GUIDE TO THE RIVER WNION
(Bontnewydd to A493 Bridge)
NAME OF RIVER: Wnion.
WHERE IS IT?: North Wales. Runs alongside A470 past Dolgellau into the Mawddach Estuary. Map. OS Sheet 124.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in just below the B4416 bridge, there is very limited parking at the get in.
Take out just below the A493 road bridge on river right, there is a large car park.
APPROX LENGTH: 10 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: There is very little parking at the get in, only gateways in which to unload. However there is a lay-by further up the hill.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There should be a reasonable amount of water under the bridge at the get in otherwise the shingle banks further down would be a scrape.
GRADING: Grade 2 with one grade 3 drop.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: None.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This section is far easier than the Wnion gorge section above. Although the river is suitable for novice groups it should be noted that it is fairly fast flowing with relatively few large eddies and some hazards from overhanging branches.
The river is initially bouncy grade 2 for about the first km. About 100m after the river widens and splits around some shingle banks there is a ledge drop, grade 3, which could come as a surprise to an unwary group. The day we ran this river it was easily run on the right.
The bouncy grade 2 returns for another couple of kilometres. There is a small weir under the first road bridge you get to. This was easily run through either arch. Below this the grade 2 continues past the confluence with the Afon Clywedog or Torrent Walk, and over another very small weir to the A470 bridge where it flattens out.
From here there is a float to the get out.
OTHER NOTES: This was a great little trip and first appeared in a guidebook in Terry Storry's 'Snowdonia WW, Sea and Surf' (1986!), so it is surprising that it isn't so well travelled as some of the others nearby.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Gina Dowding.