Sunday 14 June 2015

Twll Clogfaen - Ogof Tee - Caving Heaven - Caving Hell

We had expected heavy rain all weekend and not made any plans as a result, but the weather forecasters were quite out on their projections for the Sunday and when on Saturday afternoon Keith sent a message to say "do you fancy doing something tomorrow?" I jumped at the chance to get away if only for a day. Keith was persuaded to visit a couple of the smaller, less visited caves with me. With very little written up on either cave there was no indication of what we may find......

Part 1 - Twll Clogfaen - Caving Heaven

After the obligatory breakfast in Luigis we first headed to Twll Clogfaen where we parked up, checked we could open the cover OK and then changed. We descended down the most impressive of digs, as it twisted and turned as it made its way down through the gritstone and limestone boulders. A massive amount of well installed scaffold had gone into securing the entrance shafts. Soon we reached the sound of the stream ahead and followed it down to the top of the first pitch where a fixed ladder took us down the 4m wet pitch. At the bottom an area of well taped formations was passed on the right before the stream was followed the short distance to the head of the second pitch. Here the water cascaded down the 8m deep pot, and a scaffold ladder allowed us to descend. On the far side of the chamber a calcite flow cascaded down the wall giving this a remarkable feel. At the bottom the way on was a low crawl which set the scene for most of the rest of the cave. A long flat out crawl lying in water and crawling over small rocks followed for some distance until the passage relented a little as we reached a junction. We first headed down stream to eventually reach the end as the water disappeared under a thick shale band. We headed back to the junction and then followed what was another stream inlet to reach the bottom of an impressive and tall aven. We now headed out taking a couple of photos on the way. We were impressed by the cave, one that is uncharacteristic of the area with its clean washed passage. A short but fun trip, we were after all in Caving Heaven.

Second Pitch - Twll Clogfaen
Keith on the Second Pitch - Twll Clogfaen

Formations after First Pitch - Twll Clogfaen
Keith viewing formations after First Pitch - Twll Clogfaen

Part 2 - Ogof Tee - Caving Hell

After such a successful and pleasant first trip we could only be disappointed by our next trip as we headed only a short distance away to visit a cave on the opposite side of the A470.
We changed and headed up the hill past the Cil Sanws quarry where Ogof Cil Sanws emerges in the quarry face, and then up onto the top where the footpath skirts the Merthyr Golf Course. We arrived at the large rectangular shakehole with a pile of massive blocks in the bottom. A scaffolded section in the corner leads down into a void below the giant rocks above. The route was fairly obvious as we twisted and turned making our way deeper and deeper into the boulder choke. After a while we broke out into the side of a large chamber, the floor of which was covered with large blocks, with more blocks peeling away from the roof ready to join them. From the chamber we dropped down over blocks into a short section of passage before a further drop down through boulders took us into a passage with some fine mud deposits in. The passage was followed over some long flat-out sections in a wide passage to eventually reach a larger area with two ways off. We headed along the left branch crawling flat out over many fallen roof slabs to eventually break out into a fine chamber with old stals in the roof and floor. Following around the chamber to the left took us to a drop down into a further passage that was followed getting lower and lower to eventually reach a draughting hole in the floor. Not being too sure how easy it would be to get back up the hole only Keith dropped down this to follow a keyhole passage to a chamber with two low sandy crawls going off. We then returned taking a few photos as we came back out. The mud stuck to everything and the flat out crawls ensured we were plastered head to foot. All that lay ahed was to find our way back up and out of the suicidal entrance choke. A total contrast to the first trip of the day, but after this was Caving Hell.

Junction in Ogof Tee
Keith at a junction in Ogof Tee

Main Chamber in Ogof Tee
Keith in the unstable Main Chamber in Ogof Tee

Present: Keith Edwards and Brendan Marris

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