GUIDE TO THE CWM DU
NAME OF RIVER: Cwm Du.
WHERE IS IT?: Ynysmeudwy, off the A4067 Swansea to Sennybridge road. It's a trib of the Tawe.
IN WHICH REGION: South Wales.
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in is on the river left bank, go up through the housing estates to a path heading up the valley, carry up to mining machinery and put on just above where the path drops down to the river. Take out at Ynysmeudwy boys and girls club river right.
APPROX LENGTH: 1.5 Km.
TIME NEEDED: 45 mins to an hour including the carry up.
ACCESS HASSLES: No problems so far.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of rain, if you can make reasonable headway at the put in you should be OK. Trees may cause problems at high flows.
GRADE: 3-4 continuous.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:Trees are a nuisance and required a tricky slippy portage at one point, eddies are small and few. One slide at beginning and a weir onto rock then slide at the end. The river does sump below the take out. Don't take any more than about 4 people 'cos it is a small river.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Within 200m of put-in there is a fantastic slide about 75 metres long, the river then flows along at a good 3-4 over a series of narrow twists and drops, up to the log jam, portage, shortly after is a weir, break out just after a right hand bend and inspect. The weir drops anything between 3 to 7 feet on to solid rock depending on where it is shot, run river left off a small boulder then ride the slide 30 metres or so to the bottom (photos soon), look out for the second tree in high waters. Take out river right above the bridge, it sumps below here so beware.
OTHER NOTES:We ran this section along with the Upper Clydach in about 3 hours on a particularly rainy day, the river can be done using only one car and will put a smile on your face and scrathes on your boat. It is OK at the moment as it is not restricted by foot and mouth restrictions, the footpath up is open and the area is fairly urbanised.