Saturday 18 August 2012

Ogof Cnwc - The Mystery of the Failing Lights

Mark, the determined sort of chap he is, was insistant that he was going to go and see the Antlers and the other formations in Daren Cilau. With the entrance crawl not possible for him we turned to Ogof Cnwc as a way for him to visit Daren Cilau.

Arriving at the car park and donning our caving kit we noticed something not quite right with Mark, he had no light and helmet. It was sat on the table at home in Stratford. Fortunately Wal had his original helmet and light from when he first started caving in the back of the car and so we were able to head off to the cave. Within half and hour and not even through Ogof Cnwc, Mark was bathed in darkness as the light on Wals spare helmet gave up the ghost. Time to switch to the back up light on the helmet with it's feeble glow. Thirty minutes later it was not possible to cave by this light, batteries were swapped and the trip continued. An hour later we pause again, the light was failing and it was decided to swap to a hand held back up light, brighter but less practical, the trip continued. The route through Cnwc to Daren has been much sanitised with tight sections widened, ladders installed on the climbs - essential in most cases and other fixed aids added on tricky maneuvers. The Antlers, Urchin Oxbow and the White Company were visited before steps were retraced and we made our way out, stopping only to change batteries in Marks back-up light or swap it again when it stopped working. We were all glad to see daylight after 7 hours underground.

Mark on the Ladder in the Busman's Holiday Choke.

Mark in Antler Passage - Daren Cilau

Mark in Antler Passage - Daren Cilau

Mud Formations in Antler Passage - Daren Cilau

Present Mark Burkey, Keith Edwards, Steve Wallis and Brendan Marris

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