GUIDE TO THE AFON LLUGWY
(Miner's Bridge to Betws y Coed)
NAME OF RIVER: Llugwy.
WHERE IS IT?: It is beside the A5 in North Wales, flowing off the Glyders past Capel Curig to meet the Conwy at Betws y Coed.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Get in at Miner's Bridge. Parking a minibus and trailer in the last little side road before the hill up to the Swallow Falls Hotel hasn't provoked any complaint yet (3 occasions for ~30mins). Quick walk across the road and down the path to put in. Leave vehicle in the car park on the other side of the river in Betws-Y-Coed, behind one of the myriad outdoor shops.
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5 miles approx.
TIME NEEDED: 20 mins - 1 hour.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: See below.
GRADING: Grade 3. Grade 4-5 rapid at Miners Bridge.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Pont y Pair Falls.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: We've used the bit from Miner's Bridge rapid, down into Betws-Y-Coed quite a lot recently, on account of it being very short, but quite fun (although neither of either as much as the Aberglaslyn Gorge). What a sentence.
Excellent rapid for spectating, Miner's Bridge. Fairly steep and straightforward, although beware of the rock wall on the left. Small stopper may grow hungrier in big water.
Following this there is a reasonable length grade III ish section which is composed of small, technical, boulder channels. Nothing worth scouting, plenty of big eddies to wait in. After this the river level out a little and there is a 'scenic' paddle down to the end. At really low water, this is better just carried, as it's shallow as anything. Still, if it's that dry, go walking.
Take out at the car park, just after the small weir. Pont y Pair Falls, the drop just below this (well visible from the bridge), is a nasty bit of work. Even at the trickle level I last saw it at, there's none of the chutes you'd really want to paddle down. Siphons and potholes abound. Someone else's Topo, maybe?
Beats not paddling on a Sunday, and kind of makes up for the fact you got up close to midday when it comes to getting home early.
OTHER NOTES: There's a worthwhile bit from the bottom of Swallow falls down to Miners bridge, punctuated by the Mincer.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Simon Cooper.