The rain has returned to South Wales this week and the rivers are all the happier for it. Both the River Mellte and River Sychryd in the Brecon Beacons are running with good levels currently, meaning we're in for some fun, challenging Canyoning and Gorge Walking conditions across both days.
Ground water levels will also have increased, so the waterfalls should be more constant too. Increased ground water levels do increase the chances of flashing on the rivers though, so you need to be up to date on recent and forecast rainfall in the mountain regions of South Wales. Any significant amount of rain is going to have a fast and noticeable impact of both the river levels and water flow force, which is already likely to be strong, based on current river levels.
With the expected water levels and flow force, you shouldn't be going anywhere near the water unless you have all of the required & recommended safety equipment for the activity and you are accompanied by a qualified guide who has good local knowledge. Those not taking part in Gorge Walking or Canyoning activities still need to be cautious as the banks and freeboards of the rivers will be soft and therefore susceptible to collapse.
Swell and wind on the Saturday may be too big, with expected swell around 4ft and winds possibly gusting up to 18 knots, if Saturday is an option, it's likely to be into the afternoon / early evening as winds could become more Northerly and a big enough tide to get the activity completed before losing light.
Sunday the swell is due to be a little smaller, at around 2ft and winds much lighter, only gusting to around 7 knots. Again, with the tidal times, low tide is at 13:40 on Sunday you will need to time any Coasteering activity correctly.
The good Coasteering conditions makes life more difficult for you surfers, and you're going to struggle to find any really good swell anywhere along the South Wales coast this weekend. If we were you, I'd look for some other adventure activities to get stuck into, such as Canyoning, Gorge Walking or Coasteering.
Those of you adamant of getting another surf in before Autumn and Winter take a grip will possibly find Saturday afternoon gives you the best conditions. The offshore winds may hold the swell up enough that you'll feel you're surfing a bigger swell. It will also coincide with the incoming tide. Pretty much all surfing spots along the South Wales coast, such as Coney Beach and Rest Bay in Porthcawl and Caswell Bay and Llangennith in Swansea, will be accessible to you.
We've got plenty on again this weekend, with groups from Cardiff, Swansea and the Brecons all joining us for some outdoor adventure activities. We'll be heading into the Brecon Beacons with some Stag Do's and Hen Parties from the Cardiff area for some Gorge Walking and Canyoning. We'll also be looking to take a could of groups from the Swansea areas on a Coasteering activity and running some Beach Activity days too.
During next week we should be running the RLSS National Water Safety Management course. This course is a nationally recognised course that provides participants with the skills and knowledge required to complete risk assessments for water based activities. There are 3 levels to it and it can cover Still Water, Rivers and Sea. We've already put a number of Scout Leaders and Adventure Activity leaders (including all of our own instructors) through it.