GUIDE TO THE AFON TWRCH
(Banwy tributary, Bridge to GR 987133 to Foel)
NAME OF RIVER: Twrch.
WHERE IS IT?: Mid Wales, Foel. OS Landranger Sheet 125.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in - Road Bridge GR 987133, take out - Car Park Below A458 road bridge in Foel on river right.
APPROX LENGTH: 2.5 Km.
TIME NEEDED: 30 Minutes.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: 6 inches depth at the take out would probably make it runnable though more water is better and at real big water the gorge is grade 4.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:
Pat Humphreys, Shrewsbury Canoe Club (27/12/03)...'Upper section has a tree strainer completely blocking the river (easy portage). Gorge section 2nd drop has large tree strainer (downstream river right).'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Put in downstream of the bridge on river right (it is possible to hide under the bridge if your feeling stealthy until the shuttle drivers return). The river is immediately continuos grade 2. When the first grade 3 is reached the river starts to pick up speed and gradient and is soon followed by more grade 3 drops. A house appears on the left bank with some nice rapids in the garden and then you start to enter the gorge. There are 2 or 3 drops in the gorge with some tight eddies and excellent paddling at the grade. After this the river eases with a bit more grade 2 and then flat to the take out. There were no tree or wire hazards at the time of writing.
OTHER NOTES: I first paddled this river several years ago at low levels and it was runnable but not really enjoyable. This year we ran it at a good high level and it was very fine, an excellent warm up before searching out the harder stuff. Alternatively it could be combined with a trip on the River Gam (2/3), which runs down the opposite valley or the easier Banwy. It is also possible to put on further up but I remembered the trees being a pain at low levels so opted to start from the bridge. The gorge section can reach grade 4 in really high water and is quite impressive though bank cover may be required at this level.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Wilson, also Pat Humphreys.