The worst trip in the world ever – Jan 2008

And another old article…

The worst trip in the world ever – Jan 2008…

… or, how I became known as JK “b*****d of the Usk”.

It all started at a committee meeting where it was decided that we weren’t running enough trips for beginners.  I immediately decided to leap into action, and thought a nice trip down the Usk would lure some beginners from the post-Christmas fog.  Alas, no.  Though I did managed to lure out Harvey and his topo.

In the end eight of us headed for the Usk.  With no beginners there was a lot of moaning that we should head for the Upper Dart instead, but I thought we should stick to the original plan. There had been plenty of rain, and the fields in Wales were looking decidedly waterlogged.  However, our hopes of a nice high level were destroyed when we arrived in Crickhowell –the river was actually low-medium.  We got changed amidst much grumbling, and then headed for the get in.

As soon as we got on the water it became apparent that it was a little bit on the windy side.  The river was high enough to be steadily moving even on the flat bits, but the wind was so strong you didn’t actually go anyway without paddling.  As we battled into the wind I became aware of a few unhappy faces.  At one point, looking far down the river, I could see spray being lifted off the water.  The spray gradually got closer and closer and eventually an almighty gust of wind hit us and nearly knocked a few of us off balance.  The faces were now very unhappy, and several suggestions were made that I may not make it to the end of the trip.

We got to Mill Falls, which had a definite line to hit and a few bouncy waves. Colin had a minor boat separation incident at this point after bravely trying to roll for most of the rapid. We put him and kit back together and then carried on.

Luckily the river escaped the wind for the middle section and I started to feel a bit safer.  There were plenty of decent waves for people to try and catch, and a couple of the weirs provided interesting lines. 

Safely back at Crickhowell, we decided to head for a decent café that Ray and a few others had found on a previous trip to enjoy fine slices of pie – though that didn’t stop them moaning about the trip and suggesting I probably shouldn’t organise another.  Miserable buggers.