Wednesday 28 December 2005

Ogof Gelynnen/Ogof Capel, Clydach Gorge, South Wales

Ogof Gelynenn now connects to the far side of sump 2 in Ogof Capel making the system accessible to those of us who prefer to keep our heads above water.  However this still leaves the Ogof Capel boulder choke to be negotiated and all of us didn't like the look of it so opted for an early exit and afternoon tea in Luigi's.

PresentKEd, BMa & CWe

Ogof Nant Rhin, Clydach Gorge, South Wales

A cave renowned for having a profusion of formations and a very tight entrance series.  The resurgence has now been dug out making the cave more accessible.  It's still not a roomy cave, but is worth visiting to look at the formations - see below.

Chris Webb in the Garden of Delights.

Chris Webb at the PF formations.

Keith Edwards approaching the Garden of Delights.

Chris Webb in the Garden of Delights.

PresentKEd, BMa & CWe

Saturday 10 December 2005

Wharf Mine, Derbyshire

SRT practice for Chris.  We had intended to do the climbing shaft and had packed the rope for this, but when we arrived at the mine another group was about to set off to do this.  A swift change of plan ensued and we decided to do the engine shaft.  Unfortunately we needed a 50m rope and the longest club rope we had was was 45m.  However Brendan had thoughtfully packed 50m of 9mm rope so the trip was on.

Remind me never to to use 9mm rope again!!!!!!

Chris in one of the passages that lead off from the Engine Shaft.

PresentKEd, BMa & CWe

Sunday 6 November 2005

Burrington Combe Caves, Somerset

Chris had promised Sarah a novice trip, but when we arrived at Burrington Combe and saw the minibuses labelled with the names of scout groups we decided to abandon the plan to do Goatchurch Cavern and instead made our way to Lionel's Hole.  After about 20 minutes of squeezing and grovelling we decided that perhaps Lionel's Hole is not a good place to take novices on their first trip so we made our way out and did Goatchurch instead.
Sarah seemed to enjoy her first experience of caving so we must have done something wrong.

Sarah in Lionel's Hole.

Keith at the coffin Lid in Goatchurch Caverns.

Sarah in the Drainpipe - Goatchurch Caverns.

PresentKEd, CJe, BMa & CWe + Sarah (a friend of Chris's)

Saturday 29 October 2005

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

We started pumping operations at 12:45 and the pumping went very well indeed. Everything performed as we had predicted/hoped for and we were shifting the water at over 6 gallons per minute.

PresentKEd, BMa, ASt & CWe + Thomas (a relative of Adrian's)

Sunday 9 October 2005

OFD 1, Penwyllt, South Wales

The standard round trip in OFD 1 to introduce feature writer Sarah to the joys of underground exploration.  Her article appeared in the Express and Star on Thursday 26th October.

Did she enjoy her caving taster trip?  Has she been put off for life?  What did she think of caving and cavers?  Read the paper to find out!

Emma in Gothic passage.

Emma and Sarah at The Step.

Sarah crossing one of the pots in the streamway.

Keith Edwards on Lowes Climb.

Present: MCl, KEd, BMa & EPo + Sarah Lefebve from the Express and Star

Sunday 2 October 2005

Otter Hole Near Chepstow

A over-tide trip to the camp beyond the Hall of Thirty for members that had not visited the cave before - so why was Keith on the trip?  Well the 4th place was reserved for Jason, but in order to get out of the trip Jason deliberately broke a finger karate chopping a piece of wood.  What some people will do to get out of a caving trip.  A very enjoyable, but very exhausting trip.

Present: CJe, KEd, BMa & CWe

Friday 30 September 2005

Rescue Practice, Huglith Mine, Shropshire

An evening/night time search and recovery operation to practice communications which in spite of the dense woodland, trip wires, pitch black and pouring rain went very successfully.

Present: PAn, MCl, KEd, AGr, MNo, EPo, GSm, JSm & ASt + Loads of members of SMCG

Monday 19 September 2005

OFD 1, South Wales

The usual round trip with the addition of a visit to the Railton-Wilde Series.

