On the 11th and 12th of August a trio of Nomads took on the River Tryweryn, a classic white water river and home to the Welsh National White Water Centre. The summer holidays and other commitments denied this opportunity to many others, who would certainly have enjoyed the opportunity to develop their white water skills on Grade III/IV water. However, this allowed our coaches to test their river running skills in a small group of three, dispensing with the traditional warm up on the River Dee and moving straight to the top of the Tryweryn.
The shuttle service provided by the centre was fully exploited on Saturday, as the team eddy hopped and surfed their way from the Chipper to the Café several times. No eddy, boof or surf wave was missed and Nick took the opportunity to test his bow and stern bumpers as he navigated the rock garden backwards. Nigel had a 50:50 choice of edges, whilst playing in an unfeasibly large hole, but selected the wrong one. This provided an opportunity to practice his roll, which proved to be bombproof. Ian faced his own 50:50 decision on the approach to Mrs Davies Bridge, with both river left and river right feasible. Sadly, his boat chose neither option and he was sent vertical in the middle of the hole, earning no style points during recovery.
That evening Nick and Nigel learned why their pub accommodation was so well priced. The beer was undrinkable and the food inedible, which led them back to the familiar surroundings of the White Lion for much needed refreshment. On Sunday the team returned to run the river from top to bottom. The Upper Tryweryn held no mystery after the previous day’s paddling, leaving time for a photo shoot and boofing competition, won by Nick.
In return, Nigel won his bet that he could indeed paddle the Upper Tryweryn backwards, with his eyes closed and his hands above his head.
As an experienced coach, Nick knows the location of every submerged rock on the Lower Tryweryn… apart from one, which he met sideways before inspecting it closely from both above and below the waterline. Fortunately, his roll was also bombproof and he hardly got his hair wet. 9 Cumecs of flow provided a clear route over Bala Mill Falls, ending a great weekend of white water paddling with no swims and two rolls. We look forward to sharing this classic river with other Nomads in future.
Thanks to Nick for leading this trip and to Ian for the report and photographs.