Saturday, 3 June 2017

Craig a Ffynnon. A damp introduction to caving.

We had promised our latest recruit Rachel a day trip for her first underground adventure.  After plenty of procrastination around the tea pot on Thursday evening we eventually decided upon a Welsh classic, Ogof Craig A Ffynnon.
We introduced Rachel to the Dudley tradition of a full breakfast at Luigi's cafe before heading off to park near the old lime kilns on the old heads of the valley.
As we changed it looked like it would be a busy day in the cave as several of the Gwent caving club arrived and begun kitting up.

One of the Gwent groups went ahead and we followed in. 

Rachel was soon oohing and aaarrring at the decorated chambers as we made our way. At gasoline alley we caught the other group and so opened up the camera kit to waste a little time and take a few snaps. 
After 10 minutes we could no longer hear the others and so the gear was packed up and we continued on. Rachel had no problems with any of the climbs, crawls or water and soon we were at her he first real challenge, the boulder choke.
I led in and could hear her scrambling along behind me. After 10 minutes we emerged the other side. I looked around to find Rachel struggling between boulders, a huge grin on her face....always a good sign :)
Next we slipped and slid through the mud and on to the Hall Of The Mountain King. Here we took Rachel through the bypass to see the start of the Seven Tunnel before heading back in to Travertine Passage for a quick photo before retracing our steps to the entrance to the North West Inlet. Here Keith wanted to grab a little video of people coming through the flooded passage. We each took it in turns to jump in the icy water until we were all thoroughly chilled and then headed out in to the sunshine. I would be staying on for a Sunday trip with Mel, but the others would be heading off so I said my farewells and waved them off after a good fun trip.

Rachel in Gasoline Alley
Rachel admires the formations 
Travertine Passage

Present: Keith Edwards, Kay Wood, Rachel Rushton & Mark Burkey

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