Tryweryn weekend by John Cooke
With the Tryweryn not releasing over the weekend and rain forecast we arrived at the campsite late afternoon to find Craig E was already set up, pitching the tents in the pouring rain was not an enjoyable experience, Craig and Alexsander arrived complete with gazebo which was erected and used as our dining room for tea. Later on, Dom arrived with a large family tent that we converted in to the party tent and would be the saving grace of the weekend. By now with an ever-increasing number of tents/vans we were building a Tryweryn village.
Saturday morning and not much sleep due to the rain pouring all night, other paddlers joined us and unfortunately the sheer weight of water on the gazebo had made it collapse, no more dining room!
The good news was the river was in fact 20cm higher than if they had actually released and 14 paddlers split in to two groups set off for a paddle which would take 3 hours, we were back on schedule for the original purpose off the trip. With a shuttle back to the campsite we all went to the cafe at the Tryweryn for some lunch.
Lunch done and dusted and some new paddlers on site it was time for a second run, the rain had stopped and the river was dropping quickly so the second lap was done in just over an hour. Mission complete, back to the campsite for a shower and barbeque with a couple of drinks thrown in for good measure, the party tent was utilised later on until it was time for bed.
Sunday morning and it had been decided to go to the Dee as this was on the way home for most people, and it was running at a high medium level so plenty of water for the group. It was immediately obvious that there was plenty of water as Serpent’s was washed out, plenty of big waves to push through or over and a couple of people got caught out and took an early bath.
Down past JJ’s and unusually there was no one on the bottom wave, it too was washed out so onwards down to town falls, A group of four opted for the easier route down through arch number 2 and waited by the bridge for the rest to come down. All safely through it was a great end to the days paddle.
Well done to Alexsander, he actually went under water a couple of times when pushing through the big waves on the Dee. Dom was pretty pleased to have nailed his first run of town falls and celebrated with a few whoops! Neil was pretty excited as well; I don’t think he had done it before so well done to everyone on the trip that had done Bala Mill/serpents or town falls for the first time.
Despite the rain and the Tryweryn not releasing I didn’t have to revert to plan B., Good job really as I didn’t have a plan B.
The aim of the weekend was to introduce people to some new rivers and push them to try new stuff, I think we achieved what we set out to do and everyone seemed to enjoy it, hopefully we can do another trip in the future and I think the Tryweryn weekend may become an annual event .