CSCC Reports 2006: White Water in Wales, 9-10 December 2006

For once there was water in the rivers!

Dave M and Julia kindly provided the Friday night accommodation at their lovely house near Chippenham, which has an indoor well so that Dave can keep an eye on ground water levels.

On the Saturday Dave M, Peter, Hilary and Martin headed in search of a new river not done by the club before. They found a river at the sloping weir below Heol Senni, which can only be done in good water conditions. The river Senni was grade 2 for most of the way with a couple of tree blockages forcing portages. Towards the end there were a few Grade 3 rapids including an interesting stepped weir at Sennybridge. At this point the Senni joins the Usk and the group continued down the river to Aberbran Bridge.

This stretch of the Usk has 3 ledge-drops on it. Standing around these drops were a lot of people clutching throw-lines and beards in an alarming way, but remembering Fiona’s traditional advice (“Lean forward and paddle like, er, fury.”), they blasted down anyhow. That evening Dave M travelled back to Chippenham to spend the evening with his family while Pete, Hils and Martin found a B&B in Brecon with a small but effective drying room.

On Sunday the Usk theme was continued and they did the run from Talybont to Crickhowell. Since the water level was good Dave decided that it was an opportunity to use the raft and took Julia along as crew. They may have regretted this with the winds nearly blowing them back upstream at one point. The best stretch of this section of the Usk is the middle bit, the mile or so before and after Llangynidr Bridge. This section has the mill rapids, which was at good levels for the raft and provided Hilary with the opportunity to get her boat vertical.

All in all a first-rate trip with good water levels, interesting rapids but no swims or rolls.

Senni : From the sloping weir below Heol Senni to Sennybridge
The last picture is the exit from the Senni into the Usk.
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Usk : Sennybridge to Aberbran Bridge.
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Sunday's Photos : Usk from Talybont to Crickhowell
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All images ©2006 CSCC. Pictures by Peter/Hilary, Martin S.