Saturday 30 January 2016

Light Work in Ogof Craig A Ffynnon

With Christmas and foreign caving trips out the way, it was back to caving in the cold and wet of the UK. Ed was joining us for his first trip with The Dudley and so we decided to head to South Wales for a trip into Ogof Craig A Ffynnon to visit the Hall of the Mountain King. With a good number of people in the party and a sedate trip planned we decided to pack up a tripod and lots and lots of flashguns to take into the cave to re-photograph the fantastically decorated chamber. As is the tradition we met at Luigi's for breakfast before driving around to the cave. The day was bright but cold so we changed quite quickly before heading into the cave led by Mr Burgess. Even though there was no rain a good stream ran along the footpath and water was high in the cave, with foam lines indicating that parts had sumped during the heavy rain earlier in the week. The trip was uneventful, but brightened up with regular vocalisations from Ed as we made our way through squeezes, low sections and especially the wet bits. We arrived at the Hall of the Mountain King to unpack the photographic gear while the rest of the group had a look around. Mark found that a Daren Drum with four flashguns and a set of walkie talkies had leaked, making the contents unusable. Batteries were taken out of the units and wiped dry with cloths before we set up with the working kit we had. A tripod was set up and with the help of the group, the nine working flashguns were placed in the chamber or hand held to take two shots that were then spliced together to give the wide shot of the chamber below.

Hall of the Mountain King - Ogof Craig A Ffynnon
Hall of the Mountain King - lit with 9 flashguns

While the gear was packed up some of the group headed into Hurricane Alley through the flat out crawl into the start of the Severn Tunnel. Much noise was made by certain people as they went through the squeezes and wet bits. Mark Burgess had a cut to his eyelid as he banged into rock in the squeeze, emerging bleeding and swollen. We then regrouped and headed out noticing that the water levels had dropped somewhat while we had been underground.

Present: Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey, Chloe Burney, Mark Burgess, Ed Simkins and Brendan Marris

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