Monday, 29 August 2016

Caver Keith Caving Videos - 500,000 Views

I set up my YouTube channel in September 2009 to showcase my caving videos. I never thought anyone but friends and family, and on second thoughts perhaps not family, would ever watch them. However in the first year the channel had an amazing 1464 views and in the second year it reached the dizzy heights of 3501 views. I was delighted.
Now almost 8 years later it has just clocked up an unbelievable 1/2 million caving video views and I think that this is something worth celebrating. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement, and sometimes often verbal abuse from the great bunch of people I cave with in Dudley Caving Club. A huge thank you to them all but especially Brendan and the star butt of many of my videos, Mark.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Agen Allwedd Erse Passage & Beyond

Trip report to Follow

Jess & Kay in Main Passage (Photo Brendan Marris)

Jess in Main Passage (Photo Mark Burkey)

Jess near Trident Passage (Photo Brendan Marris)

Kay near Trident Passage (Photo Mark Burkey)

Kay and Jess in the first chamber, Erse Passage (Photo Brendan Marris)

Jess in the second Chamber, Erse Passage (Photo Mark Burkey)

Kay in the final chamber, Erse Passage (Photo Brendan Marris)

Present: Jess Burkey, Kayleigh Wood, Mark Burkey & Brendan Marris

Sunday, 31 July 2016

We all have to start somewhere, now where is that bleeping cave ?

This was a taster trip for Ross to see if he would like to take up caving as a hobby, the original plan was to do Ogof Pen Eyre followed by Shakespeares cave, but due to extensive roadworks and difficulty parking i decided to take him to Eglwys Faen with Pen Eyre as the second cave. So after changing quickly, and a gentle stroll to Eglws, i decided to let Ross and Amy find their own way around, they soon found their way down to the dam in the lower level and continued on until the passage became rather tight and wet before turning around and heading back into the main chamber, then heading towards the bedding plane, Ross and Amy easily negotiated the steel ladder that lead up to the rabbit warren but soon became board with hands and knees crawling that seemed to go on forever, both had the joys of exiting the crawl to the ladder and staring head first down a 10 foot drop, but both succseeded in getting down with out to much difficulty.

So on to cave number two Pen Eyre.

Now i find the easiest way to find Pen Eyre is to get to Darren Cillau turn left and walk along the cliff face untile you find the entrance, if you get to Prices Dig you have gone to far, so off we went and soon came across a low entrance where i popt in to see if it looked familer, and if i could see the corkscrew passage "nope not this one must be further along" was my conclusion so off we went again but soon came to Prices Dig "BUGGER" must of missed it, so a quick turn around and we walked closer to the cliff face looking for the illusive entrance but only found the one i had previously popt into, so i went in  again and i still couldnt see the corkscrew passage, soon we where back at Darren where i decided it was time to go back to the car to check i wasnt dreaming and the entrance was between Darren and Prices, sure enough it was, i know wheres my bleeping GPS, ill find the bleeping entrance if it takes me all day. Guess where it took us , back to the entrance i had been in twice all ready so in again for the third time, i stared hard at all the walls and still couldnt see the cork screw passage, when suddenly i spotted a polished stone at floor level, so i dropt down and found you had to squeeze under the wall, and guess what was there, it was theillusive corkscrew passage half way up the wall , i went up first followed by Ross, but Ross decided he didnt feel to comfy and backed out, Amy came up next but we decided we had best go back to keep ross company, so that was that, Ross had had his short introduction to caving, will he come again, we shall have to wait and see when his bruises go down.

                                            Ross exiteing the bedding plane in Eglwys Faen

 Pressent  Amy, Andy g and Ross 

Ogof Draenen Rount Trip

Trip report to follow

Chloe and Mark admire formations en route

Richard in passage near the haggis basher

Brendan in the main stream way

Present: Jess Burkey, Brendan Marris, Richard Dearden, Chloe Burney, Mark Burgess & Mark Burkey

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Dudley Caving Club 50th Anniversary Open Day

Being on the Committee I fully appreciate the organisation that goes in to even the smallest of events and so when it was proposed that we open up the Ruiton Mill for an open day I knew we were taking on something of a task.

Brendan set the bar high early with a very professional flyer which would be used to advertise the day and so the posting begun. With Jess, Chloe and Mark Burgess playing postman.

Ian and Keith set to work wording a press release and contacting local radio and papers.

