At 11 a.m. on Saturday 12th August 3 Nomads assembled at Mile End Mill for a weekend of white water adventure. This began with a warm up session under the watchful eye of Trip Leader Nick Moore, who was keen to assess the ability of the group before we ventured onto the Tryweryn. He wasn’t kept waiting long, as Ian soon discovered that the back deck of his Prijon Kaituna had not been designed for swift escape from the bottom stopper. Fortunately, Nigel was on hand to tow him out and a seemingly inevitable swim was thus avoided. Thereafter, the bottom wave provided ample opportunity for further practice and a combination of rolls and stabbing off the bottom kept everyone safely in their boats. After a couple of seal launches off the high rock, we were on our way to our overnight accommodation in Bala.
Nick and Nigel had shown their experience by booking into a reputable B&B well in advance. In contrast, Ian had left his arrangements until the day before, leaving him to take his chances with Stella at the Bala Backpackers Bunkhouse. Fortunately, Nomads’ diplomacy during previous trips paid dividends on this occasion and a single room was provided. Stella’s passion for signage continues to be reflected on every wall and surface of the bunkhouse, but the room inspection on the morning of departure was nowhere near as stringent as Trip Advisor would have you believe.
On Sunday morning we were at the top car park of the Tryweryn by 10 a.m. and ready for our first descent. Both Nick and Nigel were keen to visit every eddy on their way down, regardless of risk, and insisted on carrying their boats back up to the top for another go. Eventually, lunch at the Cafe brought this cycle to its natural conclusion, after which we began the final run from Chapel Falls to Bala Mill Falls. This was a less eventful affair, with the team enjoying the scenic views and occasional surf waves. At Bala Mill Falls, both Nick and Nigel picked a skillful route down, showing both style and flair. In contrast, Ian’s chosen route included hitting a rock at the top, losing the back end vertical over the first drop and crashing over the final drop without any style points whatsoever. Nevertheless, we had all survived the weekend without any swims or encountering any other swimmers, which is always a bonus.
Many thanks to Nick for leading and coaching, to Nigel for contributing his experience and rescues and to Ian for providing the entertainment and for the trip report.