Grading new welsh Guide book

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Richard Gunton
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Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Richard Gunton »

By the way the books great im not concerned by the grades but its worth a discussion because it fun. The new book grades the Nedd Fechan 4 and Poo creek 4, I think they are still both 4 (5). The water falls on these when they are up are a 5 especially if you include the rarely run water fall on the nedd Fechan. The Methdi is still graded 4 and 5. The regularly run big falls on this are easiers than those on Poo creek and the Nedd fechan. To me many water falls, not all take good skills to run well, so they can be graded accorroding. Fire it up woop woop

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kevinf
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by kevinf »

When you are as awesome as me everything gets reduced by at least 2 grades.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by DaveWortley »

There are only 2 grades,

Grade Good
Grade Bad

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by xrayhead »

I had a look at the new book when I was at paddle works, why did they remove all the river maps? This is a step backwards isn't it?

I really liked the fist book and was hoping the new one would be along the same lines as you cant get the old one any more!

Just encase anyone hasn't seen the old one it had all the rivers marked out as follows:

http://www.canoewales.com/afon-chwefri.aspx

Also in sections like this as well...
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Mark R
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Mark R »

No river maps? I must get around to looking at a copy. I'm intrigued to see how the rivers are organised in this book, because one of the authors was pretty critical of the designer's previous work in 'English White Water'.
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Patrick Clissold
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Patrick Clissold »

Nope, no individual river maps. We went for area maps instead. We didn't think it added anything, as we didn't think people actually navigated using them. The idea is that all you need is the book and a basic Welsh road map and you should be able to get to nearly all the locations described in the book. And just in case 6 figure grids are given.

Grading is always going to be a bit subjective, our goal was to be as consistent as we could be. As for waterfalls, as we put in the intro, we don't grade the river based on one off waterfalls, they are in their own league. A grade 1 with an almighty hard waterfall in the middle would still be a grade 1 with a portage.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Mark R »

My favourite approach (but not one I exactly recommend) is that used by Stuart Smith in his 'Canadian Rockies' guidebooks - he grades the river at the easiest possible grade it could be run by making portages. So, you see the words 'Grade 4' in bold large print at the top of the page and hop onto some creek excitedly.

Many hours later, you crawl out of the other end of the gorge, wide-eyed, beaten and bloodied, and look at the guidebook again, only to find that in the small print, it says, 'Can be run at Grade 4, but be prepared to execute many desperate portages'.

I kid you not...
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Patrick Clissold »

I novel approach. Very Canadian.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Dr Robin »

Richard Gunton wrote:By the way the books great im not concerned by the grades but its worth a discussion because it fun. The new book grades the Nedd Fechan 4 and Poo creek 4, I think they are still both 4 (5). The water falls on these when they are up are a 5 especially if you include the rarely run water fall on the nedd Fechan. The Methdi is still graded 4 and 5. The regularly run big falls on this are easiers than those on Poo creek and the Nedd fechan. To me many water falls, not all take good skills to run well, so they can be graded accorroding. Fire it up woop woop
I disagree. The big drop on the Ned Fechan has a simple lead-in, can be run straight down the guts, it's deep enough to pencil, and there's a big pool to roll up in. The first drop on the Melte after the walk-in must be boofed, and you must exit upright because you're immediately into the next rapid. Whether this is grade 5 or not may be debated and depends on the level, but I'd say it was definitely harder.
Mark R wrote:My favourite approach (but not one I exactly recommend) is that used by Stuart Smith in his 'Canadian Rockies' guidebooks - he grades the river at the easiest possible grade it could be run by making portages. So, you see the words 'Grade 4' in bold large print at the top of the page and hop onto some creek excitedly.

Many hours later, you crawl out of the other end of the gorge, wide-eyed, beaten and bloodied, and look at the guidebook again, only to find that in the small print, it says, 'Can be run at Grade 4, but be prepared to execute many desperate portages'.

I kid you not...
I take your point, but this is a fault of the grading system, not Stuart Smith. A grade tells you nothing about the difficulty of the portages. I take the attitude that the principle grade should be a recommendation to the paddler. So, for example, I disagree with Slime's grade of 3+(5) for the Finstermonster. Although the grade is technically correct, grade 3 paddlers would make so many desperate eddies and long portages that they wouldn't enjoy it.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Richard Gunton »

Dr Robin wrote:The big drop on the Ned Fechan has a simple lead-in, can be run straight down the guts
I think you mean the 2O footer here. I would agree with that, but the one after it has a straight forward lead in with rolling lip straight onto rock (Needs spate conditions) followed by a slide with ledge stoppers and the horse shoe drop with nasty stopper to finish. I would say 5plus in the conditions that make it runnable. Right up your street solo even.
It hard excepting change you Know. Its great to have people who are prepared to invest time in writing a guide book to make it easier for those who may not have the time to explore. A whole skill set has grown up arround running water falls, people are going harder and higher with increasing frequency, All grading is subjective but I think water falls are very subjectively grade able, Long gone are the days of falling of the lip with toes crossed and arse cheeks clenched. So this for me would mean Nedd Fechen at bank full 4+ (5+) or If the grade is measured for meduim levels 4 with one Portage.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Mark R »

Richard Gunton wrote:Long gone are the days of falling of the lip with toes crossed and arse cheeks clenched.
Says who? Still works for me.
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Richard Gunton »

Jugding by the quolity of peoples skills on vidoes these days. so many paddlers have good technique.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

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Mark R wrote:My favourite approach (but not one I exactly recommend) is that used by Stuart Smith in his 'Canadian Rockies' guidebooks - he grades the river at the easiest possible grade it could be run by making portages. So, you see the words 'Grade 4' in bold large print at the top of the page and hop onto some creek excitedly.

