Sunday, 29 January 2012

Ogof Gwynt yr Eira - again.....

Another trip to Ogof Gwynt yr Eira to carry dive stuff for Martin 'Lump' Groves as he continues his assault on the miserable sump at the bottom of the cave. No underground pictures of this trip - trying to cram the photo kit around a dive cylinder in the tackle bag is always awkward!

Given the weather of late this was the wrong day to be caving. As a I drove up the A470 ahead were the freshly snow crowned peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du under a clear and bright winters day. Such days should be hill-run days!

I was the first to arrive at the car parking spot for the cave. No snow but frozen ground so I took a quick jog up to the nearby Cairn - Carn Pen Rhiw-Ddu - to admire the view. It was one of those days where the urge was just to keep running! Alas a few pictures had to suffice before heading back to the car and start sorting kit.

Looking West to Carn Pen-y-clogau from Carn Pen Rhiw-ddu

Carn Pen Rhiw-ddu
Soon Martin and Krysia appeared, closely followed by another old stalwart of the 'Gwynt yr Eira's' diggers, Al Braybroke. Soon the four of are duly kitted up and making our steady ways through the various bits of engineering and old exploration paraphernalia, whilst trying to avoid loose rocks, before once again hitting the bottom of the cave.
Sorting kit

Martin got himself ready for diving, and as there was plenty of help today I headed up into the upper cave to have another mooch, and in particular have a look at a blind pot that has a link to an airbell just before the sump.

Even though I was last in this part of the cave just before Christmas it seemed more miserable than before. Getting up the pitch involves using a old piece of 9mm climbing rope left in place since around 1996, its then a short but awkward climb, followed by an awkward thrutch to get into an awkward passage liberally coated in sh!te (well mud)....

I forgot where the link to the pot went and for some reason considered it to be up a short climb. This I couldn't get up so built a pile of rocks to get purchase, removed lots of mud to locate some dubious holds and teetered up a couple of meters... only to find it blind and going nowhere... bugger. Reversal was also a bit of a pig but accomplished without mishap.

The actual route was down a muddy pot under a big rock. At the base of which a slimy body sized tube gains more slimy awkward* passage which drops into a short section of nice cave with a small streamway. Sadly this quickly ends at the 10m pot where I manage to have a chat with Martin whose in the airbell. Also no decent sized connect between the two points and also no obvious leads to push.

The chat with Martin reveals he is back to digging his way through the sump but had run out of bags to stash the dirt - time to head out. By the time I regain the others I am liberally coated in cack and felt I'd caved for miles not just a mere hundred odd meters!

Back on the surface its still daylight and still a nice day. A short trip today but still a good trip. No doubt be back again soon! I think it took almost as long to clean my kit today as we spent caving :-D

Yours truly in 'turd' camouflage....
*awkward - the overused word of this blog, but appropriate to the cave!

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