On Friday 24th of October I set out to go and scout Rhaeadr Mawddach… little did I know by the end of the day I’d be one of the few people to have ever paddled it and star on national radio!
As I know most of you are just itching to see the footage, here it is… the story is below.
I have been waiting to run these falls on the Upper Mawddach ever since I saw them about 2 years ago. Running the whole river I never had the time to really get the feel for the drop and have an objective look at them as there is always more fun bits to paddle downstream, but the falls never left my mind as something I wanted to run.
After deciding today was the day to go and have proper look, I managed to persuade a friend and his wife to come along for “a nice walk”. Unfortunately for them, they were supposed to be going for a relaxing day at a spa (sorry for ruining that one guys!).
On arriving, the falls looked amazing with good levels and the sun was beaming down – a true autumn day in Wales. For Rick and Claire Foster it was the first time they had seen the falls but they stayed cool and let me take my time deciding what to do. Very much appreciated!
After strolling back to the car, I realised I had forgotten my river shoes and elbow pads not the best for a delicate mind-set but the time was right and everything felt good.
Back at the falls I ran through my line once more in my head, passed Claire the camera and we were ready to huck.
Getting into the flat pool above, it looked like one of the best horizons I have ever seen but with a stiff back and cold muscles I wasn’t going to rush things… a good 10 minutes of warm ups later, I was ready to go.
Cameras rolling I set off down the entry rapid and I was through clean. Right, here we go… first drop I need to get a good flair off the right to avoid rolling or subbing out… No problem, right now the big one, I just need to hit the rooster tail… perfect. One impact on the slab, second impact through the big pillow, now correct the angle and wait for the pool!
From leaving the lip of the big falls to the pool was shear exhilaration as the work was done and I could just let the boat fly.
A few hours later the lovely Faern Cotton from Radio 1 called up to interview me, as they were looking for stories relating to ‘Waterfalls’ by the Stone Roses…. so it was obviously just the right day!