GUIDE TO THE RIVER VYRNWY
(Pont Llogel to Pont Robert)
NAME OF RIVER: Vyrnwy.
WHERE IS IT?: Mid Wales.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Run the river from the Dam to this section, or start at Pont Llogel (GR032154). Public car park on river left by bridge. Egress Pont Robert (GR108127) 50 metres upstream of bridge on left is a style, go over this and through the gate in the fence by the bridge. Car park is on river right over the bridge. There is an alternative egress after the gorge if you didn't want to run the last 2/3 K of flat at GR 096137 where there is a parking area on river left up a steep bank.
APPROX LENGTH: 10 km.
TIME NEEDED: 3-4 Hours (with time to play).
ACCESS HASSLES: No agreement as known, but doesn't seem to be any disagreement either. From what I hear, the locals are fairly pro-canoeing so please use the public car parks and be discreet when changing.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If all the river-bed is covered at the get in or get out there should be enough to make this stretch worthwhile. The river is dam release.
Check the little bridge below Dolanog weir. If you can't paddle under the bridge, then the level is high (see below).
Mick Wood...(Jan 4th, 2002) 'The river level information number is 0906 619 7744, there is a whole host of info on the number but to shortcut directly to river info for the Clywedog and Vyrnwy press '6'. It is updated daily between 1.00am-2.00am.'
Miles Barker, Regents CC...'Did this 1/12/02 on a half release - plenty of clearance under the Dolanog bridge. Still a worthwhile trip at this level, though some of the drops are a bit bumpy. The gorge section was the best, finishing with a nice triple drop combo. We ran it from Dolanog (there's a little lay-by by the bridge below Dolanog weir - but be sure to allow room for farm vehicles). Half our group ran from Pont Llogel, the conclusion was that starting at Dolanog was better value.'
GRADING: Grade 2/3, the gorge possibly reaching 4 in high water.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Dolanog Weir, portage river right along the road.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Though the river can be paddled from the dam at the lake. I have only ever paddled it from Pont Llogel. I believe there are some more grade 3 rapids above. From Pont Llogel the river flows through a beautiful valley and has many grade 2/3 rapids where small waves and stoppers abound. This makes an excellent novice/ intermediate level trip, with no serious sections. Shortly after the road bridge at Dolanog the weir (portage is reached). After the weir there is a small bridge which may cause a problem in high water and then the walls close in and the gorge section is entered. Most of the drops run at grade 3+ and can be scouted from the river. This could be grade 4 in high water. Portages can be made along the footpath on the right if required. After the gorge the river continues with a few more grade 2/3 rapids and then a flatter section until Pont Robert.
Adrian J Pullin (30/1/01)...'At high levels ( we mean high) this gets "interesting". We did it November 2000 when there was about a foot clearance under the bridge to the farm below Dolanog weir. At this level, it is very fast, and most eddies are difficult because of overhanging trees. We (which means I in this case) got caught out by a section that a month earlier had been a grade 2 run river left with rocks in river centre, about half way down from Pont Llogel. In the lead, I found myself looking down (maybe 3 feet) into one hugh hole. Despite paddling like fury, I got sucked back into the hole where I did a brilliant bit of surfing and spinning for about 20 seconds before getting flipped/rolled/kicked/beaten/generally out of shape. Shoulder muscles took a pounding which took two months to heal. Another member of the group also swam here, and the other two rolled at other points on the river. A nice river at sensible levels, but take care when very high!'
OTHER NOTES: A few miles below Pont Robert, the Vrynwy is joined by the River Banwy. Anyone paddled the lower sections of the Vrynwy?
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Wilson, also Adrian Pullin, Miles Barker, Pat Humphreys and Mick Wood.