Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Dudley, Caving and Cakes - Episode 3

How is Chunky going to get out of last weeks predicament? Who's going to end up in trouble this week? Watch episode 3 to find out.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Dudley, Caving and Cakes - Episode 1

From the Caver Keith Film Studios comes this heart-warming tale from the underworld of triumph over adversity, where friendships are made and broken, adventures abound and cake rules supreme.

This is part one of a five part mini-series which ends when Mark ...... Sorry, you will have to watch to find out.
Episode two will be uploaded next Thursday - 24th November.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Zipping along for Milwr Time

Paul Fairman of the BEC had arranged a weekends play in North Wales and had kindly invited Jess and I along. 

So although not officially a Dudley trip we did have a presence!

Our first days play turned in to a fun day of the blind leading the blind as our 'leader' was still nowhere to be seen at midday and so a team of ten of us headed in undeterred and adventured around the various zip lines and climbs.
We managed a full six hours play before heading back to our base at Tremadog for a good meal and a few beers.

After a day of fun and games, Paul mentioned we may be able to join him on a trip in to the Milwr Tunnel on the Sunday.
We both jumped at the chance as we'd never been before and had heard all about the trip from some of our older club members.
We met up about on time and although we were a large group of eight plus four leaders, we moved reasonably swiftly through Rhyd Alyn and down the 24 ladders to emerge at the train.
After a little tinkering the guys managed to get the engine going and we all jumped aboard. Unfortunately there were still problems and we were soon dismounted and had to take shanks pony to the Lime Stone caverns.

Here we took a couple of photos before Doug and Steven headed back to take another look at the train whilst Mike and Steve continued the tour to take in the huge shaft which was used for entering the system before being condemned and around the upper series from the limestone caverns before we plodded back upstream to see how the guys were getting on.
The consensus was that more work was needed and so we headed back out and up the ladders pausing for a photo on the way out.

A mention of thanks should go to UCET members Doug, Mike, Steven & Paul who were very knowledgeable, able, and patient leaders.....even when I kept calling Paul by the wrong name the entire trip!

'Walk the plank' Zipline in Cwmorthin

Ladder climbs in the lower levels. Cwmorthin

The guys tinkering in Milwr Tunnel

Limestone Cavern Milwr Tunnel

Huge rock bridge in the Limestone Caverns. Milwr Tunnel

Just on of the 24 ladders to enter the Milwr Tunnel.

Present: Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey & a ton of BEC members!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A photographic trip in to OFD II

A German photographer had contacted Dudley Caving Club to ask if we would be able to take him underground for a photo shoot and so Jess and I offered to escort them. 
We met up at SWCC and proceeded to spend the next 8 hours underground giving instruction and taking snaps. We only managed to get as far as Selenite Tunnel and back, must be some kind of record!!!

Selenite Tunnel

Swamp Creek

The Chasm

Present: Mark, Jess, Michael & Claudia

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Rocking around in Rifleman's

After a Daren trip on the Saturday a more sedate trip was called for on the Sunday. For some reason Brendan decided a trip in to Draenen to Rifleman's chamber would fit the bill!

Kay got a chance to experience for the first time the joys of changing in to damp caving kit on a windy and chilly mountain top ;) and after just the right amount of faffing we headed down the hill along with another party who had arrived whilst we changed.

No problems were had on the way through the entrance series to Cairn Junction and we decided to take the right hand route to Tea Junction to 'connect the dots' in this area of the cave. This turned out to be a somewhat longer way around, but it was interesting to see a part of the cave we hadn't travelled before.

On we went to the stream way where we would pause every now and again for the odd photo. I had forgotten just how much stream there was to the inlet for the round trip and Brendan informed us that we were about half way once we arrived there. The water was often waist deep and mostly knee deep and made it tough going as we waded through.

At one of the wider sections of stream we paused for a photo and kay decided to go for a swim neck deep. Fortunately for me she managed to keep both units out of the water, most impressive, it is good to know she has her priorities right!

We eventually made it to the end where the stream was lost under boulders and after ascending a rather slippery mud bank made our way up the fixed ladders to the dig. As I made my way through a huge boulder moved, dropping in to the space I had just been in. Jess below hollered to the others to stand clear and a helmet size chunk of rock sailed down in to the abyss.
After a very quick look at the scaffolded shaft we regrouped for the return down the stream way.

Aside from a slip that bent Kay's wrist the return was long but uneventful.

Brendan at formations early in the trip

Jess in the Main Stream.

Kayleigh in the Main Stream

Present: Kay, Jess, Brendan & Mark

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Vice Ogof y Daren Cilau (Warning: Do NOT watch if claustrophobic)

My plan was to record a mockumentary of Ian's 70th birthday bucket list trip in Daren but after The Vice Ian had to admit that perhaps the Daren entrance crawl was not the place to be when suffering from very painful sciatica.
However I never miss the opportunity to take video of cavers in tight spaces so at least I got something from the trip.  Sorry Ian.