Saturday, 13 November 2010

No Escape From Tunnel Cave

With wet weather ruling out access to Dan Yr Ogof, attention turned to helping Richard and Shaun looking for leads in Tunnel Cave. The plan for the day was to head up to the very end of the Right Hand Branch of Tunnel Cave and look for high level and digging leads in this area of the cave. Keith and Brendan joined Richard and Shaun bringing camera and video kit to add to the digging and bolting kit carried by them. The cave is extremely dry and we only paused on our way to Steeple Aven to cool down as we overheated on our way in. Once at Steeple Aven the pace slows down somewhat as you climb up into the terribly awkward Switchback Passage. This is typical of a lot of Tunnel Cave as you traverse in a roof tube above a tight rift passage below. This continues for a good distance with a well decorated grotto and section of walking passage in the middle of it to give some respite. Eventually we drop down from the roof tube into the end of the unfortunately named "Final Chamber". At the end of this high vaulted chamber a choke is encountered in the floor that must have some digging prospects, but our route was to climb up into a tight passage and wriggle though an awkward choke. This then in turn led to a very tight wet squeeze over calcite to enter a chamber containing fine sediments, which is the current limit of exploration. Two small inlets feed a small calcited passage in the floor with no real prospect of being pursued, while in the far wall a inlet from a calcited passage showed no prospects either. The final hope was an aven in the roof which was bolted by Richard to find that this too closed down to yield no opportunities. With leads in this part of the cave ruled out we exited, taking a few photos on the way out to record this rarely visited section of the cave.


Keith near the the end of the Right Hand Series.

Richard and Shaun climbing up at the end of the Final Chamber in the Right Hand Series.

Richard bolting up the aven at the end of the Right Hand Series.

Shaun in the Final Chamber in the Right Hand Series.

Shaun in a decorated grotto in the Switchback Passage in the Right Hand Series.

Shaun in a decorated grotto in the Switchback Passage in the Right Hand Series.


Present: Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris, Richard Frost and Shaun


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