Sunday 23 August 2015

Wet Wet Wet, An Introduction to Caving In Llygad Llwchwr

Wayne turned up to the club a couple of weeks ago fancying a trip and I suggested taking him on something whilst we were in South Wales over the weekend. My original plan was to do something gentle in OFD, but as we chatted around the tea pot another plan was formed.

Wayne and Loz joined myself, Brendan and Jess at SWCC and together we travelled on to meet up with Chloe and Keith at the parking spot for Llygad Llwchwr.

We begun hauling bags of kit out of the van and gradually Wayne began to realise he hadn't just let himself in for a normal trip.
Kitted up with inflatable dingy, two boxes of camera gear, a bag of flash bulbs and kit for a ladder pitch, we made our way to the entrance where we formed a chain to take the kit up. I wanted to learn the cave so Chloe navigated from behind and we made our way in with Keith taking snippets of video as we went.
In the first river chamber we realised that the water levels were going to be a little higher than normal due to storms of the last week.
We took a quick look at the second river chamber before continuing on to river chamber number four, where we deployed a dingy and introduced wayne to the joys of standing in flowing frigid water whilst Brendan and I orchestrated lighting for an underwater flash bulb shot which created an eerie red glow from the sediments in the peaty water.
After 20 minutes we allowed Wayne a respite and continued caving on to the ladder pitch down to river chamber 4.
Whilst Brendan and I played with some shots in the dry passage below Jess took Wayne through the chest high waters to the end of the passage to see the formations before rejoining us. I had the daft idea of floating flashguns on a boat in the fast flowing passage and soon regretted the idea as water flooded over them. With batteries removed ready to dry them out later we packed our gear and headed out to play in the water slide outside the cave.
Back at the van I realised I'd gone and left my phone and wallet back at the SWCC so we said our goodbyes and a slightly embarrassed me headed off to collect them.

Keith and Wayne in the fourth river chamber (Picture Brendan Marris) 

Loz admires a crystal pool (Picture Brendan Marris)

Chloe in dry passage in the second river chamber (Photo Brendan Marris)

Sod Caving, this is much more fun! By Keith Edwards

Present: Jess Burkey, Mark Burkey, Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris, Loz Appleby, Chloe Burney & Wayne Holt-Morris

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