Summer Tryweryn Trip

September 2013

Well it was about 4 months ago now but I said I'd write this trip up and I'm a man of my word! At the end of another long summer of courses, it was decided that we'd go and paddle something a bit more challenging. (Actually we were just getting some practice in so we didn't show ourselves up at the start of the beginners white water season!) So off went Simon, Helen, Vice, Tom, Sue, Lynds, Su, Rach, JB, Jess, Hardie and Sir Joe Harris to an old Isis favourite - the Tryweryn. Lynda's bunkhouse was already booked up so we went for everyone's favourite - camping! Even better we picked a campsite where the owner didn't like kayakers. Not that I'm judgemental, but who buys a campsite on a popular white water river and tries to keep paddlers off it! Anyway, the original plan was to have a lovely warm late summer paddle, shorty cags and rash vests all round. In true British fashion, what we actually got was a bracing, rainy autumn weekend, so full drysuits and skull caps it was then. To make the trip more fun, we were joined by Helen's old canoe club Huntingdon who turned out to be a great laugh on and off the river. On the Saturday we tackled the Lower. It was great to see some improvement from last year when it took us all day to get down; this time we were off the water by 3pm! Isis being Isis we still had a small selection of comedy swims. Most giggly swim went to Lynds who had perhaps had too much Red-Bull ("WOO-HOO - I'M SWIMMING!") and there was a "what just happened there" rock splat by Vice. A few of us fancied our first attempt at Bala Mill Falls but were put off somewhat after watching one of Huntingdon's crew get sucked into the nasty stopper on the final drop.

The Saturday night was a joint Isis-Huntingdon dinner at the White Lion in Bala. Kudos to the kitchen staff, the food was damn tasty. After the meal, we headed back to the campsite and into the Isis Mansion as it was frickin' cold for some more, somewhat embellished, Isis-Huntingdon story-telling!

The following day, Simon decided we were all suitably experienced to have a crack at the Upper Tryweryn (more fool him). Everyone got down the first bit in one piece Things seemed to be going swimmingly until we reached The Graveyard, then things went even more swimmingly if you catch my drift. Sue broke in slightly awkwardly and capsized right at the entrance. Cue a very bumpy ride all the way to the bottom with Simon chasing her down like a whippet. There were more swims than I care to remember at that point with our three tireless leaders haring around hoovering up boats. Those of us that were left after that carnage took aim at the Ski-Jump, which is only just slightly larger than the one at the Nene. Most of us made it over in one piece. Hardie got sucked back in and mashed in the hole at the bottom (gonna need a bigger boat Chris!). At this point the heavens had opened up and there was a proper monsoon kicking off, we played around for another hour or so before we got out all completely knackered. Final carp impression of the day went to Helen although to be fair she was trying to rescue a boat at the time. This was a tremendous weekend, thanks to all the coaches and organisers. Hopefully we'll be heading back there soon - oh -wait we're going next week!

- Tom Law