The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

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NigelMarkey
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The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by NigelMarkey »

So me and a mate ran the Cwm Haffes on Saturday.



It's mostly GoPro, but I think it's worth putting up as I can't find any video of it on the internet.

The lack of quality footage is due to the continuous rain and my DSLR not being waterproof.

The "steepest" title I've inferred from this thread from 2005 http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 0&start=38 - I make no claims to my own (dubious) kayaking ability.
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boom
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by boom »

Well that's one to put on my 'don't go anywhere near' list. : )
Well done

waterbourne
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by waterbourne »

loved it! where is this river in wales?

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quicky
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by quicky »

Is it a river or a new Alton Towers rock slide ride?

Lovely video. Started paddling as I was watching it. he he
Well done.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by mattdennies »

I'm dubious to whether the top section can be called a 'river'!

Fantastic stuff though, it looked fun on the go pro footage but when it swapped to the camera on the bank and you could see how fekin steep it was I needed a change of pants!

Keep it up!

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Mark Gawler »

I think a guide is required, I cant find one on this site.
Mark Gawler

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RichA
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by RichA »

It's been on my wishlist for years. It's now firmly at the top of my remaining Welsh to-do list!

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justin-g
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by justin-g »

Yep - i now really want to do this even more. Would you say it may have needed a touch more water to clean up the bottom section?? Any idea of corrisponding levels on the Tawe as a guage?? I.e. did it need the mega rain suggested in the Sladden bible??
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Ieuan Belshaw
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Ieuan Belshaw »

justin-g wrote:Yep - I now really want to do this even more. Would you say it may have needed a touch more water to clean up the bottom section?? Any idea of corrisponding levels on the Tawe as a guage?? i.e. did it need the mega rain suggested in the Sladden bible??
The Craig Y Nos gauge needs to be 1.2 or higher to clean it up, the more the better!

Watch out for the three fences and paddling through gorse bushes!
Ieuan :)

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Mark R »

Oooh, I want me some of that....perhaps a little more padding on the bottom half, though.
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NigelMarkey
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by NigelMarkey »

waterbourne wrote:loved it! where is this river in wales?
It's near to the Mellte and Neddfechan. This is the OS map of it: http://binged.it/LA8ILR

justin-g wrote:Would you say it may have needed a touch more water to clean up the bottom section?? Any idea of corrisponding levels on the Tawe as a guage?? i.e. did it need the mega rain suggested in the Sladden bible??
Yeh more water for the bottom section. Definitely biblical levels as Sladden describes, it was pretty much bankful when we did it and it rained loads last week and overnight Friday to Saturday.

The lower sections that were low/rocky happened when some of the flow had been stolen down the side channels. When all the flow was in the river it was sweet.

Between the slides and the bit we ran were some wide, steeper drops that didn't go at that level. With half a foot to a foot more water they would be amazing (insane). Iain might know what the gauge said because he was there before me, sorry I can't be more help on that. The lower section would be a different proposition with more water. The bushes and trees are the river bank, so with more water some bits would be challenging. You'd have to have a proper plan for dealing with the fences too.

Well worth the effort though, a truly great section (weather permitting).
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Simon Westgarth »

That looks great, especially the first part. Like the Eask Oakment, but way longer.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by justin-g »

Well 25 mils due Sunday...
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by TonyM »

Wow, what a jolly wheeze! Absolutely brilliant fun to watch - like Dangerous when Wet and that recent Aber vid.

What was the first piece of music?

Well done; as Sladden says - you won't have the energy for a second run!

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by jmmoxon »

It is so steep that water runs off very quickly, so amount per hour is more important than total rainfall...

Tough hike up in the pouring rain.

http://www.canoewales.com/the-haffes.aspx

Chris Sladden beside the Haffes (not my photo):

Image

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by hardy »

Heard tell of it before from several sources,and is on my list.Now nearer the top.Good stuff.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by TonyM »

Just had to watch it again.

Exhausted!

