Saturday 20 November 2010

Ogof Craig a Ffynnon - Too Tight to Mention

We have a reputation of going to some tight and horrid places, in the past this has meant that only a select few joined these trips, but some members have been so keen to be involved in our exploits that they have undertaken radical surgery in an effort to slim themselves and join the trips. Mark had taken a surgical route to slimming having is jaw wired up so could only eat what he could suck up a straw. Four weeks on the SlimFast Plan has seen him lose two stone, so we were ready to put him through his paces and see what we could squeeze him though. We met in Luigis for breakfast as the law of caving prescribes with full English served up with knives and forks for us, and scrambled eggs provided with a spoon for Mark. Once breakfast was consumed we were joined by Claire and after a little juggling of cars we headed up to the cave through the fog. After a little faffing with the new lock arrangement on the cave gate we were in  and making our way to the climb up to the Second Boulder Choke. We had brought ladder and lifeline to add to the chain and ropes that already adorned the climb, and after a little entanglement we were all up to the top and making our way through the the confines of the Second Boulder Choke. We scurried along to the start of Travertine Passage where we halted to take a few photos before the short jaunt to the Hall of the Mountain King.
Looking down on the start of Travertine Passage.

Claire by the section of gour pools in Travertine Passage.

Mark and Mel in Travertine Passage.

Mel in Travertine Passage.

Mark in Travertine Passage.

Keith in Travertine Passage.

It was here in the Hall of the Mountain King that we put the SlimFast Plan to the test as Keith slid along Hurricane Highway, the low calcited crawl that leads to the Severn Tunnel. Once through Keith took out the video camera to record Mark's attempt to pass through the flat out calcite squeeze. After much puffing and panting it was clear that another couple of weeks on the plan would be needed so returned to continue the video work on the way out with Keith. Claire, Mel and Brendan headed off towards the Severn Tunnel to go as far as the final boulder choke. On reaching the Fourth Boulder choke we met a group who had a close encounter with a large 1m square boulder that had dropped to the floor as they were passing through the choke. They were returning with an injured member after making sure that the boulder was not going to move further. We proceeded carefully, it was clear that this was an isolated boulder move and nothing appeared to have been undermined by its movement. We went along to the final choke before taking a detour into Helictite passage on our way back out. As we reached the climb down after the second choke we met up with the other party making their exit, derigged and made our way down to the cars to be greeted by Mark and Keith after their successful video trip.

See more Ogof Craig A Ffynnon photos here

Present: Claire McElwain, Keith Edwards, Mark Burkey, Mel Wakeman and Brendan Marris


  1. Did the trip through to the promised land a few hours ago. Loved it.

    Matt Emmett

  2. It is a great trip, did you manage to get to the end? We ran out of time on the only occasion I tried