Friday, 28 December 2007

Ogof Capel, Clydach Gorge, South Wales

This cave is one I have wanted to visit ever since I bought my first copy of the South Wales guide book, but until recently it was only accessible to cave divers as just inside the entrance are two sumps. Now a new route dug through a boulder choke in Ogof Gelynnen allows entry to this spectacularly decorated cave to non divers. The cave is gated and access is strictly controlled to preserve the delicate formations. The upgrade of the Heads of The Valleys road to a dual carriageway threatens this cave, as the unstable entrance passages pass less than 10m below the current carriageways. Due to heavy rain on the day we turned back at the ducks and took photographs on the way out.

Chris viewing formations in the Ogof Capel streamway.

Formations in the Ogof Capel streamway.

Chris views formations in the Ogof Capel streamway.

Formations in the Ogof Capel streamway.

See more Ogof Capel photos here 

The team: KeEd, BrMa & ChWe + Rachel & Richard from WMCEG

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Peak Cavern, Castleton

The trip was to be to Neil Moss Chamber and we made an uneventful progress through the muddy ducks to the start of Pickering's Crawl that leads to the Chamber. Brendan being navigationally challenged missed a squeeze up and continued to lead the more gullible in the party through some horrendous squeezes into a long crawl following a howling draught. (After looking on the survey later, there should be some reasonable sized passages / chambers there to look at on a future trip). John and Graham were having nothing to do with this and waited while we returned. The climbs up the mud banks now followed with people taking one step forwards and two backwards fighting their way up the slippy banks. Horizontal squeezes up in the air and rope climbs followed to add interest and sport to the trip. Everyone got through even if they had to have a couple of goes. A break was taken in Neil Moss Chamber followed by some photos, before we made the easier down hill return to Pickering's Passage. Having plenty of time to spare we then went to the Surprise View. A trip down to the sump was made before we headed back out the cave and froze as we headed back to the TSG hut.

The impressive phreatic section of the main streamway.

The group assembled on the calcite slope in Moss Chamber.

John Smith views the formations in Moss Chamber.

John Smith climbs the calcite slope in Moss Chamber.

The team: JeHa, BrMa, CaNo, HeSi, GrSm & JoSm

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Ogof Draenen

This was to have been a trip to Craig A Ffynnon, but without a key for either this or Agen Allwedd we turned our attnetion to Draenen. Intermittent very heavy rain outside the made the entrance series a little moist in places so there was no chance of our party overheating. The rope climb down into the main cave provided a sporting diversion for our damp group of intrepid cavers and raised the adrenalin levels of some members. Once we were all safely down we headed to Gilwern Passage. At the boulder choke we spilt the party, with Brendan returning and taking photos with one group while Keith took the rest to continue to the Hearts of Olden Glory Streamway. We all met up at Wonder Bra Bypass and headed out together.

Jessica viewing formations in Gilwern Passage.

James viewing formations in Gilwern Passage.

Heather by the cascade inlet in Gilwern Passage.

Heather in Wonderbra Bypass.

See more Ogof Draenen photos here 

The team: KeEd, JaHa, JeHa, BrMa, HeSi & ChWe