We are going north. FAR NORTH! This trip to Scotland will pack in a handful of adventures paddling the classics of the West Highlands. Rivers like the Coe, Etive, Spean, Orchy or Moriston will all be on our watchlist. Keep in mind, however, we are at mercy of the quirky Scottish weather gods. Most days we might not know what river section we are hitting and the final calls in regards to where we will be paddling will be made with very short notice. Be ready for sudden changes of plans, less than ideal weather conditions, some driving around and a lot of adventures and fun!
No need to worry though, even in the driest or wettest conditions Scotland has loads on offer with high and low water alternatives well into the hundreds. This will be an intermediate to advanced trip and the level of difficulty of the rivers we paddle will be around class III-IV+ – a solid roll is required. (Check with one of the coaches if you are unsure). With that said, we will aim to keep it flexible and adapt the level of the sections we ran to that of the group.
Please do come prepared for harsh weather both on the water and off of the water. Scotland in February can either be mild or a freezer box. A dry suit is strongly advised. You’ll also need to come prepared with the right kayak shoes and PFD. This is the trip where you’ll have the heaviest kitbag!
One last point is to be made here; days in Scotland are short during winter time. We will need to be sharp with our timing in order to make the most of the week. We expect you to help the coaches as much as you can; pack your gear in time, finish your housekeeping duties early and be responsible and generous.
FLY IN/OUT & PICK UPS – Really, the best option for you is to fly to Glasgow on Sunday the 12th of February. Aim to land after 3:00PM. We will collect you at the airport and we will drive to our headquarters around Fort William from there.
Alternatively, for the UK paddlers we will arrange a pick up at HPP on Sunday the 12th at 9:00AM. We have quite a drive from there to Fort William (8h), but it shouldn't be too bad if you bring some games, headphones and books with you. Other pick up arrangements on the way up from Nottingham to Scotland will likely be possible - get in touch with us to arrange this.
DROP OFF – As we are aiming to run a second week for adults in Scotland and we will not be driving back until later in the month, the ONLY OPTION this time is to be dropped off at Glasgow or Edinburgh on Sunday the 19th after 1:00PM. Either this, or arranging a pick up somewhere around Glasgow.
TRIP FEE - 1495,00€
· Loco Parentis (24h supervision) from point of drop off until hand over or check in completion at return airport.
· All transport from agreed pick up and drop off points.
· Accommodation in Airbnb-style accommodation.
· World class, personalised, low-ratio coaching led by Quim Fontané, Agata Sobieraj & David McClure.
· All meals included except one eat out and meals during travel.
YOU WILL ASLO NEED
· Flights, in case you need to fly in or out at the beginning and end of the camp.
· Your own kayaking gear. If you don't have a creekboat the EWWS has a complete fleet of recent models for rent. Boats can be rent starting at 25€/day.
· A suitable travel insurance.
· About £50,00 spending money.
WHAT TYPE OF KAYAK SHOULD I BRING FOR THIS TRIP?
We highly recommend you to bring a creek boat or a half-slice. Freestyle boats are fine but they will not provide the feeling or confidence that a creek boat or a half-slice would give you. You will almost certainly not regret being a bit dryer and higher over the surface with a boat that has a bit more volume as well. Matt will probably be stern squirting all the way down the river, but he is from another breed.
I DON’T HAVE A CREEKBOAT 🙁 WHAT NOW?
Not to worry, we can rent you a boat – We have a few Rexys, Zions, Black Jacks Tuteas and Queen of Hearts you can choose from. Let us know your body weight and dimensions and we will bring the one that will suit you the most. Rent starts at 25€/day.
WHAT SORT OF STUFF DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
A dry suit or alternatively some kayaking gear meant to be used for cold weather – a dry top combined with some dry pants, a thick wetsuit…
Warm first layer clothes – wool sleeves and pants.
Documents (ID, passport…), some pocket money, your favourite board game, a book, an open mind, lots of motivation… oh, and your kayaking gear might be useful too 😉
MY ENGLISH IS NOT THAT GOOD… IS THIS OK?
Can you think of any better opportunity to study English without even noticing it? Sessions will be run in English but in case you don’t understand or you have any questions, our coaches do speak French, Spanish and Catalan. Other Burners may be able to help you as well. Don’t worry, we will find the way to understand each other and your English will improve by the day!
HOW DO I BOOK MY KAYAK ONTO MY FLIGHT?
It is generally easy to book your freestyle boat onto most airline companies. However, some companies have length limitations that would exclude most creekboats. It is important to read the sport baggage policies of the companies you are considering to fly with before booking your ticket. Here is a quick breakdown of the fares of various popular airlines:
Ryanair - 35€ for the regular Sports Equipment, 55€ for a Large Sports Item. It is possible to check in up to 2 Large Sport Items per person per flight. The maximum weight allowed is 20kg, but you might be allowed to fly paying an additional fee of 11€/kg up to 32kg. In general quite a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
EasyJet - The fee is 55€ and only one item per passenger is allowed. You can check in your kayak without problems as kayaks are amongst the items that are allowed on the airline's sports baggage policy. Up to 32kgs. Friendly for both freestyle and creekboats.
Eurowings - Up to 32kg allowed, it has a cost of 50€. Generally a friendly company for both freestyle and creekboats.
Vueling - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The weight limit is 32kg and the maximum length 270cm, which is good for all freestyle boats and many creekboats. The cost is 45€.
Lufthansa - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum length allowed is 3,15m and the maximum weight is 32kg so this is a creekboat-friendly company. The cost is quite elevated, at 70 - 150€ depending if it's a domestic flight or an international flight.
Aer Lingus - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. The maximum weight allowed is 23kg and maximum length is 240cm, so freestyle boats are a go, but it is not a friendly company for creekboats. The cost is 40€.
Wizz Air - Kayaks are not on the allowed item list, but surfboards are. You will most likely not have any problems convincing the employees your kayak is actually a paddleboard. A slightly odd company as the price depends on the season and it's higher during the summer months and lower during the winter. Not the most kayak friendly company so better to be avoided if you travel with your boat.
We highly recommend that you book your sports equipment in advance to avoid higher fees in the airport check in, or even worse, finding out that the flight is full and not being allowed to bring your kayak with you on board.
Also, packing your kayak nicely in a bag or using a "sock" for surfboards will maximise the chances that everything goes smoothly and that you don't have any problems.
I AM UNDER 16 AND TRAVELLING ALONE. WHAT COMPANIES ALLOW U16s TO FLY IN THEIR OWN?
Ryanair - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.
Easyjet - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 15 years to travel.
Eurowings - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Vueling - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Exception - Italian kids must be at least 14 to be able to travel alone.
Lufthansa - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. Children between 5 and 11 can also fly if they are accompanied by a sibling over 16 years of age. The company also offers an unaccompanied minors service at an extra charge for passengers younger than 12 years of age, although it is also possible to book for up to 17yo. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Aer Lingus - This company allows minors as young as 12 years old to travel unaccompanied. DIRECT FLIGHTS ONLY!
Wizz Air - This company does not allow unaccompanied minors under 16 years to travel. U16s can travel only in case there is a responsible adult over 16 years of age.