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by TonyM »

NigelMarkey wrote:
The lack of quality footage is due to the continuous rain and my DSLR not being waterproof.
Please - don't apologise - you've made some people very happy.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by joereadickins »

Awesome to finally see this after reading and re-reading Sladden's description in the Welsh Rivrs so many times. Would love to know what he makes of the levels in this. Very different to what I expected, I must admit I was expecting it to be a bit more suicidal after lines like "things ease off to grade 5," but awesome all the same.
Cheers for posting this.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Tom_Laws »

I've been several times and never seen it with enough water. Very jealous.

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Ieuan Belshaw »

If anyone is interest to know how steep the section is below the rock slides...

Image
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justin-g
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by justin-g »

Ieuan Belshaw wrote:If anyone is interest to know how steep the section is below the rock slides...

Image
Yikes!!
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Mark R »

Simon Westgarth wrote:That looks great, especially the first part. Like the Eask Oakment, but way longer.

I just looked at the maps - Okement drops c150 metres in about a mile, Haffes drops c250 metres in about a mile...ye gads!!!
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justin-g
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by justin-g »

It's almost like a mega steep east oke mixed with a super steep Plym for the lower section... With bushes and fences...
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by chris s sladden »

joereadickins wrote:Awesome to finally see this after reading and re-reading Sladden's description in the Welsh Rivrs so many times. Would love to know what he makes of the levels in this. Very different to what I expected, I must admit I was expecting it to be a bit more suicidal after lines like "things ease off to grade 5," but awesome all the same.
Cheers for posting this.

Hey Nigel,


Many thanks for filming and posting this awesome video. I simply loved it. There have been a number of great videos recently, and I enjoy them all- I wouldn't mind being able to show some of these in Cardiff in 2 weeks time as well.

With an answer to Joe's comments I think from the picture of me that someone posted, it shows higher levels than you got, but it was equally a great level on your video- especially for that upper slide which is out of hand at super high flows. The rapid below which is the most frightening section on the river only goes when in major levels, and I maintain a swim would be unthinkable. The river bed probably changes with each big flood too. I ran the river on two occasions only doing that rapid once. There is no stopping until it eases off. It is a bit like the upper section of the Clydach which joins the Sawdde

The other point is that the river will often drop dramatically when you are on it.

Also, and realizing that it was filmed in summer I believe there is 20 years of growth of the trees and Gorse since I was there. This is something I have recognized when I have been back in the UK. Fred Wondre laughed at me when I came out with this theory of tree growth, but sent on a full page report from the Times saying that the UK has its largest number of trees for 200 years or so!

Levels are an interesting thing and time has shown that there is always a range. I always felt I had the run the Nant y Gwair in high flows but recently a mate of mine showed pics of him doing it in huge flows. No real trees up there. He cart wheeled in most of the drops and described it as full on class V and the best river in the Wales- at those levels perhaps it was.


Once again-thanks for posting.

Cheers

Chris

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by cswalker »

Oh the Haffes, the mighty mighty raging Haffes..

What a brilliant video, great work guys!

The Haffes rules:

1. Make sure there is enough water
2. Do not capsize
3. Do not let go of your paddle
4. Stay away from the edges
5. It is steeper and faster than it looks
6. It must be still raining on the walk in and whilst your getting on

Love it, the epitomy of Welsh Rivers!

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by Simon »

Thanks for that.

What is the first piece of music played? - it matches the images brilliantly.

Simon

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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by chris s sladden »

BTW- minutes 2.05 I think says it all about why we go boating!


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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by woody »

OMG that was incredible thanks for posting. What a rush. Want some of that from my sofa, dunno when you get there!

For those asking about the music, the first tune is the penguin cafe orchestra, called perpetuum mobile.
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Re: The Steepest River in Wales - The Cwm Haffes - Video

Post by chris s sladden »

Nigel has kindly allowed me to show this film in Cardiff on the 7th July. This and a number of other great recent Welsh videos will be shown at the CIWW to reflect the growth and awesome fun of our sport. I will be happy to include most films that do the above so that folks can watch some Welsh boating whilst having a beer or coffee etc. If anyone would like their films shown please drop me a line

Happy boating

Thanks Nigel!

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