Sunday 31 January 2016

Exploring The Upper Oxbow Series Ogof Ffynnon Ddu

Sunday we were eventually sorted and heading underground for about 11am. Our objective was to go up the sky hook pitch to the upper oxbow series and drop the two pitches down toward splash inlet. Chloe was feeling a little under the weather Sunday morning, perhaps connected with her unplanned swim in Croesor the week before.
We made our way in via Edwards Shortcut and were soon rigging the pull through. Some time was wasted re-rigging the pitch and dropping the SRT kit back down as we'd decided to only take 2 kits between the 5 of us. More time was spent de-rigging to use the rope on the 20m pitch back down at the end of the upper oxbow series.
As we made our way Chloe really began to flake and so we split in to two teams.  Brendan continued with myself and Jess to the head of the pitch and then headed back to rejoin the other two to take a few pictures whilst Jess and I dropped the first pitch. At the 8m pitch I checked that I could squeeze through the small slot in the floor for the pitch and just about managed, but decided that it would be a huge effort to try and get back through with SRT kit on and so looked at an alternative rigging through the higher entry in to the aven. 
I dropped down the pitch and had a very quick poke around the passage at the bottom before heading back to Jess.
We joined the others to find them just finishing up. Brendan rigged the pitch back down and whilst he and Chloe made their way down, Jess, myself and Mark took the opportunity for me to grab a quick couple of shots of my own.
As we made our way out of the cave we were pushing our call out time and as Chloe needed to pace herself Jess headed out ahead to ensure a call out wasn't begun.
I exited to a very misty hillside and was only 50m from the gate when I heard Jess calling me. She had started down the foggy hillside only to lose her way. Fearing that she could wind up being the one who required rescue she decided to try and get back to the entrance. By this time the others had arrived and we headed down the hill together for a welcome hot shower and cuppa before heading back.

Chloe admires formations in the upper oxbow (Photo Brendan Marris)
Chloe admires formations in the upper oxbow (Photo Brendan Marris)

Jess above the Sky Hook Pitch (Photo Mark Burkey)
Jess above the Sky Hook Pitch (Photo Mark Burkey)

Present: Brendan Marris, Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey, Mark Burgess & Chloe Burney

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