Firstly congratulations to Phil who came of age as a river runner on Sunday! A trip down the lower Tryweryn from Chapel Falls to Bala without a capsize - no mean feat !! If he keeps this up I think we'll have him running the upper section by the Autumn.
Sunday was also the day spring finally arrived. Despite a poor weather forecast the day turned out warm and sunny with me turning out over dressed and sweaty. We met early (9.15am - well early for me) and as a result had the river to ourselves for the entire run down. It really felt like a wild river without the plastic log jam that can occur on the Tryweryn during the summer months. For those of you not familiar with the river, it is dam controlled, so the water remains runable in dry spells when other Welsh rivers are reduced to a pebble beach.
The lower Tryweryn is only graded at grade 2, but there is plenty to keep you occupied. For those of you have done the slalom site at Llangollen and Jackfiled, just imagine having those two sites linked and repeated for 6km and you'll start to get the picture.
Most of the rapids we ran on sight, with two exceptions. One on a bend that looked tree choked from above and Bala Mill Falls. The Mill Falls are grade 4 and we thought best left for another day, so we walked around this one!
The run from there down into Bala is usually an uneventful one, but on this occasion we met two delightful local teenagers who decided to exchange Welsh insults, their only mistake was the ones I know are far worse than anything they may have learnt in school. Sometimes Welsh relatives do have their uses.
After the trip we returned to the White Water Centre for a bacon butty and a pot of tea. The Tryweryn Centre can be just so civilised! The other great thing about the Tryweryn (apart from the cafe, the facilities, the clean river etc) is that use of the centre and river is free. A lesson that could be repeated at other sites that are far less salubrious.