Wye Builth Wells 12 December 2010

On a very cold (-3 degrees) and frozen Sunday morning, 10 paddlers from Stroud Valley Canoe Club met at at the Boughrood access point on the river Wye.

For a change we had six open canoes and four kayaks.

After sorting ourselves out with kit we moved up to the put in at a very foggy Builth Wells.

The Put In

Fortunately most of the ice had melted allowing us to get get on successfully, with Jeff demonstrating how to fall out of an open canoe whilst launching.

Proceeding downstream in thick fog, we cam across numerous patches of ice generally around four inches thick that had broken up as the river had dropped.

More Ice ...

Some of it was even thick enough to park an occupied kayak in, as demonstrated by Andy.

Eventually as we carried on through beautiful scenery, the fog cleared to produce an cold sunny day with mist patches here and there.

Just before lunch Jeff and Tim provided the first rescue opportunities at the drop just above the AberEdw bridge, our lunch stop, with Jeff unfortunately getting his leg trapped under the kneeling thwart for a bit.

Moving on down river we came to Hell Hole, which had a perfect water level for us to run through a slot down the middle.

Dave P had first shot but chose the river right slot, unfortunately unsuccessfully, resulting in his first swim of the day. Testing his new dry suit he unfortunately discovered his convenience zip had not been done up.

Jeff at Hell Hole

Most of the rest of the crew ran down the middle, with Tim coming out, and Dave being sucked back into the bottom stopper and getting inundated.



Halfway between Hell Hole and the get out at Boughrood there is another decent grade 3 rapid, which all ran successfully after inspection by Dave and Chris, Jeff amazingly surviving after taking completely the wrong line.

After this we proceeded swiftly to the getout as dusk approached.

A swift shuttle then off for a well deserved pint!