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Sunday Paddle on the Vyrnwy 25th February 2024

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Sunday Paddle on the Vyrnwy 25th February 2024

This is a dam-released river – the gauge was 0.44m. It was a little low for the upper, but this section of the river is also overhung by lots of trees. However, this was the ideal level for the lower section which apart from one tree across the whole river at the first major rapid (Portage River right) was wide and deep enough for an enjoyable paddle.

Upper section from Lake Vyrnwy Dam to Pont Llogel (7.5 km) Grade 2+ with a Grade 3+/4- rapid halfway down. Needs inspection from the river right as blind and prone to trees.

You can put in near the footbridge at the car park below the dam. Do not be tempted to run the weir above as closed in on both sides and the stopper can hold boats and people.

The river at this level flows up to the trees on each riverbank and you will need to duck under the numerous branches. This section is still worth a paddle but only worth it if also paddling the lower section.

The grade 3-4 rapid should be obvious as a clear drop which makes it difficult to see the bottom of the rapid. There is a blind channel with a ledge/drop halfway down on the river right, but this does need inspection from the bank. This rapid would be even more difficult in higher flows.

The grade 3-4 rapid should be obvious as a clear drop

After more grade 2+ paddling you reach the bridge at Llogel with a large car park on the left just below the bridge.

Lower section from Pont Llogel to Pont Robert (10 km) Grade 2/3 with a portage around the large weir at Dolanog. A path on the river right starts near the lip of the weir.

From the car park at Pont Llogel, the river flows through a beautiful valley and has many grade 2/3 rapid. This makes an excellent intermediate-level trip, with no serious sections. Shortly after the road bridge at Dolanog the weir (portage is reached).

The Weir (Portage) at Dolanog

After the weir 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. At least one of these 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.

One of the drops on the lower gorge section – Grade 3

A few miles below Pont Robert, the Vrynwy is joined by the river Banwy. There is a weir shown below Pont Robert on the OS map which may need inspection. 100m before the confluence there is space for a couple of cars on the river right just below the road bridge. This is the normal get-out for the Banwy and could be used to extend the trip.