Saturday 4 July 2015

Making the Mostest of our trip to Dan Yr Ogof

Loz contacted us mid-week asking if we could offer her a couple of longish trips over the weekend.  I fancied having a play toward the Far North in anticipation of a future trip to photograph Pinnacle chamber, to get an idea of how many people and equipment would be needed to capture this impressive chamber, and so the trip was planned.

In my rush to get there on time I had managed to forget to print off the required paperwork and so we diverted to visit Peter Cardy, who kindly offered the use of his printer.

I shouldn’t have worried too much about getting there on time, after all this is the ‘Late Loz Appleby’ we were caving with ;)

We were eventually kitted up (It wouldn’t be until we arrived at the long crawl that I’d realise I had forgotten my kneepads….Doh!) and entering the show cave at about 11am, We had set a turnaround of 4pm and would just see how far we could get in that time.

Loz had never done the Green Canal so we took the wetter option rather than the lower series in. Upon arrival we found only a couple of small rings so I headed up the canal first to both retrieve enough for ourselves and to leave a few more at that end. The water was extremely cold for some reason, or perhaps it was just that I had been in it longer, but I had only just started to warm up when we got to the Rising.

We made swift progress up the ladder and rift to Windy Way and down the pitch in to The Great North Road. At Pinnacle chamber I pointed out the climb down from the Over Pass that I hoped we would return via before heading down to the Meanders.

As we rounded a corner I looked up and just had to have a go at capturing the impressive passage. I set up the flash guns, took a single shot and then got the girls to reposition, was just about to take another and the flash behind me slipped off the ledge and in to the stream way. I snatched it up and ejected the batteries and begun shaking out the water, only to have the end of the gun come off in my hand and the flashgun sploshed into the water again! Checking it over I found the hot shoe connection smashed, so from this point onward I would only have the two flashguns. It was quite an interesting lesson in the end as I had to adjust how I took shots, electing for different camera settings and using strong backlighting, so not all was lost; I learnt something other than ‘be more careful with your expensive toys’ ! ;/

(Jess says “from my viewpoint, the flashgun fell into about an inch of water and Mark retrieved it swiftly, so it would probably be ok. But then he looked at it, shook it and threw it into a deep puddle in disgust! Loz and I were in stitches…”)

We continued on to The Mostest, an impressive and pretty area of flow stones, frozen rivers and crystal pools. Again I spent a little time taking a few pics before finding the start of the overpass. Time was getting on and after a brief discussion we decided to head out, finishing the round trip as we went.

Loz at the Far North Road Pitch

Loz and Jess in the Meanders
Jess at the entrance to Cloud Chamber

Present: Loz Appleby, Jess Burkey & Mark Burkey

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