Sunday, 30 March 2014

On A Road To Nowhere In Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira

After the Ogof Pasg and Foel Fawr trip we decided to make the most of the extra hour of daylight on a flying visit to Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira to locate and explore the Road to Nowhere which we had failed to find on our last visit. After seeing off the rest of the team we headed across the road and started to uncover the entrance. We were soon gingerly climbing down the entrance shaft and starting the climb down the first pitch. It was at this point that the rumble of a vehicle on the road above dislodged a rock, at this point Chloe and Jess decided that a visit to the ice cream van would be more fun than being crushed to death by falling rocks, so Brendan dropped down the entrance climbs to collect the car key off Mark and take it up to them. After a few minutes Brendan was back with Mark and we continued into the cave and were soon popping through the cosy entrance to Alaska. We continued keeping to the left of the passage until we reached a steeply descending tube with two ways off at the bottom. On out first trip we had gone left, after discounting the tight rift on the right. However this time we would force ourselves through the squeeze on the right and were soon in better passage. The respite was short lived as we then headed over a slippy downward traverse to reach a tight slot down at the end which led to a letterbox squeeze emerging at the top of a 10m climb. Popping through legs first footholds were found on the opposite wall of the shaft and a short climb down onto a wide ledge allowed us to see the rest of the climb down. Mark free-climbed down while Brendan attached a handline which was useful on the lower part. We were now in large clean washed passage and stepping across a rifty hole in the floor entered a sandy rift and the start proper of the Road to Nowhere. A chamber with several routes off was soon met where after exploring all options we took a climb down into the obvious rift passage that heads off from this area. Some fine areas of sediments were passed until we reached a point where a stream headed off down to the left to reach a passage too small to follow far and to the right the passage passed some impressive sediment banks to reach a muddy sand choke at the end. With time against us we took a handful of photos before making our way out and meet up with the others as planned.

The Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira
Mark in the Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira

The Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira
Mark in the Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira

The Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira
Mark in the Road to Nowhere - Ogof Gwynt Yr Eira

Present: Mark Burkey and Brendan Marris

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