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
The weekend of the Dee tour last year I was nearly killed before even getting on the river thanks to my seal launch down the hill, This years Dee tour I decided not to tempt fate and say away from the Dee in fact I went to mid Wales just to put as much distance as possible between me and the Dee
We went to the River Dullus at Corris it was at a good flow I would say “med high” we had 16 people from the club out that day so a really good turn out
However me going to mid Wales did not please the river gods one bit and so when we got in to do the Dullus just above the first drop which goes in under the old bridge man made sides ect. on it I went to run this drop with a view to setting up safety for the Group as I entered the hole at the bottom that was the last I can recall because from that point on I saw nothing and breathed nothing,
I was worked over a few times in my boat before I finial parted company with it, then things got worse I was sent deep very deep and was being recurulated in a very strong sticky deep hole I could not get to the surface, I could not get out of the hole, I was just being thrown around
At this point I remembered that I had no safety ( that was meant to be my job) , At this point I though I may have to resigned my self to drowning, as I was being tossed around I thought…
” so this is it, you have had it”
“its strangely peace full down here”
” I hope they can recover my body in time to effect CPR on me”
Some how on the 5th time around I was sent deep enough to be washed far enough out that I was able to start swimming to the surface I was a very happy chap I was completely knackered
When I got out I had to give chase to my boat down the side of the river, In the mean time Ruth has came down and got the same working over I got, lucky by this time a throw line was set up and she was plucked from the water, Alex also took a swim on the drop but managed to escape getting worked in the hole
As for the rest of the day, I was to be honest still in shock from my experience so it its all a bit of a blur apart from the Mill falls bit with the constriction in it which I think everyone got through bar one or two that tried it side ways and had to go through without the boat
and the grade VI portage was worth avoiding a real man killer perhaps if you felt brave and in mega high flows you could look for a line but I wasn’t really feeling the love after earlier so I though perhaps best to keep on walking
Most seal launched back in after the portage I opted for a normal entry since to be honest I haven’t really got over my run in with the tree a year earlier yet and so do do sliding any more in my boat, after a nice paddle with a few more rapids we got to the get out just after the very low stone bridge
As we where changing a small mouse appeared from Steve Duckets boat it scurried around the deck of the boat for a few min before finding a way off, it turns out that Steve had already found three mice in his boat as he was paddling down the river after feeling them on his leg then after removing them he had taken at lest three swims that day and even in the process of emptying out the boat that little mouse hung in their and as such done the Dullus better than me or Steve since he at lest stayed in his boat for the whole trip
Here’s some vid of the Ruth Fairclouth getting done over in the same hole,please note at the start both her and boat are having down time before it released her See here
Feeling good to be alive
Date of river trip was the 16th of Nov