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Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:25 pm
by Donna B
Is there anyone near to the Elwy who can advise paddling levels compared to the 2 EA gauges
at Pont y Gwyddel (Llanfair Talhaiarn) and/or St Asaph?

Also, there is a guide to the Elwy here but it doesn't appear in the North Wales list - maybe it's still work in progress to update the list?

Thanks,

Donna

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:27 am
by Chris_Eastabrook
The Elwy is on www.welsh-rivers.co.uk so you can get an idea of levels. I have it written down here that around 6-7 @ Pont y Ddol physical gauge is a 'nice, normal' level, but that's not much help until you get there.

I prefer the run from Pont y Ddol to St Asaph. The weirs above Pont y Ddol don't give much time for warming up and it's easier to get out in St Asaph at the tennis courts. There's also one massive slide weir that is amazing fun and totally hassle free.

I last ran it in October with a student and there was 2 trees across the river (portages), a chest high bared wire fence (portage) and a metal grate for sheep across the river (straight through river right!!). It is a good run but these new obstacles really can ruin your day.

Chris

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:28 pm
by Ieuan Belshaw
Not sure which section but beware of a very big killer weir. You have a 1km flat straight stretch before you get to it (you can also hear it) portage river right.

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:36 pm
by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind
Ieuan Belshaw wrote:Not sure which section but beware of a very big killer weir. You have a 1km flat straight stretch before you get to it (you can also hear it) portage river right.
Do you mean the three tierd one in the forest?

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:34 pm
by Ieuan Belshaw
Ricks-Freestyle-Mind wrote:
Ieuan Belshaw wrote:Not sure which section but beware of a very big killer weir. You have a 1km flat straight stretch before you get to it (you can also hear it) portage river right.
Do you mean the three tierd one in the forest?
Yup, cant miss it.

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:47 pm
by Ieuan Belshaw
Could be ran but has anyone done it? If I ever get tempted Id want to find out what happened to the first person who ran it!

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:52 pm
by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind
In that case, yeah I have ran it. In mediumish and what I'd class as medium/high. It's a case of carrying as much speed going from number one to number two. It's pritty minging in low water with a block at the bottom of number two to work around. Be careful.

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:53 pm
by Ieuan Belshaw
Nice one! I think I'd want a bit of saftey though, those holes look quite grabby.

Could be something to do for the summer since I'll only be living 10 mins away from it...

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:05 pm
by Eunoia
Donna B wrote:Is there anyone near to the Elwy who can advise paddling levels compared to the 2 EA gauges
at Pont y Gwyddel (Llanfair Talhaiarn) and/or St Asaph?

Also, there is a guide to the Elwy here but it doesn't appear in the North Wales list - maybe it's still work in progress to update the list?

Thanks,

Donna
Hi not a frequent poster of this forum but it is pleasant to be able to help, so no outwitting childish comments from anyone please.

The Elwy is best run from LlanfairTalhaiarn
If when you go over the stone bridge into the village all the shingle on the LEFT hand side is covered with water then it is ok and a good run- it is not worth running if this area is scrapy.
I would estimate this to be about 1.5 on the guage that you show in your link.

It starts with quite a big wier just slightly downstream of the village that can be run left or right (Grade 3 at most)
It has plenty of playwaves on the way down this river.
I have run it at probably the highest level shown on the guage and it still remains grade 3 at peak.
I also ran it a couple of weeks ago and there was a very large tree across the river at one point after pont y ddol where the river split into two- make sure you look out for this.
The only weir to portage would be the one that Rick notes. You can hear this from a fair distance away just before Bontnewydd and this is easily portaged.
There are 3 big big holes in this weir so if you are going to run it make sure there is safety as it is a killer- it is worth noting that the adjacent landowner is pro paddling but does not like anyone to run this weir- he would prefer it if people would respectfully walk around it.

If you wish to get out at Bontnewydd there is an outdoor pursuits center at the side of the river (at a wooden footbridge) who are very friendly towards paddlers and may even help you. This is a sharp contrast to the fisherfolk of Bontnewydd.

Otherwise you can continue all the way to St Asaph but I would reccomend two inspection points after Bontnewydd- one at quite a high road bridge and one at a weir that is almost exactly the same as the start weir.

I will also say that this river is the only river I have seen a family of Otters on :-)

I hope this helps.

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:37 pm
by jmmoxon
I'm just wondering what an "outwitting childish comment" would actually be???

Mike

Re: Elwy Levels & Guide

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:46 pm
by MikeR
I paddled this for the first time at the weekend (Jan 2012) in low to medium (but by no means scrapey) levels. Paddled from Llanfair TH to Bony-Newydd. Possibly worth noting the following:

One tree portage early on with a large trunk spanning the channel (possibly after first weir, from sketchy memories).
One tree portage (full width nastiness, with lump of bank and wire fence included) after the gorge section. Located after bend in gravelly meander section through open farmland.
The three-step weir towards the end contains at least 15m of wire fence and fence posts. This long section of fence is snagged on the left side of the main central chute and was visible in the first two steps of the weir. In higher levels this fence may not be quite so visible, but it looked very nasty indeed and it is in exactly the wrong place. Portage!

Mike.

AFON ELWY

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:07 pm
by peakfreak

Re: AFON ELWY

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:39 pm
by Wildwood Wil
I love the Elwy. I first paddled it in a dingy with two mates when i was 11 and got out at the S bends on the Denbigh to St Asaph road. We had to pump the dingy up every 20 mins as it had a slow puncture. I also fished (poached) this river for seatrout and salmon and its tribs. Good days!