We set off for Llangattock with the aim of having a look at a potential dig site near to and above the final aven in Ogof Rhaeadr Ddu - the only cave that so far has defeated me - 3 times! But we were persuaded by Jess to take Mark off her hands for the day and he wanted to go caving.
After the customary brekkie at Luigi's in Abergavenny we set off for Whitewalls to see if we could blag a key to Aggy or Ogof Gwaliau Gwynion (for Brendan to photograph). On the way to Whitewalls we stopped in the Clydach Gorge to have a look at Coal Tar Cave which is on the left near to the top of the gorge. On arriving at Whitewalls we found that no one was at home. Mark asked what other caves there were in the area which did not require a key. I jokingly replied, "Daren Cilau", but Brendan wanted to have a look at a dig at Chrochan Sion Hopkin at the western end of Mynydd Llangatwg. It is a very impressive 45m deep dig in a shake hole that has required some serious engineering with loads of metalwork.
We then drove to the Llangattock tram road to have a look at our original aim - the potential dig site above Ogof Rhaeadr Ddu. After having a good poke around we concluded that it would require serious engineering and wouldn't be worth the effort as it would only drop into known cave, so it looks like I will have to assemble a team of very thin headbangers to have my 4th attempt on the cave.
It was now half past three in the afternoon. In my opinion, which Brendan shared, too late to go caving. Afternoon coffee and cake got our votes, however Mark had another idea - he wanted to have a go at the entrance series to Daren Cilau so reluctantly that's where we ended up.
I'll let the photos tell the story. The video will follow in the next fews days.
The Team: Brendan, Keith and Mark.
|Daren's entrance. The tackle bag gives an indication of the size of the passage.|
|Mark in the same location.|
|Brendan in a typical section of the entrance series.|
|80m in is the first obstacle - the vice. Mark likes vices!|
|Mark sliding into the vice.|
|After backing out, Mark has a second attempt. This and the next photos are from the far side.|
|Mark making the vice look cosy.|
|And even cosier.|
|The next bit required helmet removal.|
|But it was no good.|
|Brendan guided him back out.|
|Mark emerges from his first attempt on Daren.|
|And tells the story.|