Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Extraordinary League of Gentlemen Cavers

Motivation was low on Sunday morning so after a marathon faffing and procrastination session we decided to visit some of the smaller caves in the vicinity of SWCC. We first went to assess the water levels in the Brickwork's Dig as we had planned a Club dig for the following weekend. We were surprised to find the water level above the cross rift, which would mean it would take a long time to empty the dig and be able to start work. We then headed off to look for a suitable alternative.

Cwm Dwr II

We headed into the Cwm Dwr Quarry to look at Cwm Dwr II a cave that was once difficult to visit as a short sump not far from the entrance had to be emptied to allow visits. About three years ago the sump was removed and so we were able to get in with little more than a crawl through shallow water. We arrived at the pitch into Default Chamber and rigged the 10m ladder and descended the 11m pitch. We looked at a sandy dig at the top of the chamber before heading downstream over long traversing sections to reach the sump. On our way out we went upstream and followed Ping Pong Passage to reach the choke that marks the end of the cave.

Twll Gwynt Oer

We were encouraged by Ian and Peter at the SWCC to go and have a look at Twll Gwynt Oer, a cave dug by Jopo that intersected a streamway that later feeds Cwm Dwr II. We lifted the covers off the cave and dropped down the 3m deep section of lined shaft to reach a concrete plinth. We then dropped through the hatch to reach the top of an 8m deep shaft which we rigged with a ladder to assist the climb down. At the bottom we first headed downstream to eventually reach the sump before retracing our steps and headed upstream to reach a choke with calcite formations. We then made our way out taking photos as we went.

Twll Gwynt Oer
Brendan in Twll Gwynt Oer - Photo Mark Burkey

Twll Gwynt Oer
Brendan in Twll Gwynt Oer - Photo Mark Burkey

Twll Gwynt Oer
Mark in Twll Gwynt Oer - Photo Brendan Marris

Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig

We then walked across to Gents Dig - Ogof Dynion, passing the site of Zach's Dig as we went. The entrance to Zach's Dig has now been filled over as it was connected with Gent's Dig in 2006. After some trouble with the lock on the entrance to Gent's, we lifted the lid and descended the large concrete lined shaft to enter the cave. At the bottom a railway line led off, tempting us to follow, but it came to an abrupt end just around a corner. We then headed down a small descending passage just below the entrance which passed round a tight corner to emerge at the top of a short free climb with handline in-situ. We were now greeted with clean washed rock in the bottom of a wet weather inlet and overlooking a 6m pitch down into large passage below. We rigged the ladder and lifeline before descending and exploring the passages in the lower level. After exploring all the passages, apart from a tight awkward section that leads and connects to the passages of Zach's Dig we then returned taking some photos as we went.

Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig
Mark in Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig - Photo Brendan Marris

Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig
Mark in Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig - Photo Brendan Marris

Ogof Gwynion 1
Brendan in Ogof Y Dynion - Gent's Dig - Photo Mark Burkey

We emerged after 6pm to find the South Wales Caving Club deserted.

Present: Mark Burkey and Brendan Marris

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