GUIDE TO THE AFON TYWI
(Above Llyn Brianne)
NAME OF RIVER: Upper Tywi (Above Llyn Brianne Reservoir).
WHERE IS IT: South Wales.
PUT INS/TAKE OUTS: Put in at road bridge. GR: 803572) and take out at bridge GR: 804537.
APPROX LENGTH: 5 km.
TIME NEEDED: 1 1/4 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Shouldn't be a problem as there is noone 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: Below.
MAJOR HAZARDS / FALLS: One weir to portage and a narrow gorge with an awkward drop.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A small stream that feeds out of the forests of a wild and remote area before entering a reservoir. From the put in there is interesting paddling for 1km down to the Youth Hostel with several small bouldery drops and a few narrow chutes. An easier section follows until a weir is reached at GR: 803552. A large tower acts as an obvious marker. This contains lime which is automatically released into the river to neutralise it's acidity before it enters the reservoir. A gauge here read 4 the day we ran it at a pleasant level. The weir needs portaging due to a lower girder immediately below it. A small access track here would allow prior inspection before putting on. After the weir there is an entertaining 200m long mini gorge with a couple of narrow chutes between boulders finishing with an awkward 3 ft fall at a right hand bend. This is quite technical due to a rock wall 8 ft in front off the drop. A cushion wave offers some protection but a short boat is an advantage. The gorge is grade 3 but probably reaches 4 or more at higher levels. Easier water then leads to the egress at a bridge where the river turns into the reservoir.
OTHER NOTES: This is another river that won't appeal to everyone other than the 'collector' of small mountain streams in the middle of nowhere. It can be combined in a day with the Camddwr, which is similar and also feeds into the reservoir from the next valley across. I thought it worth writing up as it isn't in any other guide book.
I'm considering getting on another 5 km above the described put on near Moel Prysgau Bothy where it really is a ditch. Anybody fancy joining me?!
The Tywi below Llyn Brianne has classic whitewater paddling.