The rain has returned to South Wales (did it ever really leave?) and with it an increase in the river levels on both the Sychryd and Mellte. Ground water levels are also still very high, so the river is running at a good level and the waterfalls are constant. This will bring enjoyable but challenging conditions for both Gorge Walking and Canyoning.
With the river levels as they currently are the flow force is going to be high. This brings with it a number of issues you will need to be aware of and it is really important you are with a guide who knows the area, rivers and conditions!
With river levels as they are, the chance of flashing after a heavy spell of rain is higher so you need to know recent rainfall in the region. The force of the water flow will be plenty strong enough to carry object and dislodge objects and will also have no trouble knocking even the strongest person off their feet if you aren't careful.
We could see a mixed weekend for Coasteering this week. Saturday isn't looking good at all, 4ft swell and strong Westerly winds, gusting up to 25mph - 30mph mean your only real option is to head inland and do a bit of Gorge Walking or Canyoning.
Sunday could see acceptable conditions on the sheltered, Easterly facing bays, such as Caswell Bay in Swansea. The swell could drop down to 2ft - 3ft and the Westerly wind could drop in strength down to around 10mph - 15mph gusts. If you are planning on running a Coasteering activity on Sunday, it is absolutely vital you are accompanied by an experienced professional who knows the area you are in and is knowledgeable on sea and weather conditions.
There is a chance that conditions will remain unacceptable across both Saturday & Sunday, so you may want to plan an activity further inland, less affected by wind strength and sea conditions - such as Gorge Walking or Canyoning.
The surfers in South Wales may find it tough going this weekend. There will be some swell, possibly around 4ft - 5ft but they'll also be a strong onshore wind, so conditions will be choppy and you could find the waves breaking too early for a really good ride.
Experienced surfers may find some of the Easterly facing bays, such as Coney Beach in Porthcawl or Oxwich Bay in Swansea provide enough protection from the wind to allow them some decent surfing, but the less experience will possibly still find these beaches tough going.
We'll be back down at Dinas Rock for more Gorge Walking and Canyoning this weekend. We'll see the usual mix of Stag Do's from across South Wales including Porthcawl, Cardiff and Swansea. We'll also be taking a couple of Hen Parties from Cardiff out onto the rivers too.
During the week we're also running an RLSS National Water Safety course for some scout leaders in the South Wales area, which is a nationally recognised qualification allowing them to perform risk assessments for water based activities.
Water levels on the rivers are pretty high currently, meaning the flow force is going to have increased. Ensure you only go on your river based activity with an experienced professional and know and understand the recent weather conditions in the area. Whilst the swell isn't too high, we do have strong onshore winds at times across the weekend, so be aware how that is affecting sea conditions before taking part in any activity.