Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Irish Kayaking and Canoeing discussion forum.

Moderators: Seanie, EoinH

Post Reply
User avatar
Seanie
Posts: 840
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by Seanie » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:32 am

http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,474349,755424,4

Myself and turnip scouted the bottom half of it last night. It goes. The bottom half is grade 3, and holds plenty of water.
Note: Theres nasty deer fence/net blocking the river on the edge of the national park.
Polladirk_river_and_Twelve_Bens.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Polladirk_river_and_Twelve_Bens.JPG
The upper half is what looks to have the potential, but it also requires a bit of hike in.
Screen shot 2010-07-07 at 11.29.33.jpg
Polladirk River
Notice that the river crosses 7/8 topo lines on the OSI map! that my friend is gradient!

So to recap;
Water-Check!
Gradient-Check!

:D

User avatar
Seanie
Posts: 840
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by Seanie » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:33 am

Just a quick update, we had an epic day today. A big thank you to Ross (the human measuring stick) for joining me.

The river level was under half what it was yesterday. Which is cool, because if that river level was there, the upper part of the river would have been working. Thats with very little rain. I can only imagine what it would be like with prolonged heavy rain. Which isn't a stretch of my imagination, this area is after all in one of the wettest parts of the country.
climate_rainfallmap.gif
Anyway onto the river:
- Note on Scale: the photos etc. don't do it justice, the scale is much bigger than it appears. Most of the Photos are taken from 20/25m up from the river.
- 2km+ hike in.
- Very deep canyon type river walls. With big bolders creating many of the rapids.
- constant gradient. No drop bigger than 10ft. Drops between 80m and 100m in 1km.... :D
- First section, at the confluence of the Polladirk and a stream (we didn't go up the Polladirk any further), is a Grade 5 triple drop. It goes, but scary.
Image
Image
Image

- then the river joins a the stream, the river widens. Its solid continuous Grade 4 for about 1km, this had very very steep walls, spotted some syphons.This is the core part of the river. It looks top notch.
Image
Image
- this is then followed by 1km of consistent Grade 3.

See the full Photo Gallery and Map here.

Its a serious mission, it would require a confidant, prepared, well equipped, strong group. But oh boy does it look like a solid river.

Top Tip: Bring a head torch, you may end up in the dark.
Top Tip 2: Maps give distances "as the crow fly's". Take into account the slopes. Distances are actually much much larger than I expected.

User avatar
rlynch
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by rlynch » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:47 am

Dan, Barry, Darragh and I went out for a go at this one on Wednesday.

There had been quite a bit of rain over the previous few days, and it was raining pretty much all day, so we were reasonably sure of water. Not the case. My guess is that the surrounding land is so boggy and marshy that it has to reach saturation before any decent amount of water starts running into the river.

Despite that, we got on and ran what we could. It was very scrapey, and became more so the further we went. Having seen the river from boat level, I would upgrade the first couple of kilometres to grade IV/V – with a decent flow. The rapids are pretty relentless and any eddies would be tiny and few.

There are a couple of really nasty spots involving tight constrictions and siphons that I'd say would be portages for most people on any water level.

We walked the last section of it as it became too scrapey once the gradient leveled out.

The walk in with a boat and gear is strenuous, but definitely not exhausting.

It remains to be run at a decent level.

Ross
We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded!

User avatar
Seanie
Posts: 840
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by Seanie » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:37 am

Pretty sure this will be running tomorrow.

AndrewR
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:00 pm

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by AndrewR » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:13 am

Anyone get this done?

I smell some first descents!!

User avatar
Seanie
Posts: 840
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by Seanie » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:26 pm

Bump.

I'll bet this is up. Here's a Google map for anyone who's interested in doing some class 5:
http://g.co/maps/9uek5

Put-In
There are three known methods of accessing the river. The two first ones are tried and tested. Which one is the best is up for discussion. It's largely down to time, daylight, and how far you wish to drive or hike. You'll need to evaluate each route with the aid of an OS map. Also bring an OS map, it'll help with every hiking decision when you are there too.

Polladirk Bridge Car Park
There's a gravel car park at the bridge on the N59. Hike from the bottom of the river up. While this is strenuous, due the lack of a lengthy car shuttle, it does prove to be much quicker than the other alternatives. Hike up on the river right bank, following the river towards it source.
Screen Shot 2012-01-03 at 12.30.49 PM.png
There are more direct laneways to get into the valley, but these laneways are on private property and would require permission. However its worth knowing just in case of an emergency.

Lough Nahillion Forest
Note: Google maps has the wrong name on this lake.
Hike down into the valley from the forest south west of the put in. This route represents the longest car shuttle and still requires a sizable hike in.

Take the N59 through Letterfrack towards Clifden (heading south west). Then take the first left. Keep driving for approximately 4.5KM, until you see an entrance to the forest on the left and a green barn on the right. Shortly after this the lake on the left. Drive as deep into the Forrest as you can, park responsibly, Coilte might need to use the access road.

You will then need to hike from here. A map an a compass are handy, but a phone with GPS and Google maps is king. The forest is outside the National Park, so you will have to hop over a rather large perimeter fence to gain access to the park at some point.

Diamond Hill
Hike in from the Connemara National Park. This route might prove very easy due to the number of paved foot paths that will bring you close to the put in (I've never used this approach). However the river is in a National Park where they discorrange people from leaving the trails, I would assume that people carrying kayaks will not be welcomed by the park rangers.

User avatar
Seanie
Posts: 840
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Re: Adventureizing II - Polladirk River, Connemara, Galway

Post by Seanie » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:46 am

Has anyone ventured on this with a good flow yet?

Post Reply