GUIDE TO THE AFON TRYWERYN
(Campsite to Bala)
NAME OF RIVER: Tryweryn.
WHERE IS IT?: It is near Bala, flowing out of Llyn Celyn Dam. Take the A4212 from Bala.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: If you're not paddling the above section too, put in at the bridge below the Tyn y Cornel campsite. There is a slipway on river right. You need to check with the campsite. You will still need to sign on at the centre to paddle this section of the river (It's part of the access agreement). Take out at the main road bridge in Bala on river right, where a convenient pay and display car-park awaits.
APPROX LENGTH: 4 miles.
TIME NEEDED: 1 hour.
ACCESS HASSLES: Excellent; so long as you're flush. The Tryweryn is managed by paddlers, for paddlers and so for around 10 (or half this if you're a governing body member) you can use it as you please. The facilities are excellent, with caf and showers on hand. This lower section is not always open, ask the Centre staff.
David Lloyd (Jan 2005)...'I have heard that there is now a year round access agreement on the Tryweryn for the whole river. This is not yet confirmed from official sources. Also, contrary to the appearance of the "FOR SALE/ AR WERTH" sign at the entrance to Tyn y Cornel campsite, be assured that the campsite is NOT FOR SALE! I have spoken to the owners and it is the (not visible from the road!) Tyn y Cornel Cottage and land BEHIND the campsite that is forsale - so don't panic!!!'
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Call beforehand to check the dam is releasing...01678 520826. The dam always seems to release at a constant flow, but flood debris and rumours suggest that sometimes it has higher releases? This lower section can also be paddled after significant rainfall without a release, the better conditions being a release and rainfall. The lower section is open every day from December to February and on selective Tours over the rest of the year.
GRADING: Grade 2+, with one easily portageable Grade 4- fall at Bala Mill.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Bala Mill Falls is much harder than anything else on this stretch.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This section consists of frequent grade 2+ rapids, which can generally be run on sight. Trees and islands obscure the routes from time to time, so care is needed as well as a suitable style of paddling.
The main hazard to look out for is the approach of Bala Mill Falls; when the river seems to narrow and steepen in trees ahead, it's time to get out and inspect on river right. This is not the best warning description, so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled open! Bala Mill Falls is a rapid leading into a sharp drop, Grade 4-. Portage is easy if you don't like what you see. Below a long flat straight leads to the take-out bridge.
Paul Gbson (July 2004)...'The get out above Bala Mill Falls for inspection purposes is a pool of calm water marked by a right hand bend with a distinctive house visible up the hill on river left. The left hand bank has signs indicating no access onto that bank!'
OTHER NOTES: An enjoyable introduction to whitewater, provided someone with appropriate experience joins you.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley, also Paul Gibson, David Lloyd, Paul from Leeds CC and Canolfan Tryweryn.