NAME OF RIVER: Afon Ceirw – Gorge section
WHERE IS IT?: A gorge that runs along the old A5 at Ty Nant.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: To avoid any conflict, best put in is
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5km – 2km
TIME NEEDED: 1 – 3 hours
ACCESS HASSLES: A gentleman at the start of the gorge on the old A5 usually comes and lets us know it’s a SSSI site and that it should not be paddled.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If there’s a decent sized stopper on the upstream side of the bridge, it’s on the high side of medium. Minimum is 0.6 on the Druids gauge. Medium is 0.8. High is anything 0.9+ and is pretty sporty. It stays up 2-5 days after heavy rain due to a big catchment area.
GRADING: 4-5 water level depending.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees, tight drops, pot holes, retentive stoppers. Possible fences above the gorge.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This is surprisingly a great run. Once you reach the gorge, there is a long 50m walled in rapid which gradually gets tighter and tighter up to the bridge. As soon as you pass under the bridge, there is a steep 6m slide into a pool, it is important to take the middle line down the slide as there is a pot hole on the left and rocks on the right. In low water the next boney drop can be portaged on the left but in anything above medium/high there are no eddies so it has to be run. Safety can be set up on river left but involves some scrambling. 50m below the boney drop, there is a triple tier style drop which can be scouted on river right. The rest of the river is mostly read and run to the get out.
OTHER NOTES: When the rest of the Ceirw is running then the gorge will be very high. In Chris Sladdens Welsh Rivers, this is described at the grade 6 gorge.
Entry rapid going under the bridge. 0.8 on the gauge.
The steep slide after the bridge. 0.8 on the gauge.
Steep slide and the top, boney slide just below. Gauge was 0.3 (empty).
Patrick Clissold running the triple step type rapid at low flows.
Patrick Clissold following the lead out rapids.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Ieuan Belshaw