Saturday 7 May 2016

A coffee break in Ogof Marros

It had been a long wet winter and as the entrance series can flood to the roof we had been hampered from visiting the newly discovered Ogof Marros.

 I had first met Phil Knight a few years ago when he joined the SWCC where on one of our regular jaunts in to OFD he decided to join us and not long after this Brendan had enlisted his help locating and exploring the caves of Carmarthenshire.

It was during one of these visits to that Phil first mentioned about his passion for a particular dig area near Greenbridge and 2 years later we were back with him to take photo's of his pride and joy.

I should mention a few other names at this point as over the summer of 2015 Phil was joined by a full team of dedicated diggers including: Fred Cook, Emily Ivens, Storm Morris, Ashley Pursglove, Antonia Freem, Andy Freem, Claire Vivian, Duncan Hornby and Michael Perryman.

 Brendan, Myself, Jess and Mags arrived at the SWCC on the Friday night to ensure we would get a descent start the following day. The SWCC is about a 2 1/2hr journey for us and Pendine a further hour and half.

 We arrived in Greenbridge to a fine sunny day and met with Phil, Andy & a handful of others for a full tour of the surrounding area and before heading to the entrance.

 Above a rather gloopy sink we entered a hands and knees crawl and were soon making our way down a 4m climb. At this point Andy asked Phil if he was planning on going ahead 'just incase'........'Just incase' turned out to be for my benefit as our first obstacle would be a letterbox squeeze in to the cave named 'Freds Despair', fortunately this turned out to be more awkward than tight and didn't stop my journey in to the newly discovered 300m of cave.

We then made our way through stooping passage to '3 Man Chamber' and on through boulder choke to emerge over the top of the original way in to the cave to emerge at 'Wildest Dreams Stream Way.' Here I stuck my head in to the original crawl which looked pretty dire with bits of scaffold and wooden blocks holding the boulder choke above you at bay. Andy cheerfully pointed out that the grovel through hanging death was normally accompanied by a thorough soaking as you made your way through the flat out crawls and that more than once boulders had moved and only luck had intervened to stop more than one of the diggers being badly injured. I was grateful the alternative route had been found a couple of weeks earlier which now meant that the route in to the cave was accessible in all but the wettest conditions.
 After a brief look in to 'Crystal Carpet Chamber' , we made our way in to the Main Stream Way where Phil proudly showed us his Barista skills before heading off to dig with the others whilst Andy took us on a tour of the rest if cave. On we went through a loop route past Jimmy the trout, who was hiding in a static pool, to take in the rest of the passage way. Back in Stream Way we headed toward through a couple of crawls to start taking some photo's of the '3 Tier Rifts', whilst Andy re-joined the diggers.  Brendan and I snapped away happily whilst our models got colder and colder.
Mags has only been on a couple of trips with us and leaned over to Jess on the first shot of the day and asked her if Brendan and I aways took our cameras with us.... 'Oh yes', Jess smirked. As we continued to take snaps we heard what sounded like formations being broken and left our cameras to find out what had happened. As we emerged over boulders a strong smell of coffee rose from the stream and it turned out that one of the digging crew had had an unfortunate incident with the jar!

As there was no further coffee to be had our models both revolted and insisted we exit in time for ice-cream & cake at the nearby beaches in Pendine......Well who was I to argue!

Crystal Carpet Chamber
Phil before the unfortunate coffee incident (Photo Mark Burkey)
Back to work (Photo Brendan Marris)
Marros Stream Way (Photo Mark Burkey)
3 Tiers Rifts
Marros Main Stream Way (Photo Mark Burkey)

Present: Mark, Jess, Brendan & Magdalena

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