Leven River

Leven Canyon

Verified! Steep Creek Advanced Waterfalls Insane! Summer Autumn Winter Spring CLASS IV

 

NW. Ulverstone

Contributed by Daniel Harris

 

Class: IV

Season: All Year round

Time: 3 - 6 hours

Level: 0.45 minimum, 0.6 optimum, 0.7 maximum

Gauge: Bannon's Bridge

Shuttle: 30 to 40 minutes one way

Character: Technical paddling with some large falls in it.

Suits: Creek boats

A nice 6m seal launch to enter the river. First part of the run is very steep and pushy with a big water feel about it. Everything can be portaged above the falls but are usually run.

There are two falls, the first is about 10m high and is very sucky, pushing into the right cliff. the best line is to start far right and drop in the middle (angling left). The next falls is about 12 - 15m high. Very clean with a nice landing. best route is far left but any part of it is good. Below the falls the river becomes very steep and low volume, much more technical than the top.

At 0.45 the bottom is quite a drag with some flat and shallow bits, at 0.6 there's no worry. The river could be done above 0.7 with a suitable boat for paddling steep pushy water and punching holes. Very good paddlers have walked out at high water. This is an excellent trip, especially in summer when the the scenery is magnificent and the rapids are sensational.

Leven River, Leven Canyon. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Comments:
Probably the steepest popular Tasmanian river trip the Leven canyon is not to be taken lightly. After the seal launch into a dark and steeply cut out gorge there is no going back and it just gets more full on from there. At first the river creeps easily around a corner but after that it drops away steeply so that you can only see the next eddy you are about to fall in to. The river here demands a high level of skill and confidence even before you hit the first waterfall. This drops you into a suspended pool with overhanging walls and the only option out is to paddle the huge waterfall below. Look for the kayaker in the picture to see how high this is! This river is certainly a total blast for the competent steep creek paddler and also very spectacular but the inherent risks of dropping from a great height should be seriously considered before you are too committed to have much choice.

Daniel Harris - April 29 2015 - The gauge at Bannon's Bridge is no longer available.  However, there is a now an online gauge available at the WIST.  http://wrt.tas.gov.au/wist/ui  Search for water flow, select Leven River and the gauge at Bannon's Bridge.  Get the information in cumecs, can see it as a graph, which is very handy.  8 cumecs would be paddleable but dirty.  10 is a realistic minimum.  12 is ideal.  Over 14 starts to get chunky.  Over 18 and you'd better know the river and have your big boy pants on!  Graph can show how fast or slow the river is rising and falling, and there's probably a 12 hour gap between the start of the canyon and Bannon's Bridge.  If the level is 10 cumecs and dropping on the gauge, the level will be too low at the put in.


Putting In: Leven Canyon Valley floor track

Taking Out: Hop Farm at Gunns Plains

Entry Date: 10 April 2003

 

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