Saturday 9 August 2014

A Grand Day Out in Agen Allwedd

Mark was disappointed to miss the Outer Circle trip last week, so his consolation prize was the Grand Circle. We stayed at Whitewalls as Sunday's trip would be in Draenen and met up with Mike Green from Gloucester S.S. who is now also a Chelsea S.S. member.
We arrived at Whitewalls after the obligatory breakfast in Luigis and met up with Mike who had stayed over on the Friday night. After changing we made our way to the cave, making it underground at the leisurely time of 11:30am. It is over ten years since I had last done this trip and we headed off to do the trip anticlockwise to replicate my first trip in the hope I would remember some of it. It appears that some of my memory is still functioning and we made our way through the First and Second chokes, down the Main Streamway. We slipped our way down the streamway for about a kilometre to reach the area of Deep Water and the Narrows. We then arrived at the Third Choke to find the route through a little longer than I remembered it, but presented no problems at all. We then were quickly at the Fourth Choke and climbed up the tight route through boulders cursing the camera boxes. Biza passage I had no memory of apart from I knew it took quite a while last time. I remembered none of it, but we made our way through slowly but without fault. The handline came in useful for the climbs down to the streamway at the end. Fun was had at the first cascade as we all got a little wetter than we had planned here. We slipped our way further downstream, pausing to take photos at the cascades and also some formations on a high level section of passage. Eventually the streamway becomes more phreatic and the floor is covered with silt and gravel, so no more slipping, well almost... We head down past Southern Stream to visit the sump, before we head back to the Southern Stream inlet to begin our long slog out. This was as awkward as I had remembered, but had less crawling, but the stooping and squeezing is quite tiring and we were glad when we emerged into the Main Passage. It was now just a stroll to the entrance series, where we polished off a bottle of pop that we had left in Barons Chamber and made our way out.

Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd
Mel and Jess - Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd

Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd
Mel and Mike - Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd

Above the Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd
Mel viewing formations - Above the Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd

Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd
Jess at a cascade - Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd

Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd
Mel in the Lower Main Streamway - Agen Allwedd

Southern Stream was not as crawly as I had remembered, but sustained stooping makes it very tiring.

Present: Mel Bel, Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey, Brendan Marris and special guest Mike Green from Gloucester S.S.

1 comment:

  1. A superb trip; thanks for letting me tag along. I really enjoyed caving with you all and picked up loads of ideas from how you run your club, to take back with me. It's great to see such an active thriving club getting out there and doing the big trips. Hope to tie up with you again sometime.
    Mike (special guest)