The Mid Wales WW Weekend
Day 2 River Elan 10/02/19
It had rained all night and water was running down the road. We had planned to paddle the section of the Wye above Rhayader but levels looked a lot higher than the day before. The river was brown and swollen below Rhayader so having a mixed group we decided to head up the Elan Valley and put on below the Elan Reservoir.
On arrival the water was flowing all across the top of the dam and looked like a white curtain. The rapids below were over bankfull with the river running through the trees. Having not run the river before some took the wise decision not to paddle and head back home early.
Some of us put on above the low footbridge above the town. A desperate ferry across in front of a tree caught on the bridge stanchion. I was then I remembered that I had not zipped up my drysuit! This was quickly rectified as the consequences of a swim with a full drysuit would have be very serious.
Lower down the river soon eased but was still flowing through the trees. It was not long before we came across the confluence with the Wye at the Junction Pool. Here the blue and brown waters were slowly mixing along the eddy line (just like the Dudh and Sun Koshi) in the 1976 film of the decent of Everest. Looking left we could see Andy`s “railway rapid” from the day before, now just a little washed out.
The two groups bounced and paddled their way down the river Wye, beneath a suspension bridge to the egress at the next road bridge at Llanwrthwl bridge. Although the group made the right decision having now paddled this river high conditions it would have been ideal for the mixed group. Clearly the area has a lot to offer improver paddlers wanting grade 2-3 rivers to explore. There is harder stuff for those looking for a challenge but I am sure the group will return again next year. Thank you to John Cook for organising the weekend.