Saturday 27 June 2015

There’s nothing worse than Tooth Cave ache!

There’s nothing worse than Tooth Cave ache!
With Jess dropped off in the Brecon’s I continued on to meet with Brendan at the SWCC hut where we intended to collect a key for our objective of the day, Tooth Cave in the Gower.

Whilst we faffed trying to locate a key we had a chat with Peter Francis who looked at us sideways when we said we were off to Tooth for a photographic trip……’Well I guess there are a couple of shots to be had, but it’s a lot of squalid crawling!’

Brendan assured me that he was just trying to put us off and that he didn’t recall an excessive amount of crawling, so off we headed.

At just over one and a half kilometres Tooth is the longest cave on the Gower. The entrance is a large gate at the foot of a small cliff which leads via a slot to the head of a short pitch. We swiftly rigged and descended in to Bone chamber and followed the obvious route which soon degraded in to…….yep you guessed it crawls!

We passed the Elephant’s Legs formations and continued through crawls filled with cobbles, with the occasional respite of stooping passage. Eventually we reached Big Sump which after the dry winter we’d had allowed us access to the downstream section of the cave and much larger passage way.
We continued on to the rift passages which create something of a maze at the end of the system before retracing our steps to photograph the ‘Christmas Cake’ formation, impressive rift and stream passage and deeply scalloped tubes on our return.

The crawling seemed even longer on the way back out and after a quick divert to take a look at the upstream section we headed out.

Whilst changing I picked out small cobbles which had trapped behind my kneepads, massaged my aching knees and looked over to find Brendan stretching out and doing the same. We had to admit that Peter had been right about the crawling at least, with small bruises starting to form we knew we’d be suffering ‘Tooth’ ache for a couple of days to come!

Mark in Main Passage Photo Brendan Marris

Mark in Big Sump Photo Brendan Marris

Brendan in the lower Main Passage  Photo Mark Burkey

Brendan in Main Passage Photo Mark Burkey

Present: Brendan Marris & Mark Burkey

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