Saturday 27 April 2013

Pant Mawr Pot - It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet

With the prospect of a little sunshine we made our plan to visit Pant Mawr Pot, to top up our vitamin D levels on the long walk to the cave.
The sun came out as promised, but there was a cold sharp wind, and so clad in hats and buffs we made our way over the hills towards Pant Mawr. An hour later we arrived at the shakehole and started to kit up and rig the pitch. Mark rigged and was then followed by Loz and Chloe to meet a sheep at the bottom that had made a rather unplanned descent. Was the sheep simply stunned? Was it resting? or was it pining for the fjords? Chloe declared that it was in fact an ex-sheep.

The Sabre - Pant Mawr Pot
Chloe and Loz viewing the Sabre.

The Sabre - Pant Mawr Pot
Chloe and Loz viewing the Sabre.

We headed into the cave and spent some time taking photos in the Chapel before heading down to the sump.

The Chapel - Pant Mawr Pot
Chloe in the Chapel - Pant Mawr Pot.

The Fire Hydrant  - Pant Mawr Pot
Loz at the Fire Hydrant - Pant Mawr Pot.

On our return we took photos at several locations arriving back at the pitch at 6pm. After taking photos, prussiking back up and derigging we were heading back to Penwyllt at 7.30pm.

The Entrance Pitch
The Entrance Pitch.

7 hours underground with an hour walk each way made this a rather long day out.

Present: Mark Burkey, Jessica Harding, Chloe Burney, Loz Appleby and Brendan Marris

Sunday 21 April 2013

Nedd Fechan Caves - A Bridge Too Far

Cave 1 - Bridge Cave
The first cave of the day was Bridge Cave, were we spent a little time exploring the small passages above the rock bridge at the end of the cave.

West Passage - Bridge Cave
Loz in West Passage - Bridge Cave.

Cave 2 - Pwll Y Rhyd
A cave I had not visited before, but as it was dry we dropped down into the giant chasm that is Pwll Y Rhyd. From here we explored all the dry passages on each side of the pot. A cave that we will return to to take some photos including exploring the low gravel floored crawls that lead to the other side of the White Lady Sump.

North Side - Pwll Y Rhyd
Loz in north section of Pwll Y Rhyd.

Cave 3 - White Lady Cave
A quick trip into White Lady cave - heading down to the sump and then returning via the higher level passage.

White Lady Cave
Formations in White Lady Cave.

Cave 4 - Town Drain
A trip to the end of the cave, plus a little while spent exploring the inlet passage and then exiting via the smaller of the entrances that pops out directly opposite the main entrance to White Lady Cave.

Shower Inlet - Town Drain
Shower inlet in Town Drain Cave.

Exiting Town Drain Cave
Loz exiting Town Drain Cave.

After leaving Town Drain we headed downstream along the gorge for some distance before heading up the bank and taking the footpath above back to the cars.

Present: Mark Burkey, Loz Appleby and Brendan Marris

Sunday 7 April 2013

Fault Aven Series - Playing Hide and Seek

We headed off with tackle, camera and video gear to the Fault Aven Series in Cwm Dwr. On the way in we played a game of hide and seek with the tackle bag in the Cwm Dwr Choke. After Half an hour Keith was declared the winner of the game and so we headed off to our target. We split and headed to regroup an the confluence before making our way to the First River Chamber and then the climb up to the Fault Aven Series.

The pull through worked well and we are soon up in the high level passages. Not being able to make sense of where we were in relation to the survey we headed off following our noses until we had some notion of our whereabouts. Mark and Keith crossed a very large hole to inspect the Fault Aven itself while Jess and Brendan too some photos of the impressive false floor.

We then retraced our steps and headed in the opposite direction to find H Junction and explore the passages that radiate off it. Mark and Keith found the Pom Pom after a long section of traverses and took some video before returning.

We will return with some additional tackle and photograph Fault Aven and Pom Pom Passage on a future trip.

Fault Aven Series - Cwm Dwr
Magnificent False floor in the Fault Aven Series.

Fault Aven Series - Cwm Dwr
H Junction - Fault Aven Series.

Fault Aven Series - Cwm Dwr
Formations - Fault Aven Series.

Fault Aven Series - Cwm Dwr
Formations - Fault Aven Series.

Fault Aven Series - Cwm Dwr
Formations - Fault Aven Series.

Present: Keith Edwards, Mark Burkey, Jessica Harding and Brendan Marris

Monday 1 April 2013

Exploring The Nave, OFD II

After a strenuous but rewarding trip to the extremities of Dan Yr Ogof on Easter Sunday, we met with an excited Chloe Monday morning for our planned trip to The Nave to practice her SRT and explore the other proposed route for a future exchange trip with Pendulum Passage.
Taking the easiest route to get there, as we were all carrying kit bags. Chloe went ahead, navigating very well to the Corkscrew, along Salubrious and past the Trident and Judge.
Again the rigging guide wasn’t always accurate, but rigging was fairly straight forward. As we descended to the first chamber we were awestruck by the gorgeous formations that came into view. After some well deserved photos we continued along the passage, down some interesting climbs and descended the second pitch, where again we were rewarded with amazingly beautiful formations.

Chloe admiring formations in the Nave

The third pitch dropped us into the second oxbow of the stream way. Mark wanted to find the end of Pendulum passage, upstream, so we set off through the water, Chloe jumping happily into the first pot she found. After a few minutes, Mark stopped and looked confused. “Hang on Donkeys, which way is the water flowing?” Yes, we’d been happily splashing our way downstream!

Once we’d turned around, Mark quickly found Pendulum passage, and happy that he’d connected the dots for a future return we started back up the pitches.

Jess on the 2nd pitch
 Chloe made easy work of the SRT and also all the awkward climbs up on the way back, but by the time we were making our way out we’d been underground for seven hours and we were all feeling the weight of the kit bags.

A really good trip and far more beautiful than we had expected!