PresentKEd & BMa + Colin Hayward and Dave Hounslow from WMCEG

Sunday 18 September 2005

Cwm Dwr, Penwyllt, South Wales

A trip to the Upper Smithy Series, a new location for all members of the team.  There is still one area left to visit but it was decided that a hand line would be useful to protect the climb, so a return visit is planned.  During the trip Brendan (Rockefeller) Marris got up to his usual tricks.

Keith in a section of well decorated passage.

PresentKEd & BMa + Colin Hayward and Dave Hounslow from WMCEG

Sunday 11 September 2005

Ogof Tarddiad Rhymney, South Wales

A relatively recent discovery (1996) so you won't find this one in the South Wales guide book.  It is situated in a disused quarry, a three-mile hike across the mountains.
The cave has 1.5km of mainly walking sided passage with low interconnecting crawls.  It ends in a low muddy streamway.  It was well worth us popping our heads into and is another one to tick off.

Mike Clayton in the main passage.

Emma Porter in the main passage.

Emma Porter viewing formations.

Present: MCl, KEd, BMa & EPo

Sunday 28 August 2005

Mines near Lavrio

We accepted an invitation by our Greek hosts to a visit of the abandoned mines near Lavrio on the southern tip of Greece. We saw only a fraction of the 500+ km of passages rich in a variety of mineral deposits.

Emma in Lavrio Mine.

Emma in Lavrio Mine.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo + 4 members of the Helenic Spelelogical Society

Thursday 25 August 2005

Lord Byron's Cave

Route finding in this large chamber cave was made difficult by the amount of formations. This is a cave with a long history of exploration and habitation including Lord Byron who was reputed to have become lost in the cave for 3 days.

Emma and Rene in Lord Byron's Cave.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo + Cara Allinson (SMCC), members of Spelo Club Du Liban & Georgos our Greek guide

Wednesday 24 August 2005

Kapsia Cave

A trip by the Greek Ministry of Tourism to a showcave under construction. A cave that was once used for the committal of human remains, allowing the annual floods to wash the remains deep into the system. Human bones are found in several places in this upper well decorated chamber now being transformed into a show cave.

Work in progress to turn this into a showcave.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo

Tuesday 23 August 2005

Agia Triada

A superb stream cave on Evia the second largest of the Greek Islands. The cave was entered through the resurgence at the Church of Agia Triada. After a series of traverses in a high rift passage a superb streamway was encountered, the emerald green water cutting its way through metamorphic limestone.

Hadi on the traverses.

Hadi in the marble streamway.

Emma in the Marble streamway.

Mike in front of the impressive formations.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo + Cara Allinson (SMCC) & Hadi (Speleo Club Du Liban)

Sunday 21 August 2005

14th International Congress of Speleology Athens - Kalamos

A smaller Congress than previous years was held in the costal resort of Ag Agpostoli near Kalamos from 21st to 27th August. Delegates from 54 countries were joined by a group of about 25 cavers from the UK. Being in a Karst landscape, there was some opportunity to do some caving as well as attend the presentations.

Sunrise over Ag Agpostoli.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo 

Sunday 14 August 2005

Banwell Bone Cave and Stalactite Cave, Banwell, Mendips

While visiting the bone cave we entered the Stalactite cave also on the same site. Both caves uniquely are under an impressive home. We were requested not to enter the final boulder choke as it lies directly under the owners Pantry!

Emma Porter in Banwell Bone cave.

Emma, Mike and Chris in Banwell Stalactite Cave.

Present: MCl, BMa, EPo & CWe

Saturday 13 August 2005

Swan Mine, Mendips

A late afternoon trip into these well preserved stone workings followed by a meal and a pint in the conveniently located pub 30 yards from the entrance.

Emma Porter and Mike Wilson in one of the main routes.

Mike Wilson by a long abandoned crane.

Present:  MCl, BMa, EPo & CWe + Mike Wilson (BEC) & Arthur Champion (CPC)

Saturday 6 August 2005

Swildons Hole, Priddy, Mendips

A trip to the sump and back as a sporting introduction to caving for Emma's work Colleagues.

