Lower Tryweryn and Tryfan

Yet another trip organised with precision, this time thanks to Helen. The boats were loaded on Thursday evening onto Liam's Land Rover and we tried out the newly expanded trailer with even more boats and kit. This meant that all we needed to do on Friday was pack in the food, munch on our fish and chips and then make our way to Wales.

We arrived at the bunkhouse in decent time and then set about working out our plan of action for the next day. Simon told us the dam would be released at 8am and with us wanting a full day of paddling I thought a wakeup call of 6am would be perfect. I can't say it was the best idea because as the alarms slowly went off we all realised that a) it was still dark and b) nobody should ever have to see two 6 o'clocks in one day. We fought off the urge to go back to bed and were out of the bunkhouse spot on 7.30am. We got to the centre for 8am and made our way to the top car park, but as the centre was closed so were the gates. Luckily, just as we were in the process of taking the boats off the Land Rover an Environment Agency officer rocked up and opened the gates for us. Hurdle number one was over, but then we found that the boat lock securing our boats had 'malfunctioned' and we spent a good few minutes sawing it off.

Eventually Simon, Ruari, Gwyl and Liam seal launched into the icy water and paddled off down the Upper section as Matt, Pete and Helen started the first part of the shuttle. Eventually we all launched and off we floated on our day's adventure. Simon's coaching group consisted of Matt, Pete and Helen assisted by Liam and I, and our super rapid scouting party consisted of Jon, Gwyl, Ruari and Ishy.

The water was freezing, there were icicles everywhere you looked and our boats developed a layer of frost, but after much ferry gliding, eddying in and out and interesting sections of rapids we started to warm up. Gwyl, Ishy, Ruari and John even managed to help rescue some paddlers from Durham University Canoe Club who had taken on a little more than they could handle. We paddled on to Bala Mill Falls and Simon, Gwyl, Ruari, Ishy, John, Liam and I all made it down safely. The rest of the group joined us on the water and we floated off to the get out. Joe, Liam and a slightly hypothermic Gwyl pressed on up to the Upper for a couple of spare runs but the rest of us got changed, warm and then set off back to the bunkhouse. That evening we had booked the BBQ hut. Liam and Helen stoked the fire, and one by one people finished showering, jumped into clean clothes and popped their burgers, sausages, steak and chicken in the racquet shaped grills over the flames. We discussed various lofty topics and drank several varieties of beer and cider before eventually succumbing to our yawns and making our way to bed.

Sunday started a little later because the dam wasn't releasing, but sadly few of us got much more sleep thanks to some phantom snorers. Bleary eyed we all cleared up our kit, ate our breakfast and made our way to the foot of Tryfan for a spot of mountain climbing. We left Helen in the Land Rover revising, and set off to join Adam and Eve at the peak. There were some fantastic views thanks to the lack of clouds and despite the lingering patches of snow and ice, we clawed our way to the top in time for a spot of lunch and some exhibitionism from Gwyl and Ruari. Our scramble down was a little simpler and we even managed a group photo before joining Helen back at the parking spot for a well earned rest.

A fantastic weekend, thanks to everyone for making it so fun. Next stop...The Dart Loop!

- Jen

Photos by Jen.