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From 6-8th March, Lancaster University Canoe Club (LUCC), went on their largest weekend of the year, the Pres Trip, to Snowdonia. The Pres Trip was something that had been built up to throughout the first half of the year, even taking precedence over the ‘National Student Rodeo’ the following weekend – a large student kayaking festival in Nottingham. The trip is usually organized by the outgoing club treasurer and president (in this case Jamie Marshall and Chris Tipuric, respectively).
On Friday 6th March, we set off for our destination: Glan Dwr Mountain Lodge in Capel Curig – in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. The lodge was situated in front of river Afon Lugwy, and it was equipped with a drying shed, a kitchen, a lounge, and three dormitories, entirely for the club’s usage.
We arrived on Friday evening, and once everyone was gathered, we allocated beds, and set about relaxing for the evening. After some drinking, and some games, everyone finally settled into their beds around 4 am. Despite a relatively late night before hand, all cars were away from the lodge by 10am on the Saturday. We set out to paddle the River Dee, roughly an hour’s drive from the Lodge, starting at the Horseshoe Weir, and paddling down to a section called Serpent’s Tail. Upon seeing Serpent’s Tail from the bank, Laurent Frenchman, LUCC associate member and experienced kayaker said, “Ooo, well it’s looking a bit lively today”.
Following Serpent’s Tail, we headed down to a couple of play waves, before heading down the final section, another rapid, which ran right through the middle of the town of Llangollen. This section involved a weir followed by a large drop (geographically positioned so that club members could get out either above or below the feature), before heading to the get out – a nearby car park. While getting all the vehicles to the start, the club members enjoyed baked goods made by Amy Garrard, Ferus Lole, Sam Tellyn and Katherine V-w. This marked the end of the first day of kayaking and we got changed before heading back to the Lodge.
On the way back to the Lodge, we stopped Bets-Y-Coen, a quaint town, to sample the shops and a cafe. Upon returning to the lodge, the group set about making dinner. After dinner was finished and cleared away, we all had a few drinks before heading up around 2am…extremely tired.
The Sunday saw a slightly gentler start, as everyone packed up to leave the Lodge, before heading off to paddle the River Conwy. The Conwy was a longer section of river, with more variation in its grading. Once the Conwy had been completed, we headed back to the boathouse in Lancaster, thus wrapping up the weekend. All in all, a successful trip.
To find out more about kayaking, and other forms of paddling (e.g. canoeing and stand up paddle-boarding) visit the British Canoeing website (https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/).
To find out more about LUCC, please visit their page on the Student’s Union website, or go to their own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Lancaster-University-Canoe-Club-153308108040121/).