3rd - 5th May 2014 - Nigel Dibben - SN 9295 1339
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Friday 2nd May
Tom had fixed accommodation for us at Croydon Caving Club’s hut in Ystradfellte. We arrived in three groups in time to fix the trip for the following day which was going to be led by Chris Crowley. Neil, Annette, Charlie, Sue, Claire and Andy from the CCC were also there so it was decided there would be two groups into Dan-yr-Ogof on the Saturday.
Saturday 3rd May – DAN-YR-OGOF
We set off from the CCC hut in good time and were getting changed and ready to enter DYO by about 1030. Chris took four of us and Neil the fifth along with the three other CCC cavers. The trip was for conservation purposes so we carefully checked the condition of the formations and the marking tapes during our trip. We also observed how the water level dropped while we there (compare the trip report 093 three years ago with Allan!). We took the usual round trip route through the show cave and lakes and up to the Long Crawl. After some thrutching and squeezing we were all through although Tom couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Beyond the Long Crawl, we went round by Flabbergasm Chasm and up to the Abyss near the end of DYO 2. Here we started to return out via the Washing Machine and Bakerloo Straight. The Long Crawl didn’t seem as long on the way out so soon we were back into the sunshine and changing in the car park.
Back to CCC hut and we joined in the village celebrations as the New Inn had just re-opened under new management following its winter hibernation. A good night was had by all.
Sunday 4th May – OFD II Top Entrance to Cwm Dwr
Neil thought we might be able to get on a trip to the Columns but in any case was happy to lead the whole group, less Chris, from Top Entrance to Cwm Dwr. We got up to Penwyllt by about 1030 and found that we had missed our chance to go the Columns but we carried on with the rest of the planned trip and set off walking up to Top Entrance. Once in, we took a fairly conventional route through the Big Chamber Near the Entrance and on towards the Columns but turned off when we met the ‘official’ group from SWCC who said that there was no question of us visiting them. We headed back towards Arête Chamber and then down Corkscrew Climb into a crawly route leading to the Judge. After a quick look up Swamp Creek, we carried on to Maypole Inlet and down into the Main Stream. As usual, the Main Stream was quite exciting although the water was relatively low. After a long stretch, we reached Piccadilly and headed back towards Cwm Dwr entrance via the Smithy and Dim Dwr. All got out safely and in good condition!
After showers (very nice!), we got back to the CCC hut, arranged a meal in the New Inn and then stayed there for the rest of the night.
Monday 5th May – OFD I
The day before, Nigel said he might go for a walk on the Monday but rapidly changed his mind when Neil kindly offered to lead us into OFD I. So we set off again for the Tawe Valley and Penwyllt to change for OFD I. It’s a long walk down to the entrance but it wasn’t long before we reached the way in to the cave. Inside, the route is fairly comfortable caving having once been a sort of show cave and we headed along the dry sections to the Wire Traverse. We were soon across this and on to the Dugout and Rawl Series where we took some photos of the pretties. This section led after a flat-out crawl to the descent into the streamway via an inlet passage. From there back to the entrance passage was a similar experience to OFD II although the water seemed to be even lower than the day before. We climbed out of the stream and were soon on the way back to the entrance, stopping briefly for a team photo. Then it was out to the daylight and the long slog up the hill.
Another shower and we were ready to say goodbye to Neil and Annette and head off home. A great weekend made even better by the hospitality of the Croydon CC without whom we would probably not have seen half of what we did.
The DCC Team was Tom, Nigel, Anton and Emma with Andy from UCET.
PS Nigel’s last visit to OFD I was 40 years ago!
Below 1: The team after OFD II trip Below 2: Rawl Series in OFD I Below 3: Formations Below 4: You do have to crawl occasionally
Below 1: More pretties Below 2: Neil in the streamway Below 3: Annette in the streamway Below 4: Team picture