3 sections of the R Severn, a canal journey to the centre of Birmingham, and Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat on the R Wye. A varied and much enjoyed programme. Roll on 2014, when we might include an overnight camping stay.
A nice balanced group of ten paddlers on the Lower Treweryn in January, with plenty of old lags there to give encouragement and support to those who were at this level for the first time. High points:- Martin’s impressive efforts to stay in his boat; a magnificent team of rescuers doing their bit to to upgrade their rescue skills; a textbook high brace from Nick just above Bala Mill falls; the neatest pirouette halfway down the falls by yours truly (so I’m told- nothing to do with skill, though); a vertical bit of trickery by Tom H Sr (sorry Tom, don’t know what it’s called); and the most welcome bum-warming fire at the Green Inn on the way back.
A Brian Wenlock special!- sunshine and mild springlike weather at the end of December brought out an impressive fleet of boats and paddlers of all sizes and descriptions for the gentlest of paddles along 9 miles of canal. A narrow winding channel to begin with, sometimes waiting for a barge to creep past; then the fabulous experience of crossing the Froncysylte Aqueduct over the River Dee; then single file through a long tunnel to emerge straight onto another aqueduct over the Ceiriog valley. You don’t often need a head for heights when paddling, but this is one trip where it comes in very handy. Nice pub meal at the Poachers Pocket to finish. A classic!
After a long trek down south we made it on to some of Dartmoors finest rivers.
Saturday saw us split in to several groups to paddle various sections on the River Dart. The Loop, the Upper and the West all provided some fantastic paddling with water levels better than we have seen in previous years.
Sunday dawned dry and so choices were limited and we headed for the Walkham, a nice little river with a couple of excitting drops.
A fantastic effort by everyone that attended. We had 31 paddlers on the river and the SARA “Severn Area Rescue Association” boat. Final totals included a couple of fence panels4 shopping trolleys, 15 road cones and about 20 tyres, we used all of the bin bags and had loads of bits of scrap metal. It looked like we filled the vehicle the Council sent to collect the waste with.
Didn”t We Do Well!
But if they did they’d be the Falls of Shin.
Now I understand it’s the club rule that the first swimmer writes up the trip report. There were only four of us and fortunately no-one took a dip. However, as I the first to have to employ an eskimo roll, i guess the task of the trip report falls onto me?
Well anyway, it’s not going to be the most interesting report, but it gives me something to avoid doing my dissertation presentation…!
So four of us, Jonny, Jacko, Chappers and Myself packed up and headed off to Bala to check out the Wnion. We left with high hopes of running a nice grade IV gorge section. However, these hopes all disappeared when we found the water we’d hoped was in the river, was still frozen to the sourounding hills.
So to the tryweryn it was. For the most part, the session was pretty uneventful. We had five runs of the Upper section, with the last few encompassing the NRA wave and Chapel falls. Jonny spent the day with his headcam firmly attached, trying to get some good footage, as well as taking the less conventional routes down the river. Chappers had a fantasic performance of making every eddy on all the runs down the river -many of which I couldn’t even see existing when he was sat in them!
Other than my unique idea of running the NRA drop sideways high bracing (shown in technicolour on the video), it was a pretty easy going trip. We had a race down the upper section, Which Jacko claimed 1st place, and Jonny last (made some excuse aboutdropping back to make sure everyone was ok?!?!)
Here’s the link for the Video Jonny took with his head cam… those of you with facebook will be able to watch, those without simply just need to get it…!
Hope you’ve all had a good festive season, look forward to paddling with you all soon