Monday, 12 December 2011

A Paddle on the Usk - Sennybridge to Aberbran

To make up for yesterdays missed seakayak opportunity (see previous post) I managed to get on a river trip with the Glam Boaters crew. A good mix of abilities and ages saw eight of us paddle the popular section of the river Usk from Sennybridge to Aberbran, commonly called the 'three falls'.

Gathering boats and paddles!
The day was pretty dank and miserable - good welsh canoe weather - but spirits were warm! My canoe career is pretty limited and this was a stretch of river I hadn't done. Water levels were reasonably high so we moved along quickly even on the flatter sections.
Start of the trip

Overall the river is class 2/3, with the technical bits being in the first mile in the form of the 'three falls'. The first is a meter drop, but with a shoot hard right which we did have a throw line ready on. All the group more or less happily shot through the fall with suitable grins on their faces. The second is similar but we took it left of centre. There were a few frantic paddles to get out of the back tow at the base of the drop from some of the team! However the third is the most technical as well as the biggest drop and this we all portaged. The good line has a tree in it, and the water levels were sufficient to make the rest of the fall look pretty nasty with a harsh back tow into the undercut thats below the water line. We went for the better part of valor!

Unknown paddler on first fall

Another paddler from same group taking the shoot

Young David going over the first fall.

Luke enjoying the river

The rest of the trip is a bouncy class 2 with regular play waves and bouncy standing wavesets - nothing technical but enough to keep you interested, and to keep you moving along. At one of these spots, where a tributary joined the river, Lauren did her first moving water roll - and well pleased she was!
Our youngster David (age 11) desperate to play!

....with dad following!

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