Llangollen at night

This weekend we were supposed to be attending the River Rescue Symposium that we had great fun at last year in Llangollen. Unfortunately it was cancelled as not enough people booked in advance.

There was no rain forecast either, but, seeing as we still had hotel rooms booked and the Doug Ammons lecture was going ahead we headed up anyway.

Getting there just in time to grab a chip butty from the local takeaway we sat and watched Doug talk about paddling the Grand Canyon of the Stikine River.

Wow! That’s some terrifying water and you’ve got to have a serious pair to even think about paddling it. Then to go back and do it solo…

It has to had to be said that Doug knows how to tell a story and the talk was incredibly inspiring. He’s touring the country at the moment, if you get the opportunity to go and see him then do.

However big and scary the Stikine might be it couldn’t possible be as much of a challenge as getting on the Dee next morning was for a bunch of paddlers who accidently stayed up drinking in the hotel bar until 3:00 am!

Still, like the heroes we are, we managed to get on the water and I got to paddle the entire of the classic Horseshoe Falls to Llangollen Town Weir section of the Dee for the first time. And you know what? It wasn’t nearly as dull as I thought it would be.

Following this we headed up to the Tryweryn to try and prove we could get two rivers in on the same day.

In a second first for me that day we paddled the section (all 100m of it) of the Tryweryn above the ‘Chipper’. Nothing spectacular, but we did get the comedy bonus of someone (who shall remain nameless) exiting their boat in hurry after getting stuck in a rather small pour-over.

Anyway we put a couple of runs of the course in. I haven’t been there for a few years and I’d forgotten how much fun it was. It’s also the first time in ages I’ve paddled a river in my play boat. I’d forgotten how much more sporting they can make a river!

All in all a splendid weekend.

A couple of pictures can be found by clicking HERE.

Update: Andy’s version of events can be found by clicking here.

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