Sunday 23 May 2010

Dan-yr-Ogof Round Trip

It was third time lucky for me and Evan from NWCC as 'Danny' had been flooded on our last two attempts. To ensure that we really appreciated the beauty of Dan-yr-Ogof, Brendan and Keith took us into the Syphon Series first. Or was it to remind us of some North Wales Caves? Or to tone down my bright orange and blue Newquay-surfer wetsuit? Or revenge for the OHA-to-the-sump trip? Anyway, with water levels low, the ducks were easy to pass but the place is a mud bucket! We came out looking like the Black & White Minstrels.

Evan and I ooed and aahhed our way around the usual sights, Straw Chamber, Cloud Chamber and Flabergasm Oxbow, where I was worried that I would somehow manage to trip, catch or otherwise break the long straw column. It looks so delicate, but it's calcite, so hey, you could probably belay of it.
The Long Crawl was not as long as I had imagined and has a lovely draft. On the other hand, the Green Canal was longer, 300ft and the water is very, very cold but I was toasty in my wetsuit. It is difficult to swim and the idea is to bounce off the edges, preferable without puncturing your inner tube floatation aid and sinking into the bottomless void. The others got fed up of me singing 'Aqua Marina' (from Stingray, for those of you born after the 1960s) but the acoustics are fab.

I had to traverse Go Slower Passage four times with Keith saying 'look professional' and me trying not to laugh and not to fall into the void below but he filmed Evan in the Long Crawl, so I don't know how many times he made him do that in the interests of 'Art'. The video clip is up for a very short while on YouTube:

On the way out, we became a 'Cave Refuse Team' and brought out old hosepipe and other rubbish which had been left in a neat pile for any volunteers going out. It was fun pushing and pulling it through the long crawl particularly for Brendan, who brought out twice as much as the rest of us.

The cave is a succession of beautiful black limestone, unusual passages, great climbs, scrambles, contortions and traverses. Thanks Keith and Brendan and can we go again please? I was just kidding about the belay : )

More photos of Dan Yr Ogof can be seen here

Present: Brendan Marris, Evan Kinsey, Heather Simpson & Keith Edwards

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