This large club turn-out divided into two teams - Keith, Andrew and Tony set off for Main Rising in Speedwell and the rest for a tourist and photographic trip in the main system.
The Speedwell party detoured to take in the bottom of JH and on the way back from Main Rising explored the passage which contains the miners' inscriptions. This passage ends in a large chamber with a very impressive waterfall. The two parties met up by Lake Sump and left the system in three groups.
Graham Smith at Lake Sump.
Adrian Stanley climbing out of the Main Streamway at Surprise View.
Present: JBo, MCa, ACr, KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm, Ast + Tony Jordan (Andrew's mate)
This weekend had been scheduled for a Yorkshire weekend, but due to the inclement weather plan A was abandoned and instead we decided to do a day trip to a South Wales pot.
The trip went very smoothly and with Graham, Mike and Andrew taking it in turns to rig, we got to the sump at the bottom very quickly. The pitches were quite dry and the new routes down pitches 2 and 5 kept us well out of the little water that was coming down. On the way out we met a party of 17 coming in!
One of the most successful dig weekends ever. Much of the weekend was spent scaffolding and stabilising the area before the final right turn, but we still managed to remove 105 buckets of in-fill and add another six feet to the length of the system.
A five and a half hour trip in this relatively new Forest discovery consisting of a 30 metre dug out entrance shaft, a maze of interconnected domed chambers, dog-tooth crystals and a complex labyrinth of tall vertical rifts. Amazing!
Keith Edwards negotiating the rifts.
Present: MCl, KEd, BMa & EPo + Paul Taylor and Gareth Jones
We (JCa, MCl,KEd & BMa) descended Disappointment Pot as far as the bedding plane where Brendan's helmet and lamp floated through but Brendan was too large to follow! After frantically kicking through the silt with his feet a very wet and very cold Brendan managed to retrieve his helmet.
We then attempted (JCa, MCl,KEd, BMa & EPo + Cara) Bar Pot but after waiting for a long time to descend the second pitch Keith decided he had had enough and exited with Jason and Brendan.
Mike was last seen descending Gaping Gill on the winch with a party of 15 'cavers' in tow.
During the weekend we proved that the way on is to the right at the dig face with solid walls and roof! We have added another 6 feet to the length of the cave. A more detailed report is available on the dig page.
Adrian examining the scaffolding.
The way-on is behind the shored-up boulder on the right.
The intention was to visit the famous Pom Pom formation, but Keith forgot the tackle and the survey! All was not lost, however, and tackle was borrowed from SWCC, including a sky-hook and the Fault Aven Series was fully explored. Unfortunately we walked straight past the Pom Pom and never saw it - Doh! Still now we know where to look for it, it should be easy to find next time.
We arrived at 12:30am (Sunday morning) to be told that the rescue team were making good progress and were on the pitches. We ascertained that no further assistance was required due to the progress made and phoned the MCRO individuals who were currently travelling and told them to stand down. Keith, Mike and I then assisted on the Entrance Pitch. Robbie, the casualty who was in good spirits then exited at approx 3am.
Present: MCl, KEd & EPo. DBo, ACr & ASt were stood down whilst on route.
This would have been the other end of Ogof Rhaeadr Ddu before the middle bit was quarried away. A short trip but a memorable one as the cave has a large population of meta menardi - not a cave for arachnophobics!
A return to a cave that I had failed to get to the end of eleven years ago. We failed again but did manage to add another 10 feet or so to the club record. After all the guide book does say, "the average sized caver will have difficulties."
A short trip to look at the dig at the end of Hanger North which looks like a very long term proposition. The water in the Lakes was fairly high, but this time we did make it out in time to exit via the show cave.
The proposed trip was to look at Hanger North and South, and also Dali's Delight. We headed for Hanger Passage first, entered the boulder choke in the bottom left hand corner, exited top right and found ourselves back in Hanger Passage! At the second attempt we found the way through and spent so much time exploring that we ran out of time to do Dali's. A few photos in Flabbergasm Oxbow meant that we had to exit via the river.
Jason Cashmore traversing the Crystal Pool to enter Flabbergasm Oxbow.
We managed to get to Rifleman's Chamber at the end of the streamway. The streamway is not too impressive, but the dig in Rifleman's is! This is a full scale mining operation, on the surface it would be impressive, over two hours into a cave it is amazing.
Another 'Brendan Marris Classic Cave', a real collectors item, consisting of boulders, boulders and more boulders, steeply inclined highly polished bedding planes and small crawling arduous connecting passages. Another one to tick off me thinks!
First we went and did the Waterfall Series, then Wonder Bra bypass to Lamb and Fox Chamber, Indiana Highway to Raiders Passage, but didn't go too far because of the bats. Did some side passages off Lamb and Fox, then down the main drag to Tea Junction and then Gilwern Passage - did everything we did two weeks ago and went a little bit further. Finally we went down the Main Streamway for an half and hour before returning to Cairn Chamber via the short cut. All in six and a half hours.
Seb Ballard in the Hearts of Olden Glory Streamway.
A five and a half hour trip to a new area of the system for Dudley Caving Club, taking in Gilwern Passage and the St. Giles series. We are already taking about the possibility of another two trips to complete this part of the system which includes large passage, lovely decorations and a superb streamway - all complimented with generous quantities of mud.