Wye Builth Wells 12 December 2010
On a very cold (-3 degrees) and frozen Sunday morning, 10
paddlers from Stroud Valley Canoe Club met at at the Boughrood
access point on the river Wye.
For a change we had six open canoes and four kayaks.
After sorting ourselves out with kit we moved up to the put in
at a very foggy Builth Wells.
Fortunately most of the ice had melted allowing us to get get on
successfully, with Jeff demonstrating how to fall out of an open
canoe whilst launching.
Proceeding downstream in thick fog, we cam across numerous
patches of ice generally around four inches thick that had broken
up as the river had dropped.
Some of it was even thick enough to park an occupied kayak in,
as demonstrated by Andy.
Eventually as we carried on through beautiful scenery, the fog
cleared to produce an cold sunny day with mist patches here and
Just before lunch Jeff and Tim provided the first rescue
opportunities at the drop just above the AberEdw bridge, our lunch
stop, with Jeff unfortunately getting his leg trapped under the
kneeling thwart for a bit.
Moving on down river we came to Hell Hole, which had a perfect
water level for us to run through a slot down the middle.
Dave P had first shot but chose the river right slot,
unfortunately unsuccessfully, resulting in his first swim of the
day. Testing his new dry suit he unfortunately discovered his
convenience zip had not been done up.
Most of the rest of the crew ran down the middle, with Tim
coming out, and Dave being sucked back into the bottom stopper and
Halfway between Hell Hole and the get out at Boughrood there is
another decent grade 3 rapid, which all ran successfully after
inspection by Dave and Chris, Jeff amazingly surviving after taking
completely the wrong line.
After this we proceeded swiftly to the getout as dusk
A swift shuttle then off for a well deserved pint!