Friday, 2 March 2007

Fun on Snowdon

A morning phone call on Valentines Day and suddenly I found myself explaining to my girlfriend why the days plans had changed. Two hours later and I found myself slogging up the side of Snowdon towards a river I hadn’t paddled before dragging the High’n’Mighty demo Mafia Behind me…. the old plan had begun to look more attractive!

The Cwm Llan is one of those classic Welsh ditches that rolls down the side of a hill losing bonkers amounts of gradient along the way. It’s an awesome collection of smooth boulders and cascading drops cutting a photogenic gorge down the side of Snowdon. .

To get there wander a kilometre up the Watkins path of Snowdon and put in just before the old mill. As you walk up the path you’ll be tempted by glimpses of the lower section inviting you to come play from the valley bellow… as you loom near the upper you will also be treated to a spectacular view of one of the most epic waterfalls in the country. (make sure you get out before this one… a first decent would mean your last decent!)

I was lucky enough to be boating with some close friends from Bangor university and this made the slog up the side of the hill totally worth while… luckily Sara is about as unfit as myself so company was never too far away! Once on the river the Mafia handled the run really well, I usually paddle a critical mass but as I had to haul ass up the side of Snowdon it made sense to take the smaller Mafia. This boat has had a huge amount of press both good and bad but it worked well for me… It doesn’t track as well as something like a M3 or Solo but what it loses in tracking it more than makes up for in manoeuvrability and predictability. The continuous rocker on the boat makes boofing super easy in comparison to other creekers I’ve paddled.

My girlfriend also paddles a Mafia and she’s found it a great boat to learn in… I’ve stuck up a few photos of her styling around in her boat as well.

Note – Jessie’s boat used to feature a playboy bunny however a nasty cave pinning on Cobdens falls has killed the bunny… RIP