Present: MCl, BMa & EPo + Mike Wilson (BEC), Duncan (SMCC) & 3 members from Emma's place of work

Saturday 16 July 2005

Longwood Swallet, Charterhouse, Mendips

A round trip - in via August Hole and out via Great Chamber.  The stream must be the finest on Mendip.  Tight, awkward and wet, but highly recommended to any caver who is not claustrophobic or aquaphobic.

Chris Webb negotiating a squeeze in the main streamway.

Chris Webb in the main streamway.

PresentKEd, CJe, BMa & CWe

Saturday 9 July 2005

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

A large dig team and probably a record for the amount of infill removed - 140 buckets on the Saturday and 120 buckets on the Sunday, but nevertheless a little disappointing.  The Club Dig Page for more details.

The team outside the cave at the end of Sunday.

The Dig Team: PAn, MBa, DBo (Sun only), KEd, BMa, MNo, JSm, ASt & CWe

Sunday 26 June 2005

Whitescar - Yorkshire Weekend

A trip to dip our toes in the sump, with some entertainment watching Chris negotiate the muddy climb up to the straw gallery.

Mike Clayton in the Whitescar streamway.

Present: MCl, BMa, EPo, GSm & CWe

Saturday 25 June 2005

Sell Gill - Yorkshire Weekend

In via the Dry Way due to the unsettled weather conditions. A nice introduction to SRT for Chris. Water levels were low considering the recent rain.

Chris Webb, Emma Porter and Mike Clayton at the First Pitch.

Graham Smith on the Second Pitch.

Present: MCl, BMa, EPo, GSm & CWe

Saturday 11 June 2005

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

More progress has been made with about 10 feet of passage added to the system and the first "air space" discovered in the whole 19 year history of the dig.  See the Dig Page for more details.

The dig face showing airspace above.

The Dig Team: MCa (Sun only), KEd, BMa, MNo & ASt

Saturday 28 May 2005

Dan Yr Ogof, South Wales

Most of the round trip going in via the lower series, plus visits to A2 Chamber and Surprise Chamber.

Present: KEd, BMa & CWe

Saturday 7 May 2005

Brickworks Dig, Penwyllt, South Wales

Another very successful digging weekend. On Saturday morning we constructed a single-bucket railway over the pool and in the afternoon we removed 75 buckets of spoil. On the Sunday we removed another 112 buckets of infill. We appear to have discovered a cross-rift with the passage we have been following, continuing ahead. Another weekend should confirm this. During the weekend we added 6 feet to the length of the cave.

Keith Edwards in the newly discovered cross rift.

The Dig Team: MCa (Sun only), KEd, BMa, MNo, GSm, JSm & ASt

Monday 2 May 2005

Bix Slade Stone Quarry, Forest of Dean

A gentle meander around the abandoned stone quarry with a couple of photos taken.
One of the main galleries.

Present: BMa, EPo & others

Sunday 1 May 2005

Wet Sink, Forest of Dean

The round trip with an excursion to see the dead dogs, plus a diversion to go downstream to sump two - very nice keyhole stream passage just before the sump.

Emma Porter at the Showerbath.

Present: BMa, EPo & others

Saturday 30 April 2005

Redhouse Lane Swallet, Forest of Dean

After spending an hour digging out the streamway we decided we had had enough and made an early exit.

Keith Edwards in the entrance crawl.

Keith Edwards on the entrance climb.

Present: ACr, KEd, BMa & CWe

Westbury Brook Iron Mine, Forest of Dean

Present: PAn, SBa & AGr

Sunday 17 April 2005

Tunnel Cave, Swansea Valley Area, South Wales

A very short trip from Top Entrance to 5m Pot Chamber.

Jim Durr ascends the First Pitch.

Jim Durr climbs the steep calcite slope.

Present: JDu, KEd & BMa

Monday 28 March 2005

GB Cavern, Charterhouse, Mendips

A trip to the Ladder Dig Extensions.

Colin Jennings in Bat Passage.

Colin Jennings in Bat Passage.

Formations in Bat Passage.

Colin Jennings viewing formations in Bat Passage.

Present: KEd, CJe & BMa