Monday, 17 November 2008

The Hepste

Sgwd yr Eira Falls

I've just returned from my 15 week kayaking trip to the himalayas and I wanted to get out paddling back in the UK again. While I was away I realised how important it is to document all your kayaking adventures, so I've set up this blog to allow family and friends to see what I get up to when I go kayaking.

Joe Freeman, Mark Flower and myself decided to drive up from London to South Wales for the day and meet Rob Tuley to paddle the Hepste. The Hepste is a trib of the Mellte, a run that all of us, with the exception of Mark, had paddled before. We were curious, so we thought we'd go and explore!

The river felt like a mini expedition due to the walk in across the Brecon Beacons. A really rewarding way to start a river.

The walk in

Mark on one of the slides

The first half of the river was full of nice bedrock slides and ledge drops. Unfortunately the water level was on the low side, so it was all a bit scrapy. Apparently, above where we put in there is also a really sweet 5 metre waterfall! We'll definately come back again to this run when there is more water.

behind the waterfall

Joe on the first kayakless decent of Sgwd yr Eira...

After a couple of kilometres, the river suddenly drops away in the form of the huge Sgwd yr Eira Falls, which has been run, but we decided to portage. Immediately below here are three really nice drops in a gorge, but the fourth is a terminal waterfall landing on rocks. It is possible to run the first three, but you MUST make the eddy above the lip of the final fall. We decided it wasn't worth the risk - was very frustrating! The Hepste then flows into the Mellte a few hundred metres below here.

Overall an exploratory day. We'll be back in to do the upper in higher water.

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