Sunday 22 December 2013

Side Splitting Fun In Cwm Dwr

Carl sent out an email to the club with a hit list of caves, so when he asked for a trip on the Sunday I thought we'd offer him Cwm Dwr, as because of weather it was about the only viable option on his list.

Arriving a mere 20 minutes late a tired looking Carl arrived and in traditional caving style went straight for the kettle.
Carl had apparently only chosen Cwm Dwr because it is gated and he wants to get in as many difficult access caves as he can this year…..not because he was aware of it's long entrance crawl, awkward boulder choke or sometimes wet / tight passageway.

Oblivious of the pleasures to come he exclaimed, "Well the sooner we get in the cave the sooner we can get back out!" …you gotta love his enthusiasm.

The entrance pipe was flowing nicely and ensured you got a good trickle down the back going in. Carl seemed to enjoy this and was in good spirits as we made our way down an awkward climb and on to the crawls.
Popping out in to Cwm Dwr Jamma we paused to catch our breath…..Carl asking if we had to do all that bloody crawling to get out again ;)
We were soon through the passage and on to the choke where again Carl got a good taste of what Cwm Dwr is all about slithering and contorting through wet slippery boulders and then on in to Big Shacks. At this point Brendan offered up an alternative entrance to the system so we turned right, heading toward the upper Piccadilly end of the cave via a route that would miss out the main route and Smithy altogether. Again getting in to some restricted crawling we made our way through 'till we popped out out under some pretty formations. I recognised them but still couldn't orientate myself 'till Brendan pointed out that I had gone in to the crawl from this end on a previous trip. Chuffed that we had found a completely new alternative route in, we continued on to our first objective, the very pretty Tapioca formations.
I popped my ribs through the squeeze in to the area before getting my belt caught. I couldn't reverse and couldn't go forward so decided on a tactic of brute force pushing forward so hard that I began to exit the squeeze, but unfortunately my belt and over suit stayed put….doing an incredible Hulk impression I had split the shoulders of my suit before my belt broke free and the rest followed. Carl also enjoyed the snug calcite, though with far more grace than myself and Brendan barely noticed it!
The reward was worth the effort though and we stopped for a couple of pictures before heading on through the cave to see what kind of level the stream way had risen to at the confluence. Pausing again to take a few pictures we began to wonder what the time was. Carl noticed my camera had a time and date display and although it wasn't something I had set, the date was correct, so we assumed the time to also be. With only an hour left to beat our call out, we made our back with Carl enjoying the crawls almost as much as on the way in.
Upon our exit Jess looked a little confused as it turned out my camera time wasn't correct after all and we had exited a good hour and a half ahead of schedule! doh :)
Carl pausing to admire some formations

Carl posing at the Confluence

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