Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ogof Craig A Ffynnon - Lower Series

An early explorer of Ogof Craig A Ffynnon - Chris Leach had seen Keith's video of the cave and having been impressed with the quality made contact with Keith. It was agreed to meet with him and make a visit to the rarely visited Lower Series near the Fourth Boulder Choke, deep into the cave. We met with Chris at the limekilns and with two bags of tackle, a camera box and a video box we set off to the cave. We found at the climb up to the Second Boulder Choke that a set of steel plates had been installed on the climb up to accompany the new BCA handline. We soon reached the Hall of the Mountain King and much to Mark's relief found that he could still fit through the flat out section of Hurricane Highway. The flat out section was a long slog with all the tackle, and 30 minutes later we were stomping down the Severn Tunnel. At the end of this passage the cave reaches a quite interesting area and we spent some time looking at all the opportunities here before heading to the way into the Lower Series. Once reaching the entrance to the Lower Series, we sent in our passage size testers, who were not able to get to the passages beyond a long low section (quite diggable). Mark and Jess then headed to the Fourth Boulder Choke to look at the Promised Land Pitch in preparation for a future trip. Keith and Brendan, then explored all low passages that fitted Chris' description of the route to the Lower Series in an effort to find the pitch to the main area. A lot of passage was followed, some pretty grottos were found along the way, but the pitch was not located.
All meeting up we then headed out together with lots of muddy, but unused tackle!

Jess viewing formations in Severn Tunnel

Mark, Chris and Keith in the Severn Tunnel

Mark in the Severn Tunnel

Footnote: John Parker's original exploration account gives a clue in that a 15 foot pitch needed to be climbed up to reach the top of the pitch down into the Lower Series. We are confident we found this and will no doubt return in due course.

Present: Keith Edwards, Mark Burkey, Jessica Harding and Chris Leach

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