Sunday, 30 September 2012

Should have gone to Specsavers – Agen Allwedd and Eglwys Faen

Ian in the entrance series
This was my first trip into Aggy for several years and the first time I had seen the Main Passage by Scurion light and what an impressive passage it is. The trip was arranged for the newer members of the club and the planned destination was the Music Hall and Cliffs of Dover.
Five of us met up at Luigi’s in Abergavenny for the customary brekkie and then Brendan and Keith collected Chloe from the car park in Crickhowell. On finding Whitewalls open we asked if we could change inside. Jess left her clothes in the changing rooms and retrieved them after we thought we had explained to the whole party that Whitewalls wouldn’t necessarily be open when we got back.
On the way to Aggy Mark was sent to do the short through trip in Eglwys Faen. On arriving at Aggy I tried the key in the lock and found that my bad luck was still holding – it fitted.
The Cliffs of Dover
The trip to our destination in the cave was fairly uneventful except that Chloe found that she needs more practice on traverses and Keith and Brendan walked past the entrance to Southern Stream Passage thinking it was the next passage on the right.
On the way out we stopped at regular intervals to take photos and video and remarkably no one complained. The cave does seem like a completely different place and much nicer with 4100 lumens of light. On the way out we did manage to find Southern Stream Passage and did the first few metres.
On the way back to the cars we stopped at Eglwys Faen and this time five of us (Brendan excluded) did the through trip from the Main Entrance to the Waterfall Entrance. As Brendan had decided not to join us he was loaded up with boxes and bags and dispatched to the exit. This cave too seems like a completely different and much nicer cave when well illuminated. On exiting, the waterfall was flowing freely and the small passage leading to daylight was half full of water so a thorough soaking was guaranteed.
Back at Whitewalls Mark found that he had left (or it had been left) his spare Scurion battery outside Eglwys Faen and had to walk all of the way back to retrieve it. Still, although this is a long walk, it required slightly less effort than when he had to go back down Knotlow Engine Shaft and back up when a re-belay had not been untied. The rest of us found Whitewalls was indeed locked up. Under my car was a black plastic bin liner full of clothes. Chloe hadn’t heard what we had said about the hut being locked up and had left her clothes inside but some kind person had saved her embarrassment.
The Music Hall
The Main Passage
Later in the car Brendan realised that when he had put his contact lenses in inside the changing rooms he had not picked up his specs. Fortunately he had been to Specsavers but on returning home was going to have to turn the house upside down to find where he had put the ‘spare pair’. Then on Monday I received an email from Ian saying, “Would you have contact details’ for anyone at the club hut yesterday, as I managed to leave my glasses in the back room when we were changing in the morning.” He went on to say, “My intention is to send the contact person a S.A.E. with a spare spectacle case that they can pop them in and post back to me (that will save a car or even a train journey, now who had to do that once before??” The new members learn very early on how to take the p*** out of the chairman!
The Main Passge

The Team: Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris, Chloe Burney, Jess Harding, Mark Burkey and Ian Millward

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