At some point the idea of building a Speleo assault course was born, and after Rob managed to procure some fab pipework it gave inspiration for Brendan to design and build an awesome ball pit, and Mike to take charge and add a traverse and stalactite crawl which would become the centre piece of the weekend.

John and Graham set about designing display and presentation areas on the mills upper floors which were stunning, I can honestly say that it rivalled, dare I say surpassed, others I have seen in Museums and show caves.

AV's were run by John throughout the weekend and the AV by Keith attracted a number of people who took seats in front of the monitor and happily spent half an hour sipping tea and finding out what caving was all about.

I took on the running of the refreshments, whilst Phil provided all the BBQ fodder free to the club and we even managed to raise a little money for MCRO thanks to Lucy running around taking the orders.

On the day Ian kicked us off in grand style promoting the club with a radio interview and it all seemed to have worked!
We had a good turnout of members of the public, Ex members of the club and even the Lord Mayor!

Great fun was had running the gauntlet through our assault course, watching the various presentations and AV's, as well as the SRT demonstrations put on by Andy, Mark Burgess and Rich.

Ian kept us entertained throughout with his PA and sound system whilst club members kept our visitors entertained and amused.

A big thank you to all the members who gave their time to help make the weekend such a success, without your support it just couldn't have happened!

The Mill Rigged For The Open Day
MC Millward, Our Very Own Radio Star!
Andy Rigs The Mill For The SRT Demonstrations
Brendan's Ball Sump....Well It Had To Be Tested!
John and Grahams Presentations Went Down A Storm!
Couple Of Dodgy Looking Characters There!

A short video of the days fun by Keith is available below :)

(All Photo's and Video Taken By Keith Edwards)

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Mud & Pretties In Ogof Craig a Ffynnon

After working in Brecon Friday through to Sunday morning Jess and I thought we would take advantage of being so close to a caving area and so decided on a photographic trip in to Ogof Craig a Ffynnon.
We were soon wishing we had put fewer layers on as we walked up the hill in blazing sunshine to the entrance and were glad of the cool air coming from the cave.
We paused on our way in for a couple of shots in the entrance chambers before continuing on through the boulder choke and in to the gloopy mud before Travertine passage.
We were soon at our destination covered in mud and stripped down to our under suits to protect the delicate formations in the beautiful straw grotto that was our photographic destination.
Although Jess had put many layers on and was a little warm on the way in she eventually cooled down and after an hour of photographs we made our way back out to a sunny Sunday afternoon.

3rd entrance chamber

3rd entrance chamber

Straw Grotto

Straw Grotto

Present: Mark & Jess

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Ogof Tee - Stuck in the 19th Hole

Our second cave for the day was just across the valley from the first. We headed up the track onto the hillside adjacent to the Merthyr Tydfil golf course. After a short distance we arrived at the shakehole and made our way down through the massive and loose boulder choke to arrive after a few minutes in a rather shaky gritstone collapse chamber. From here we followed some low crawls, often over fallen boulders to make our way to the end of Ogof Tee, where a strong draught beaconed us down a route through boulders.

Low crawl in Ogof Tee
Low crawl in Ogof Tee - Photo by Mark

Loz in a small alcove in Ogof Tee
Loz in a small alcove in Ogof Tee - Photo by Mark

Loz in a small chamber in Ogof Tee
Loz in a small chamber in Ogof Tee - Photo by Mark

The route was very tight at first and the belled out, so a line was rigged and then we started to descend. The climb was not as bad as first looked and soon Loz and Brendan were awaiting the arrival of Mark. The squeeze through the boulders was far to tight for him so a few minutes of rock bashing took place to take off the sharp pointy edge of the one boulder that was stopping his descent. Soon Mark was able to just squeeze through and we prayed that this would be a one way trip. We were now in Ogof Cil Sanws and we followed the strong draught through some boulder digs and tight sections to meet a trickle of water entering a low wide section. We could see plenty of airspace and so we went through to and area where we could see daylight. Some frantic digging through snady sediment allowed us to reach daylight at the Ogof Cil Sanws entrance high up in the side of the Danydarren quarry.

Low wet crawl near the entrance to Ogof Cil Sanws
Low wet crawl near the entrance to Ogof Cil Sanws - Photo by Mark

Present: Loz Appleby, Mark Burkey and Brendan Marris