Wales 8 th and 9 th March 2003
Report and photos by Darryl
Managed to leave S. Ken at 7:30 despite faffing with van. Got to Aberdare Tesco just before 11, so stocked up on essentials.
Saturday - Ogof Draenen
Darryl, Martin, Andy, Boris, Helen, Bela
We were all woken up at 8.50am by pete, who had finished making breakfast (bastard, he said 9.30 the previous night), but it mean't we could get all the faffing out of the way and still get underground before 12. Weather was atrocious, so we decided to do Draenen, a cave which I had never done before, so I decided to do the easy linear trip so with Martin leading we headed in (after wrestling with the combination lock for a few minutes).
The entrance of this cave is squalid and wet but various climbs and squeezes made it quite fun. After getting through the entrance series boulder hopping is the main activity until Indiana Highway, where you start traversing. Boris turned back at the roped section (which, as it turns out, is pretty easy), so we went on to see the small pretties at megadrive. I took some photos before we headed back to pick Boris back up. When the group was reunited again we made our way to the streamway. More small pretties were seen here before we headed out of the cave via wonderbra (or as Martin put it, "hanging death"), to emerge into sunlight after 5 hours underground. The pub was closed when we got out so we had to wait in the van for the other guys.
Round trip that wasn't
Pete, Colm, Joachim
I assume this will be written by them. - You assume wrong - ha ha
Karaoke - 'nuff said
Darryl, Joachim, Bela
Tired and hungover I emerged from my bunk at 10.15 to find Martin making breakfast. Somehow during breakfast I had volunteered to do OFD, so we headed over to SWCC to get a key but as it was noon when we finally got there I was saved by the fact that the hut was locked up for the day. Martin suggested going to Pant Mawr to look at the entrance to a WSG breakthrough called Pwll Pindor. The van had a bit of trouble getting up the track after passing little neath but after a brief push it got going and we carried on to Pant Mawr. After returning to the van after walking to the entrance (and pinching some logs) only me, Joachim and Bela wanted to cave (and I was teetering on the edge of not going) so we headed down the entrance, leaving Colm and Martin in the van.
The entrance is a 12m climb down scaffolding (past some lost frogs). A left turn after the entrance leads into a flat out bedding-plane crawl. After a while you come into a well decorated chamber which had more pretties in it than our trip in Draenen had on saturday. Another good thing about this chamber was that it was high enough to sit down. Two ways on were explored, one of which consisted of another well decorated bedding plane that closes down to become too tight. The other way was into "Ted Moult Passage", a bedding plane crawl on a lower level leading to a low, pretty passage. After this and ignoring the other way from the entrance we headed out aftre 1.5 hours of hard caving.
Looking at the survey , we could have gone further as we had missed the gours and Bishopsgate but we had dismissed the turning. Oh well, one for another hungover day in South Wales.
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