Sunday 5 February 2012

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu 1 - Round trip starting with the Escape Route

After their introduction to caving by John Smith on the previous day, I was told that the ‘new lads’ would like something a little tastier.  A through trip would have been nice but with snow melting and water levels likely to rise it was decided that the standard Sunday trip, i.e. a Round Trip in OFD 1 would have to suffice.
We started up the Escape Route and at the first crawl in water the new lads shouted that this was just the sort of thing they were looking for.  At the dug-out they shouted with joy.  The traverses above the streamway were tackled with gusto.  They shot up the chimney climb like proverbial rats up a drain pipe.  Nothing it seemed would be too much for them.  We ambled through the upper levels and met the other team on the climb down to Lowe’s Passage.  At Lowe’s Climb they treated it like an abseil with wellies against the wall.  Nothing, it seemed, was going to faze them, so I made them climb up again.  No problem.  So it was off to Boulder Chamber where they were introduced to the joys of their first boulder choke.  They lapped it up.  Back though the choke I decided to play my trump card.  I made them climb up the traverses to the waterfall for the sole reason of making them climb back down the waterfall, which incidentally was flowing freely.  This surely would dampen their spirits.  Not a chance.  Whoops of joy resonated around the cave as they emerged from under the water.  This is exactly what they wanted – bring it on, but there was nothing left other than the water slides in the stream which they found so good that they went back for seconds.  Finally I tried traversing around Pluto’s Bath – hoping that my bright light would blind them enough for at least one to fall in.  They sussed what I was doing but decided to dive in anyway.
With me completely defeated we exited the cave.
Later in the changing room they asked what was next.  I replied, “Go and find yourself a proper caving club.”
Keith Edwards

Present: Keith Edwards, Mel Wakeman, Phil Lester, Carl Knott, Ben Marklew and Grant Wilkes

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