Sunday 1 December 2013

Llygad Llwchwr – A cave of spiders, water, and two left feet.

I had decided to take a little more responsibility for leading trips and so had offered to take Becca and Amy into Llygad Llwchwr and Llygad LLwchwr Two. The trip attracted an unexpected amount of interest from other members and the group size grew to 8.
The day started in a less than ideal fashion with me showing up to Amy’s 20 minutes late after spending a considerable length of time thoroughly lost driving in circles around Spaghetti Junction due to a motorway closure. Ben also arrived 20 minutes late but as he pulled up at the same time as me, he considered himself to be on time! We met the rest of the group in Llandeilo at 10am sharp for breakfast and before we knew it we had navigated our way to the caves outside of Trapp, and we were changed ready to go.
We first climbed down the scaffold shaft into LLygad Llwchwr Two for a little poke around and to show everyone the impressive formations. Mark stopped to take a few photos then we headed back out.

Ben admiring formations in Llygad Llwchwr Two

On the way to Llygad Llwchwr we stopped for the mandatory posing photo in front of the ‘Caving is a dangerous activity’ sign. 

Everybody flew up the entrance climb, avoiding the spiders, and along to the First River Chamber which was the initial stop on the list. After a little splash around we continued back out and along the passage, past the Column, and through a duck into the maze. We followed some rift and crawling passages to find ourselves at a perfectly smooth slide of rock ending in a muddy puddle. Eight successive cries of ‘weeeeeeeeee’ followed by a splash were heard as we all came down, leading to a nice tidal wave effect as our feet hit the water which soaked the person ahead. After a brief visit to the third river chamber we continued along to the fourth river chamber. It was here that we were perching on ledges avoiding the central deep section of water when Ben lost his footing leading to a domino effect knocking into Andy, Amy and then Becca. The girls managed to keep their balance but Ben and Andy got a thorough soaking. Upon clambering back out of the deep water Ben grabbed hold of the dive rope which happened to be tucked behind my knees, catapulting me into the water as well. Satisfied that Ben had soaked enough of the team we headed back on ourselves and to the second river chamber. Natural belays were used to rig a ladder and lifeline and we popped down into the water. Amy, Loz, Becca, Mark, and I swam down the river to view the very pretty formations in the roof. It was during the swim back up river that Becca announced that she had lost her right wellie, although wasn’t too sure when exactly it happened as her feet were so numb with cold she didn’t feel it slip off! We gave up looking for the lost wellie in the deep water after a matter of minutes as everybody was getting rather cold. However a similar misfortune must have fallen upon a previous unwary caver as we had earlier spotted a lone wellie perched on the side of the second river chamber. In slight disbelief of the luck of it, we went to retrieve the stray homeless wellie. Unfortunately not only was it a left foot wellie but it was also 3 sizes too big leading to a very comical walk back out of the cave.
 left the cave with huge smiles on their faces. It was a day of much laughter and a very successful trip all round.
Loz and Andy at the Entrance
Amy Descending in to the second river chamber

Present: Andy Grimes, Chloe Burney, Ben Marklew, Becca Kirkpatrick, Amy Sawyer, Jessica Burkey, Loz Appleby & Mark Burkey

Trip report by Chloe Burney

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