either going to the tea shop to keep warm or being camera vultures for the day. By the time we were changed and getting on the water, I had already lost feeling in my hands! Despite the cold, Vicky decided that she fancied a swim on the first grade 4 rapid. The remainder of the rapids before the first grade 5, some fun read-and-run grade 4, all passed without incident. This rapid did not look particularly pleasant, with the left line going into a stopper, right line going into rock and the centre line difficult to attain. Only Ken decided to run this rapid, opting for the left line through the stopper. We set up safety cover which was not required as he passed through the stopper without any problems.
Continueing downstream more read-and-run grade 4 followed before we arrived at the second grade 5, which was a drop into a smalll pool with a nasty stopper across all but a narrow line down the left hand side. Having made it down the drop whilst avoiding the clutches of the stopper the next part of the rapid was quickly upon you – a sweeping drop along a cushion wave into the pool at the bottom of the rapid. I decided to run this first. Clearing the top drop with a nice boof, I was straight into the sweeping cushion wave and quickly into the pool below with a big grin on my face. Ken, Doug, Phil all made it to the bottom upright. Vicky made it down, although she flipped on the cushion wave and rolled up in the pool. Ol flipped in the pool halfway down and ran the remainer of the rapid upside down – rolling up in the pool at the bottom. Ian got backlooped on the first drop, but managed to roll up before the sweeping cushion wave which up precededed to run backwards and flipped again part way down.
Next up we headed back to the Arkaig so that those not fortunate enough to enjoy it on Monday could find out for themselves why we were all still buzzing from it. Unfortunately for them, the level had dropped slightly which meant that, whilst the river was still big and great fun, it was not as good the day before. Knowing what was coming up also took some of the excitement out of it. Managing to successfully avoid the big hole, I turned around to see almost the entire group drop into the hole and emerge upside down. Both Stuart and Fred took a little swim. For those for whom this was their first experience it provided a similar feeling as it did for us on Monday. It was now time to head back to the chalets for some celebratory beers.