A weekend in Wales with Fiona and friends
This past weekend Fiona and I ventured up to North Wales for a weekend away.
Given that as far as I understood I was in charge of the assembling group, I was a little concerned having never taken complete responsibility for a group on the river.
On the Friday we headed over to the Dee to meet Fiona's friend Charles. After arriving late I was relieved to work out that Charles was perfectly competent at the grade.
We headed down to Serpents Tail. Charles and I ran it three times - the final time I hit the Eddy that i hadn't the balls to commit to on the previous two runs. It seemed easy once committed. Fee ran it twice the second time a little more successfully than the first. I got to practice my throwlining - it could have been better.
We carried on down the river, Charles taking on the role of teacher, whilst I sat back and took the role of 'safety observer'. We got Fee to play in a hole, we got her to try surfing, and we got her down Town Falls upright and in one piece. In fact she styled it.
I surfed by paddle works, got munched a bit, practiced my flat spins etc. Overall a very successful day.
That night we went back to mine, slept in beds, had an Indian and chilled.. plus George (Rex) turned up :)
On the Saturday we headed over to the Upper Conwy. The plan was to get out before the grade 5 drops above Conwy Falls. We spent a good while finding the respective getouts for safety purposes and then headed up to get on. It was at a 3.5 on the gauge - above 3 is apparently a good run according to the guidebook.
The first bit was a tree infested ditch like the Crake in the lake district. In higher water it would be strainer haven.. I assume it hasn't always been like this. As we continued down it got significantly better, but if it reached grade 4 at all it was easy grade 4 (in this water level).
We got to the get out in ample time, and decided that Rex, Charles, and I would run the harder section before the falls. Apprehensive about the grade 5s which awaited we proceeded with caution. After inspecting the first grade 5 I got on to run it. At the bottom of the final step in a series there was a badly placed rock. A rather hard impact later, and I was paddling a boat with a rather deformed nose. I was not happy.
The rest of the run was interesting and fun. I portaged the second grade 5 considering the integrity of my nose. There was definitely a line.
A little further down I exclaimed "Rex ! Wait ! This looks familiar." Just as well I did. It was the get out - we avoided a run of the falls :)
That night we ate at the awesome pub in Betws-y-Coed (i forget its name), had a couple of beers, and slept in the cars :)
On the Sunday we woke up early to climb Mt Tryfan.
It was a long and fun climb (NOT walk :)). Fee seemed a little scared at times, but overall real good fun. I saw one of my lecturers who Fee took the time to harass.
When we got to the top Rex and Charles jumped across two precariously positioned rocks, but I do not succumb to peer pressure mwaha ! The walk down was less enjoyable.
Overall an awesome weekend with awesome people (apart from the boat).