Sunday 18 July 2010

OFD II - The Key to a Wet Weekend Trip

The weather had been wet all week and on Sunday morning we woke to find Penwyllt enveloped in a cloud and persistent drizzle. Digging had been ruled out the day before and a streamway trip was going to be off the cards. As we had a number of new members who had not been into Top Entrance before we decided to take two parties to have a look at the standard sights, but to also converge at Northern Canyon and to have a look at this route. Faffing over, we changed and headed up the hill, through the cloud, mist and drizzle, to arrive at the entrance soaked to the skin. The last thing we needed was for a certain member of the team to have forgotten the key to the cave, so there we sat in the wet as he took the walk of shame back to the club.

Paulina Biela in the passage alongside Big Chamber Near The Entrance.

People who had not been to the Mini Columns, took a look at them, while others followed a maze of passage to Shale Chamber and then on to the Sand Crawls into Gnome Passage. From Gnome Passage, one group headed via Edwards shortcut to Shatter Pillar. The second group headed to Shatter Pillar via Salubrious, Crossroads and Presidents Leap. Once at Shatter Pillar, groups went off to take photos in Selenite Tunnel, before heading to Northern Canyon.

Heather Simpson in Selenite Tunnel

Heather Simpson in Selenite Tunnel

Steve Wallis in Selenite Tunnel.

Northern Canyon is an impressive tall rift passage was followed for some distance until a large boulder choke forced a series of high climbs to pass it.  At this point we decided the best option was to return and make our exit via Salubrious.

Both groups as we exited the cave.

Group 1 Keith Edwards, Bartek Biela, Paulina Biela, Richard Wilkes, Jessica Harding and Mark Burkey
Group 2 Brendan Marris, Derek Robertson, Steve Wallis and Heather Simpson

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