The other week I was lucky enough to join a couple of our Stag Party groups for a day of Gorge Walking up in the Brecon Beacons, so I thought I'd give a bit of detail of what's involved in the Gorge Walking activity, from a participants point of view.
It was a fairly early meet, 09:30 on Saturday morning. We met near Dinas Rock in the Brecon Beacons as our Gorge Walking was going to be long the River Mellte and River Sychryd. Most of the guys were reasonably prompt, although one car being navigated by somebody who "know Wales" was about 20 mins late and another was about 30 mins late, due the a few required 'tactical' stops.
We were given all of the required kit to go and get changed into. I have since discovered that Lee, Dafydd & Ray were not exaggerating when they told us the water was cold, so the provided wetsuit was very welcome indeed. We were also provided with a Buoyancy Aid and helmet.
After we were all kitted up we got the safety briefing and some advice on how to jump into the river and plunge pools and techniques for making our way down the rivers and waterfalls. Then we were off for our Gorge Walking adventure.
There was no mucking around or gentle build up here. After a very short walk to the river, it was time for our first jump! If there is once thing you can guarantee from this jump it's the following:
After the jump we made our way down the river to start our scramble up to the waterfalls.
The scramble up the river wasn't too challenging and a few challenges were thrown in to keep things fun, such as crawling through gaps in the rocks and climbing around walls. It was about a 10 minute scramble up the gorge before the next jump.
The next jump involves doing something you would normally do your best to avoid - a big old belly flop into a plunge pool. The reason for the belly flop is because the plunge pool isn't particularly deep so the belly flop stops you from going too deep. This is another opportunity to make and hear some interesting noises and it was pretty easy to tell who flopped with their belly and who flopped a little lower down the body!
After climbing out of the plunge pool, we scrambled our way up a waterfall in the Gorge. This was a pretty steep climb, but not too difficult and we all made it to the top without any dramas.
Once we'd made it to the top of the first waterfall, we made a short walk to another set of waterfalls. If you've ever wondered what it's like walking through a waterfall or jumping down them, this is definitely the activity for you!
In order to make our next jump we first had to cross the waterfall. This involves getting on your hands and knees and literally crawling through the waterfall. It's another interesting experience and certainly wakes you up and clears any cob webs from the head. Once you make it across you've reached the ledge from which you jump down the waterfall into the pool below.As I was finding out, when tagging along on a Stag Do, you always make the Stag take the jump first! Whilst the jump isn't that high, stood up on the ledge it definitely feels higher than it is so I was thankful I wasn't the first to jump.
After getting out of the pool, it's straight to another waterfall and another jump! This jump involves you having to jump further out than previous jumps, so you have to commit to it a bit more, but by know confidence was starting to build with everyone in the group. This was a good thing was we made our way to the next, and final part of our gorge walk.
To get to the final jump we had a fairly long walk up the side of the valley and back down. This was a good opportunity to have a bit of a laugh about what had gone before and enjoy the scenery this part of South Wales has to offer.
After about 20 mins walk we reached the final, and biggest jump of the day. I believe some people refer to this jump as 'Loonies Leap' and stood at the top I'm not afraid to admit I had a bit of stomach churning going on! So, with my stomach churning, legs feeling like jelly I took the leap!
It was scary. It was exhilarating. It was great fun! So I came back around for a second jump, as did most of the group.
It was, unfortunately, time to head back, get out of our wetsuits and dry off. I had a great time and will certainly be Gorge Walking again.
If you want to see more pictures and videos of the Gorge Walking and Canyoning activities, head over to our Facebook page. For more information or to book your Gorge Walking activity, just get in touch and we'll sort everything out for you.