Many hours later, you crawl out of the other end of the gorge, wide-eyed, beaten and bloodied, and look at the guidebook again, only to find that in the small print, it says, 'Can be run at Grade 4, but be prepared to execute many desperate portages'.

I kid you not...
Yup, I can vouch for his guide book[s] leading to 'spicier' trips than originally estimated.
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by jmmoxon »

The Mellte isn't any harder than the Nedd Fechan or Clydach Gorge once you KNOW it, however, the big drops have long shallow lead ins, with no opportunity to break out, which have caught several paddlers out, whilst on the other rivers the big drops are pretty obvious from river level & can be scouted, so I think giving the Mellte a higher grading is warranted. Grade 4 just means that is normally the grade when it is paddleable, it'll probably be harder when high & easier when low...

Of course the first 2 waterfalls on the Mellte are rarely paddled, we just portage in below them.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by jmmoxon »

Scumbag_Scout wrote:There are only 2 grades,

Grade Good
Grade Bad
& how is that supposed to help people with less experience when they want to know if a river will be good for them in their limited free time...?
xrayhead wrote:I had a look at the new book when I was at paddle works, why did they remove all the river maps? This is a step backwards isn't it?

I really liked the fist book and was hoping the new one would be along the same lines as you cant get the old one any more!
But you can still get the old book online so the new one did need to be different, Chris Sladden's original South Wales guidebooks did include area maps which showed where the rivers are relative to each other much better than the "old" guide managed & online mapping is far superior to when that was published, so maps would be using space that has hopefully been put to better purposes.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by DaveBland »

Not had the good fortune to see the new guide yet, but detailed descriptions or maps are 'spoilers' and can lull into a false sense of security. Detailed descriptions of must-make portages and get-outs are always welcome, but after that, a general what's what is all that's needed innit?
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by jmmoxon »

Dave
Welshkayaking - Tom is off to Vancouver/Whister/Kamloops next week. Anyone Ex-pats want a book bringing out? Message us before Tuesday morning to reserve a copy - 4 hours ago
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by DaveBland »

Cheers Mike. FB'd Tom earlier. I'm sure there will be a few copies wanted this area.
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by jmmoxon »

If you want to take issue with grades then Caerfanell is a good place to start - 5km of gr5 is actually 500m of gr5 followed by rest being gr2 & Grwyne Fawr doesn't mention the gr4 section from the dam down to the car park, despite these having become popular runs since the previous edition.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Dr Robin »

Richard Gunton wrote:...the one after it has a straight forward lead in with rolling lip straight onto rock (Needs spate conditions) followed by a slide with ledge stoppers and the horse shoe drop with nasty stopper to finish.
I take your point that the horseshoe drop is a more technical line. The drop onto rock is significantly more dangerous than anything else on the river and easily portaged so should be graded within brackets.
jmmoxon wrote:The Mellte isn't any harder than the Nedd Fechan or Clydach Gorge once you KNOW it, however, the big drops have long shallow lead ins, with no opportunity to break out, which have caught several paddlers out, whilst on the other rivers the big drops are pretty obvious from river level & can be scouted, so I think giving the Mellte a higher grading is warranted.
Again, I don't think the grade tells you anything about the "paddling maturity" required to run the river. A grade 4 rapid is still a grade 4 rapid even it's contained in a sheer-sided uninspectable canyon, with no eddies for a kilometre above and a manditory portage immediately afterwards.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by cswalker »

Please bring me a copy to Toytown! Give me a call Thomas when your here. 604 902 3331

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Richard Gunton »

jmmoxon wrote: 5km of gr5 is actually 500m of gr5 followed by rest being gr2
I dont know that it is grade 5 anyway. Im no grade 5 paddler I was happy getting on it in spate.


Dr Robin wrote:Again, I don't think the grade tells you anything about the "paddling maturity" required to run the river. A grade 4 rapid is still a grade 4 rapid even it's contained in a sheer-sided uninspectable canyon, with no eddies for a kilometre above and a manditory portage immediately afterwards.
Yes this is what made me sit up and think. The Cldyach and Nedd fechan have falls on them that I feel are quite seriouse at a given water level. So a brackets (5) draws the readers eye and makes them think about what is to come. Paddler maturity comes with experince. Some Experinced paddlers will only care about the over all grade, put in and take out are enough. less experienced may well want to know about grade 5 water falls. Even If its Grade 2 (6). or grade 1 with terminale weirs in high water.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by chris s sladden »

cswalker wrote:Please bring me a copy to Toytown! Give me a call Thomas when your here. 604 902 3331

For those in Canada
http://www.amazon.ca/Welsh-Rivers-Compl ... 61&sr=1-10

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

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chris s sladden wrote:
cswalker wrote:Please bring me a copy to Toytown! Give me a call Thomas when your here. 604 902 3331

For those in Canada
http://www.amazon.ca/Welsh-Rivers-Compl ... 61&sr=1-10
Shocked to see a "used" one on there. Surely not a dissatisfied customer already?
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Patrick Clissold »

Maybe they realised that it's quite a long shuttle to Wales.

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

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DaveBland wrote:Shocked to see a "used" one on there. Surely not a dissatisfied customer already?
Or an author selling off one of his free copies to supplement meagre royalties??

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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

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Maybe it's the copy that now so famously got thrown across the room by the fishy types.
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... =3&t=93300
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Re: Grading new welsh Guide book

Post by Patrick Clissold »

GumGum wrote:
DaveBland wrote:Shocked to see a "used" one on there. Surely not a dissatisfied customer already?
Or an author selling off one of his free copies to supplement meagre royalties??
Free copies? We are self published, they are all free! I have hundreds sat in my room right now.

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