GUIDE TO THE RIVER CAMDDWR
NAME OF RIVER: Camddwr.
WHERE IS IT : Above Llyn Brianne Reservoir. Mid Wales.
PUT IN`S/TAKE OUT`S: Put in at road bridge by telephone box. GR: 766576. Egress where river joins the reservoir. Park on a track by a cattle grid just after a turning on the right. GR:790523.
APPROX LENGTH : 8km.
TIME NEEDED : 1 1/2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Shouldn't be a problem as there is no one around really to complain and it is rarely if ever paddled. However the Water Authority probably won't like it if you're on their reservoir.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I paddled it 12 hours after heavy rain and it was at a pleasant level. Gauge at road bridge near egress read 5 1/2.
GRADING: 3 but mostly narrow swift 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS / FALLS: One awkward drop. One weir to portage. Two rapids spoilt by overhanging branches. One drop that could have a difficult stopper at high levels.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION : This is a narrow creek of a river that has a wild feel to it as you paddle through the hills in this remote area. Due to it's size it's only suitable for a small group (3). Generally trees aren't a problem as there are hardly any but overhanging branches in the lower stretch spoil two small rapids. Put on at the road bridge by the phone box. The first few hundred metres are easy and allow you to adjust to the width and speed of the flow before reaching the next road bridge and making a simple portage. This is needed as the river disappears under the road in about 3 small pipes! A few pleasant drops and one portage for a fence lead down to the next road bridge and on past a farm (Maesglas). An uninterrupted section carries you along allowing you to appreciate your surroundings before care is needed on the approach to the bridge at Soar y Mynydd. Here a grade 3 drop is worth getting out to inspect. The narrow slot on river right has been run successfully (accidentally) but it is preferable to take the drop further left. Pass on down under a footbridge and then to a road bridge with a gauge. This read 5 1/2 when we ran it. Overhanging branches on river right below the bridge probably suggest a portage unless there is enough water to cover the left side. A further 100m down more overhanging branches and difficult rapid on river left may well also require portaging. The weir 500m below the bridge also needs a portage on the right. Just downstream the banks begin to steepen and you are rewarded for not having aborted back at the bridge. Two narrow slots are shot followed by a natural weir-like drop of 3 ft. This has a uniform stopper that could prove troublesome in higher levels. The river then flattens and becomes the reservoir and shortly the egress is reached on the right.
OTHER NOTES: This is a river that wont appeal to everyone but will be enjoyed by the 'collector' of small mountain streams in the middle of nowhere. It can be combined in a day with the Upper Tywi that also feeds into the reservoir the next valley across. I thought it worth writing up as it isn't in any other guide book.
There is an 8 ft rocky waterfall just upstream of the put in for those who might find such things entertaining. If you do then you'd probably also enjoy running the Llyn Brianne Reservoir overshute - but I didn't tell you about that!