One of our most exciting slalom courses. Not as
scary as the name makes it sound, but quick and tight. The problems come thick
and fast, and the way you handle one gate must set you up for the next. Chris
Sladden says it's an excellent, continuous class III+/IV- rapid which has
recently been improved by the introduction of some key boulders which have given
the rapid a little more bite! (The Welsh Rivers, also on
The river accelerates from the warm-up area into a
series of small drops, enters a mid-course pool - a classic location for
breakout gates and crosses - then plunges again down a fast drop before slowing
along a tricky, boulder-strewn channel to the finish.
The course is part of the Welsh National Whitewater
Centre (Canolfan Tryweryn) and if you go up there to train before race day you
will have to pay to get on the water. There are hot showers in the Centre, which
justify the fee all on their own in cold weather. Take your BCU/Canoe Wales/SCA/Canoe
England card for lower rates, and check on water before you go - there is
confirmation on planned releases and opening at
http://www.ukrafting.co.uk and the Water Information Line is on 01678
The water levels - 7 to 12 cumecs - don't sound
very big, but the gradient makes them challenging. This is not the course for
your first Div 2 race unless you have quite a bit of whitewater experience, but
it is a great place to build up top-level slalom skills.
To reach the centre turn right off the A494 as you
enter Bala from the direction of Llangollen, and then turn left off the A4212
about 1 mile north of Frongoch. The centre is well sign-posted.
D: ‘Real’ slalom
water. Beginners will need some practise to handle this, and some bravery simply
to paddle down it.
Even courses that are usually easy can become
dangerous in exceptional high water conditions. If in doubt, seek advice or stay
off the water.
POSTCODES: Bits of river don't really have
postcodes: we show the one for the nearest address we can trace. Putting these
into your satnav should get you somewhere near the site, but you might find yourself ½ km away,
and even on the wrong side of the river. If you can offer a better postcode for
any of the courses, email it to