GUIDE TO THE AFON CLYWEDOG
NAME OF RIVER: Afon Clywedog. Known on maps as the 'Torrent Walk'.
WHERE IS IT?: Near Dolgellau, on the B4416 between the A470 junction and Brithdir. Map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: OS refs 276100, 318000.
If you come up from the A470, stop in a lay-by a couple of hundred metres past a sharp left-hand bend. You will have just passed the gate for the footpath that runs along the river.
As soon as you cross the footbridge then get in wherever you like.
Get out when you've had enough. The river runs into the Wnion and there is a minor road that crosses just before the confluence - we got out a little way upstream from there. The footpath is still very close at this point.
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5 km.
TIME NEEDED: Small group (3) and inspecting but not protecting, maybe an hour. Larger group and protecting - who knows?
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, it's pretty much out of the way so there shouldn't be a problem.
Mark Rainsley (Feb 2006)...'We paddled this back in the 80s, and learned that it was a SSSI. Be sensitive in minimising your impact on the surroundings, as always'.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The one and only time I have run this it was low - a real scrape out of the first pool after the footbridge. You really have to judge for yourself.
All other rivers around were also very low. If other rivers are running then this is likely to be too high.
GRADING: IV to V.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Hmm - that's exactly what it is, hazards and falls and trees !!!
The biggest fall has a sharp right-hand move, straightforward lead-in onto a flattish rock that looked undercut, everything goes past that though and you're into the move. It's quite shallow at the bottom and I bruised my arm whilst upside down in the hole at the bottom.
Protection would be difficult at some points, but at the level we ran it it's the rocks, not the water that's the problem.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Very steep, technical drops, elbow pads recommended. The day we did this (Jan '94 I think) nothing much else was going so it was more a series of seal launches than continuous paddling - good fun in a Spud though.
OTHER NOTES: I don't know about the last few hundred metres down to the Wnion confluence. Anybody done it?
PS - know this is a stupid river to run but we had run the main slab of Swallow Falls the day before and were looking for a big finish to the weekend!
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kevin Dudley - Braintree Canoeing Club