On 12th January four Nomads met in the car park at Builth Wells to begin a 15 mile journey down the River Wye to Glasbury. This classic touring section includes the Grade 3 Hell Hole alongside the iconic Wye Valley countryside.
Having pointed out the exact spot below the bridge where two years earlier we had conducted our first rescue, we conducted our first rescue; probably caused by the very same rock. However, the mild weather minimised the impact and we continued through successive grade 2 rapids towards the Hell Hole.
On arrival, our inspection at low water made the decision clear. We would avoid the Hell Hole and take the chicken run on river left instead. This worked for most of the group, but for one paddler, the river had other plans as he was swept towards the Hell Hole. A submerged rock on entry soon separated boat and paddler and the rescue had begun. Fortunately, with a strong team and a Canadian Canoe with a spare seat, paddle, boat and paddler were soon reunited and we continued on to Glasbury.
That evening we returned to Builth Wells and looked forward to selecting from the wide range of restaurants. Sadly, Builth Wells had gone on holiday that weekend, leaving just the Cosy Corner Café open. Fortunately, the food was excellent and we returned to Glasbury for last orders in the Harp Inn.
The following day was an easier paddle from Glasbury to Hay on Wye, which made the perfect end to the weekend. Many thanks to Matt for organising and leading the trip.