Sunday paddle on the Lower Tryweryn
As with most of our paddles mid-week saw the start of a discussion of… “it looks like there’ll be water, shall we paddle?” and with a few other offers for people it was looking as though there would only be three of us paddling today…that soon turned into nine!
A plan was arranged for myself, Gregg, Rob and Dougie to meet at the club house for 7am, much to rob’s dismay. In true faffing style we quickly realised four boats were not fitting onto one car, a quick restrap onto two cars and we were ready to go…or not. Problem 1, Gregg had managed to shut the container onto his keys (which had the club keys attached) and already locked one padlock before noticing. A small panic and lot of pulling and easing keys free later we were off with plans to stop for breakfast in the service stop café on route to Llangollen. A bright yellow sign stating “Café Open” greeted us as we pulled in. Problem 2, the café was definitely not open, so plan B onto MacDonald’s for food and coffee.
Arriving at the Tryweryn centre to meet Matt and Jamie started a quick discussion of whether anyone fancied a run at the upper section while we ran the shuttle, no-one fancied this so off to get changed where we bumped into Amy, Tom and Mike from Shrewsbury Canoe Club and soon six became nine.
A pleasant paddle followed despite the sideways wind and rain that accompanied us at times, initially led by rob then later by Jamie the group paddled well together and made the most of the river to work on skills. Rob has suggested at the start to try working on grabbing eddies wherever we felt we could so this was good practice for all members of the group. The river was run in a read and run style, stopping to discuss lines above some of the bigger rapids or more technical sections.
The paddle continued without any incidents apart from a few stuck on rock moments from several members of the group. We eventually reached Bala Mill Falls..decision time! Myself and Amy decided today wasn’t for us and headed off down the leat to grab a good spot to watch/run safety. Rob, Matt and Tom carried on straight down the falls while Jamie, Gregg, Mike and Dougie walked up for inspection. Mike decided to join me and Amy while the others decided to run it. After good clean runs from Rob, Matt and Tom, myself, Amy and Tom waited at the bottom for a good view, throwlines in hand while the Rob and Matt waited in the water. After what seemed like forever and a question from Amy as to whether the others had stopped for a pre-run picnic the rest of the group finally appeared. Again good clean runs from Jamie, Gregg (fab for his first time down the feature!) and Dougie greeted with a few cheers at the bottom we reconvened in an eddy and finished the paddle.
In true paddling style the day was finished with a drink in The Boathouse at Chirk (definitely become the regular pub post north wales paddles) and chance to catch up before heading home.
All in all a great day on the water in the lovely welsh rain, it was great to paddle with some new people as it always is to make new paddling friends, here’s to the next paddle!
See you all on the water soon - Sam