GUIDE TO THE AFON CLYWEDOG
(Bryn y Tail Lead Mine to River Severn confluence)
NAME OF RIVER: Clywedog.
WHERE IS IT?: Llanidloes, Mid Wales. OS Landranger Sheet 136.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in Bryn y Tail Lead Mine (GR914867), Take out, Llanidloes (actually on the River Severn) river right below the town bridge.
APPROX LENGTH: 5 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Access to the river freely available from public land.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The river is a dam release, Chris Sladden recommends between 450 and 800 MegaLitres release. It was 500 ML the day we ran it. Check Levels by telephoning the dam 0121711 2324.
Mick Wood...(Jan 4th, 2002) 'I thought you'd like to know that I phoned the number you suggested (0121 711 2324) and was informed (nicely) by the guy on that number that to get the river level information we need to call another number (River Call). The number suggested was 0906 619 7744, there is a whole host of info on the number but to shortcut directly to river info for the Clywedog and Vyrnwy press '6'. It is updated daily between 1.00am-2.00am.'
Ray Adcock... (May 2002) 'Best information on releases is obtained by phoning the Control room on 01686 413207 (24hrs a day)'.
GRADING: 4 then 3 then 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:
Mike W paddled 30 August 2005...'Tree across whole of the river about 1/2 mile below top fall on a fairly easy section and so easy to see it coming up . No way around unless you fancy swiming under it.'
Dickie...'I kayaked the river on 23rd September 2004 at an excellent level of about 900 mega litres. However, at present there are a number of fence hazards, one in particular a barbed wire fence spanning half the river. Further sheep fences have been partly washed in to the river. As always there are also a few trees blocking the line. All these obstacles are avoidable - just keep your eyes peeled'
Simon Morris (4/2/02)...'Just below the bridge indicated as a good get on for beginners there is a tree fall across the whole river. Suggested portage is river right.'
Wayne Withey (18/2/02)...'tree that was in the fall half way down the river is now blocking the right hand shoot.'
Dave Surman (March 2nd, 2002)...'There is a tree blocking the majority of the weir. Inspect and consider portage especially in high water when significant back tow.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: From the car park by the Dam, follow the footpath down to the river and over the footbridge. Put on upstream of the bridge on river left. The first rapid follows immediately and is Grade 4 (it can be portaged on river right). It is known as Bryn Tail Falls.
After this the river eases to grade 3 for about 500 Metres and then to a continuous grade 2. Other hazards on the river are another notable drop of Grade 3 about half way down, which may require bank inspection due to the possibility of tree blockage and two weirs. The first weir is runnable down the centre shoot and the second is actually several steps leading around a right hand bend, also runnable. The last section eases off to grade 1 and has some very low trees to negotiate. After the confluence with the Severn take the right arch of the road bridge and break out immediately left to play on the excellent surf wave whilst smiling at the adoring crowd on the bridge above.
The take out is just here and there is parking on river right. The locals are very friendly but please park sensibly.
OTHER NOTES: A shorter trip for novices is possible from the road bridge where it crosses the river on the drive up to the put in. This misses out the grade 3 and 4 top section. Also nearby is the Afon Dulas.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Wilson, also Mick Wood, Mike W, Wayne Withey, Ray Adcock, Dave Surman, Dickie and Simon Morris.